The Diary of Virginia Woolf

This is the book that Rory is reading at lunchtime in the cafeteria.

It is the diary of Virginia Woolf, edited by the art scholar Anne Olivier Bell, married to Woolf’s nephew, Quentin Bell. It is in five volumes, with the first volume published in 1977, and the last in 1984 (the year Rory was born). Rory is reading the fourth volume (covering 1931-1935), suggesting she has already read the first three, and has almost finished the entire set. Virginia Woolf has been established as one of Rory’s favourite authors. It has also been shown again and again that Rory (and Lorelai) have a great interest in diaries and biography.

Cheech & Chong

LORELAI: How’d it finally end with Cheech & Chong?

Cheech & Chong, comedy duo consisting of Richard “Cheech” Marin (born 1946) and Thomas “Tommy” Chong (born 1938). They found commercial and cultural success in the 1970s and 1980s with their stand-up routines, studio recordings, and low-budget feature films, which were based on the hippie and free love era, and especially drug and counterculture movements, most notably their love for cannabis.

Their 1978 buddy stoner comedy film Up in Smoke was poorly reviewed but a huge commercial success, becoming a cult classic and kicking off the entire genre of stoner movies. Their characters are a pair of drug-addled idiots who get into one ridiculous slapstick situation after another, so Lorelai seems to be saying that Jess and Dean are likewise a pair of comedic idiots.

The real Cheech & Chong broke up in the 1980s after an acrimonious falling out and didn’t reunite until 2008 – Lorelai may also be referring to that (not that she knows Cheech & Chong will get back together at this point).

“The student surpasses the master”

LORELAI: Not as impressive as my mother making four green beans last an hour and a half …. When she finally got to the last bean, she cut it in six pieces. I swear, I thought Gran was gonna lunge across the table at her.

RORY: The student surpasses the master.

As far as I know, this comes from a quote attributed to the Renaissance artist and inventor Leonardo da Vinci: “Poor is the pupil who does not surpass his master”.

“That’ll do, pig”

[Emily begins to slowly eat the rest of her meal]

LORELAI: That’ll do, pig. That’ll do. [takes a sip of wine]

A reference to the movie Babe, previously discussed.

In the film, a grateful misty-eyed Farmer Hoggett says this line to the pig Babe after he has, against all odds, won a sheepdog trial, despite not being a dog. One of the most understated last lines in film history, it’s a dignified, restrained way for Lorelai to say Emily is doing very well indeed.

Trix Announces She’s Moving Back to Hartford

RICHARD: So, Trix, let’s talk about the Hartford house. Do you have a new tenant lined up yet?

TRIX: Yes, I do … Me.

To Emily’s horror, Trix announces she is moving back home to Hartford. She’s getting older, London is too damp, and she has some vague health problems. The savvy viewer will detect here that the writers are planning to bump Trix off eventually, and making sure that they don’t have to send all the characters off to London for her funeral.

“Standing with an ax next to a cherry tree”

RORY: And you believe me?

JESS: Like you’re standing with an ax next to a cherry tree.

Jess refers to a popular legend about George Washington – that when he was six years old, he received a hatchet as a gift (mm, great present for a small kid!). He used it to chop down one of his father’s cherry trees, and when his father confronted him angrily, George said something to the effect of, “Father, I cannot tell a lie. I did it with my little hatchet”. Instead of being angry about it, his father warmly praised him for his honesty. He should have been happy the tot didn’t cut his own leg off or something.

The story was published in the 1806 fifth edition of The Life of George Washington by Mason Locke Weems, popularly known as Parson Weems. He claimed to have been told the story by an anonymous elderly woman who was a friend of the family, but there isn’t a shred of evidence that it’s true, and official sources all say it isn’t.

Another reference to presidential cherries in Gilmore Girls!!!!!

Jess Asks About Dean

Jess confronts Rory, and asks if she and Dean had agreed to meet up for the winter carnival behind his back. Rory truthfully says no, but admits that she and Dean did go out for coffee and talk, and decided they were going to be friends.

She points out that it’s a small town and they’re going to see each other around anyway, and Dean “never did anything bad to her”. There seems to be an immediate whitewashing Rory and Dean’s relationship after they break up, so that Dean becomes perfect in retrospect.

(Incidentally, I wonder how Rory would take it if Jess stayed friends with Shane, since Stars Hollow is a small town, and Shane never did anything bad to Jess? I have a feeling she would be furiously unreasonable about it).

Rory is worried that Jess will be angry with her (like “perfect” Dean would have been), but Jess says he isn’t. He does say that he would have liked to be told about it though, which Rory agrees to. This is the second time that Rory has seen Dean and kept it a secret from Jess.

She also doesn’t tell Jess that it was she who went to Dean first and asked to be friends. She says they talked “once”, which is pretty close to a lie – although Rory would say the first time they didn’t really talk, she spoke to Dean.

Unfortunately, Rory’s relationship with Jess begins with her keeping things from him and seeing her ex-boyfriend behind his back, so it’s not a very promising start.

“We are supposed to throw like this”

RORY: Just for the record, I’m a girl and we are supposed to throw like this. [throws the ball]

“You throw like a girl” is an insult given to someone, usually male, who throws a ball or object in a manner which is judged to be feeble or incompetent. “The girlie throw” is one which uses the space around the thrower in a restricted manner, with only the hand and forearm being utilised in the movement.

Rory is taking ownership of “throwing like a girl”, and not seeing it as a flaw that needs to be changed or fixed about herself. And in fact, she is successful at the bottle toss game, unlike Jess.