“I’ll let you sniff Rory’s sweater”

LORELAI: You’re seriously gonna run all over town looking for Jess and Rory?

LUKE: If I have to, yes. And if you were really a concerned mother, you’d go out there with me.

LORELAI: No, I can’t do that. But if you like, I’ll let you sniff Rory’s sweater. Maybe her scent will help you track them down.

Lorelai compares Luke to a bloodhound, which can be trained to track people after getting their scent from clothing. Comically, Luke does take Rory’s sweater with him, but it’s not to sniff, it’s because he’s worried she might be cold.

Salsa

LUKE: I already have food here. We sell it to the other customers who don’t come quite as prepared as the two of you.

LORELAI: Mm, be nice and get us some salsa.

Salsa, a variety of sauces used as condiments for tacos, dips for tortilla chips, and other dishes in Mexican and Mexican-American cuisine. In Spanish, the word salsa just means “sauce” (any sauce), but in English, it specifically refers to Mexican table sauces.

Their use in the US was popularised by Mexican restaurants, gaining in popularity during the 1980s. By 1992, salsa sales in the US exceeded those for tomato ketchup.

Gloria Estefan

RORY: I can’t believe I had a meeting at Yale today … And I can’t believe the only name that popped into my head when he asked for my role model was Gloria Estefan.

Gloria Estefan (born Gloria Garcia in 1957), Cuban-American singer, actress, and businesswoman. She began her career as lead singer of Miami Sound Machine, previously mentioned, and released her first solo album in 1989. She has 38 #1 hits, and her success has been credited with paving the way for other Latin musical artists.

Hailed as “the Queen of Latin Pop” by the media, Gloria Estefan has won seven Grammy and Latin Grammy Awards, multiple Billboard awards, was BMI Songwriter of the Year, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015, was a Kennedy Center Honors recipient in 2017, and was honoured with an American Music Award for Lifetime Achievement. She was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and the Las Vegas Walk of Fame.

She has been named one of the top artists of all time, is the second best selling female Latin artist in history, and one of the best-selling female singers of all time.

Collage

RORY: Can we not say the word college for at least forty-eight hours? …

LORELAI: How ’bout collage, can we say collage? ‘Cause it sounds the same but it’s actually very different.

Collage (from the French meaning “stick together”) is an art technique which involves assembling paper, photographs, ribbons, paint, and/or found objcts and gluing them to paper or canvas. The technique goes back to ancient China, around 200 BC, but made a dramatic reappearance in the early 20th century as a form of modern art.

The words college and collage don’t actually sound the same, although there is some similarity.

[Collage shown is an untitled work by German Dadaist artist Kurt Schwitter]

Price of a Cab Ride

[Lorelai and Rory get out of a cab and start walking down the sidewalk]

LORELAI: Thanks. Uh, well, here’s the good news. You no longer have to worry about which college to go to, ’cause that cab ride was your college tuition.

According to a taxi fare calculator I consulted, it would cost about $85 to travel by cab from Yale University to Washington Depot. This seems quite cheap to me, and as Stars Hollow seemed to be in the Wallingford area in Season 1, that would be even cheaper – about $40.

Does that sound correct? I know you have to add extra for the tip in the US, and there’s probably surcharges for heavy traffic and paying tolls, but even so, that seems pretty reasonable for a cab ride to another town about an hour’s drive away.

Lorelai and Rory did stop off for tacos at Hector’s on the way home, which would have been extra money for the taxi. It is dark when they get back to Stars Hollow, so it seems that they spent a bit longer in New Haven, even allowing for early nightfall in November.

Rory Confronts her Grandfather

RORY: Why did you make this appointment without telling me about it? … I know it was an important opportunity. That’s why I can’t believe you didn’t prepare me for it. I didn’t have my transcripts, my letters of recommendation. I couldn’t even remember what I wanted to major in when he asked … I didn’t have to be that nervous. I could’ve been calm. I could’ve brushed my hair. I never would’ve worn this … It matters to me. I like to be prepared. This has nothing to do with Mom. If you had really wanted me to take this meeting, I would’ve done it just because you asked me to. And I would’ve done it right.

Rory is also very unhappy with Richard because of the way he sprung the interview on her. Rory hates feeling unprepared, needed to have all her records with her, and would have made more effort with her appearance if she’d known the interview was coming up. She lets Richard know that if he’d only asked her, she would have willingly attended the interview if he’d asked her to, it wouldn’t have mattered what Lorelai thought. But she disliked being tricked into it, and the fact that Richard didn’t trust her enough to be honest. Rory leaves with Lorelai in the taxi as a sign of her displeasure.

“Oprah seal on the cover”

HARRIS: It was a pleasure to meet you. I’ll read that book you recommended.

RORY: And don’t be fooled by the Oprah seal on the cover, it’s actually very good.

Rory refers to Oprah’s Book Club, a segment on the Oprah Winfrey Show, which highlighted books selected by the host, Oprah Winfrey. It ran from 1996 until 2011 (with a hiatus in 2002), and in that time it recommended 70 books. Because of the book club’s popularity, previously obscure works could become bestsellers, making an Oprah’s Book Club seal on the cover a highly influential piece of marketing.

Rory does not tell Richard (or the viewer) which book she recommended to the Dean of Admissions. However, due to the aforesaid hiatus, Oprah’s Book Club only recommended two works in 2002. My guess is that Rory recommended Sula, a 1973 novel by Toni Morrison, and her second published work.

The novel is set in the 1920s and ’30s in a fictional small town in Ohio (a favourite setting for Dawn Powell stories, one of Rory’s most admired authors). It is about two black girls named Nel and Sula who are close friends, but who take different paths in life (rather like Rory and Lane). While Nel chooses marriage, motherhood, and the close bonds of the town’s black community, Sula goes to college, lives in the city, and defies conventional sexual morality, bringing down condemnation from the town’s community.

It feels like a book which Rory would be interested in, and would also think suitable to recommend to a Dean, since it is by a Nobel Prize winning author, and the plot involves college and female education.

She could live at home”

EMILY: But think about this – you’re fighting so hard to send Rory off to Harvard no matter what that you haven’t even stopped for one second to consider that if she went to Yale, she could live at home.

It doesn’t seem feasible for Rory to live full-time at home while attending Yale, and she’d miss out on the whole college experience. Emily might mean that Rory could live at home on the weekends. When Rory does go to Yale, she spends at least her first semester coming home every weekend, or nearly every weekend.

You never went to college”

RICHARD: You never went to college, let alone an Ivy League college.

Lorelai did go to college. She studied Business part-time at the community college in Hartford as a mature student. Presumably Richard means that she never went to college straight from school. It does sound as though he is saying Lorelai’s education just doesn’t count, which is pretty hurtful, considering how much work it took for her to graduate while working full time.