RICHARD: Before this unfortunate incident, Sally Wallington always received the first cup of tea. When she was suddenly demoted, your mother moved up to the prime tea spot, and she’s held that spot ever since. Now, she’s very proud of that spot, and now she’s afraid that this little incident may jeopardize it.
When Richard phones Lorelai, it is to tell her that she has to go to the concert with Peyton, because otherwise she may jeopardise Emily’s social standing in the Hartford community ie receiving the first cup of tea at DAR meetings.
Lorelai thinks this sounds ridiculous, and Richard agrees – but he doesn’t care. No matter how silly it may sound, it’s important to Emily to have that first cup of tea, and Richard will do anything he can to help her get it.
This provides Lorelai with another viewpoint on the subject, that Emily’s feelings are more important because a dispute with Peyton’s mother will have long-term effects on Emily’s social standing and happiness. On the other hand, for Lorelai to go on one boring date with Peyton is only a few hours out of her life – and it’s at a David Bowie concert, which Lorelai wants to see anyway, with less chance for listening to Peyton drone on than at dinner.
As Lorelai said Peyton was equally bored and unhappy on their date, I can think of an obvious solution – Peyton and Lorelai could just pretend to go on a date with each other in order to keep everyone happy. Or Lorelai could cancel the date with some polite fiction, such as a sudden illness or urgent situation. Apparently this is too simple a fix.