Mencken’s Memoirs

RICHARD: Rory, I have a surprise. Not only did I find that copy of Mencken’s Chrestomathy we discussed, I also found a first edition of his memoirs as well.

H.L. Mencken wrote three volumes of memoirs. They were Happy Days, 1880-1892 (1940); Newspaper Days, 1899-1906 (1941); and Heathen Days, 1890-1936 (1943). They were published together in a single volume called The Days of H.L. Mencken in 1947; a good quality first edition might go for around $70 today.

The episode ends with Lorelai in the situation she feared: left alone while Rory spends time with her grandparents and gets “spoiled” with a first edition of a book she has wanted. Of course, Lorelai has had Rory all to herself for many years before this.

Crack den

EMILY: I mean, to have a place to go where she can socialize, that’s very important to a young girl.
LORELAI: Well, now especially that the crack den is closed down on the corner, all her really good friends are gone.

A crack den is a place where dealers sell the illegal drug crack cocaine to buyers, and provide a place for the drugs to be used.


EMILY: I mean, in this age of MTV and 100 television channels, who would’ve imagined that a young girl could still get a thrill spending a simple afternoon with her grandfather?

MTV (originally Music Television) is an American cable station owned by Viacom. Launched in 1981, it was initially for music videos but quickly branched out into other programs; music videos are now limited on the channel.


EMILY: You brought us used dessert?
LORELAI: It’s not used. It’s left over.
EMILY: How nice. I’ll just put it in the kitchen next to my half-empty box of Cheer.

Cheer is a brand of laundry detergent sold in the US and Canada, and made by Procter & Gamble. It has been sold since 1950.

It’s very unlikely that Emily really keeps laundry powder in the kitchen, or that she would store cake next to it. She’s just being nasty. Most people are prepared to be magnanimous and conciliatory when they get everything their own way, and are proven right in a disagreement. Not Emily.

“I’m sorry”

For the first time ever, Lorelai apologises to Rory for keeping her away from her grandparents for so many years, explaining that it suited her, and she never thought Rory might feel differently. Rory doesn’t outright say that she forgives her, but when she sees a little girl in a fancy dress at the wedding who must remain still and ladylike as the dress is so expensive, she does get a slight inkling of what her life might have been like if Emily had been more involved in it from a young age. She quietly thanks Lorelai for saving her from that, indicating that she does understand and appreciate her mother’s point of view.

We Are Family

This 1979 song by American R&B group Sister Sledge is played at the double twin wedding reception by the wedding band; it is from Sister Sledge’s album of the same name, and was written by Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards. It went to #2 in the US, and was #1 on the disco charts.

It is ironic that this anthem of family solidarity is beloved by Mrs. Shales, who openly loathes her daughters. The song underscores the theme of this episode.


MRS. SHALES: They just told me they’re going to share a condo in Tuscon. Arizona! That’s hundreds of miles away!

In the US and many parts of Canada, condo is short for condominium, real estate in which residential units are separately owned, but surrounded by areas which are jointly owned, such as hallways, laundry rooms, swimming pools, and gardens. In other countries this may be known as strata title or commonhold.

It doesn’t seem like a good idea for the quarrelling twins to share a unit together with their new husbands, but Mrs. Shales is just happy they’re a long way from her.

The twins moving away from their mother is an object lesson to Lorelai – if she keeps fighting with Rory, she may end up losing her daughter. Worse, it may come as a relief to her.


LORELAI: If the country club life is what she wants, more power to her, right? You know, little white gloves and coming-out parties. That makes some girls happy, right?
SOOKIE: (while admiring the strawberries) Sure, yeah. If they’re on Prozac, absolutely.

Prozac is a brand name for Fluoxetine, a commonly-prescribed antidepressant.