Trix offers to set up a trust fund for Rory so that she can pay for Chilton herself, and pay back her grandparents for the first year of tuition. This is because Trix finds borrowing money to be terribly distasteful, which makes you wonder how she manages at banks – are the Gilmores so wealthy they have never needed a bank loan or a mortgage, or are banks different?
Emily does everything she can to convince Lorelai that Rory’s financial independence will ruin her close relationship with her mother. If Rory pays her own way through university, buys her own car, and goes travelling on her own, what will she ever need Lorelai for?
Although Lorelai dismisses Emily’s arguments as the ravings of a madwoman, when she gets home she goes to Rory’s room and finds it full of Harvard brochures, the walls covered in travel posters. It’s clear that Emily now seems a lot more convincing.
Of course, Emily’s real fear is that if she and Richard are no longer paying for Chilton, then Rory won’t need them either, and neither will Lorelai. The thought of losing her daughter and granddaughter all over again is unbearable to her, as her “It’s terrible not to be needed” makes clear.