Hank Williams

LORELAI: Hank Williams would be too sad to write a song about me.

Hiram “Hank” Williams (1923-1953), singer, songwriter, and musician. He is regarded as one of the most significant and influential American singers and songwriters of the 20th century. Williams recorded 55 singles that reached the top 10 of the Billboard Country & Western chart, five of which were released posthumously, including 12 that reached No. 1, three of which were released after his death.

Some of his sad songs include “Lovesick Blues”, “Your Cheatin’ Heart”, “We’re Getting Closer to the Grave Each Day”, and “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”. Perhaps the one closest to Lorelai’s situation is “A Tramp on the Streets”.

Nomad, The Lonely Wanderer

LORELAI: I’m a nomad … I am the lonely wanderer.

A nomad is someone without a settled home who regularly moves from place to place. Examples of nomads include hunter-gatherers, pastoral herders, tinkers, traders, and itinerants.

Lorelai is possibly referring to the 1963 country song by Slim Whitman, “(I’m a) Lonely Wanderer”. I’m mostly basing this on the fact that she immediately references another country singer.

The Hatlestads

Lorelai has already put Fred (the first faux Poe), his wife and son up for the night in her own home – they have Rory’s room. Now Mr and Mrs Hatlestad, who didn’t remain in town after the fire, have decided to stay anyway, because Lorelai “made it seem so fun”.

Forget bickering about whether Emily and Richard are terrible parents, or if Mitch was right. Let’s all just agree that the Hatlestads are the worst people ever, as they take advantage of free accommodation they weren’t offered and don’t need, in someone else’s home.

Although Lorelai is a verified dolt to simply agree to it. And why on earth would you leave your house all night with two sets of strangers in it? Isn’t this how houses get robbed, or at least trashed?

Nicholas Nickleby

RORY: But I’m not done collecting my data yet.
LORELAI: You have a document the length of Nicholas Nickleby here. Looks like you’re done.

Nicholas Nickleby, 1839 novel by Charles Dickens. It is about an honest, naïve young man who must support his mother and sister after the death of his father. It is 344,652 words long, or about 800 pages.

Lorelai is the first person to notice that there are many more pros for Yale than Harvard or Princeton on Rory’s pro/con list.

Alternatives to Harvard

PARIS: There is no alternative to Harvard.
RORY: Except Princeton, Yale, Columbia, Stanford, Sarah Lawrence, et cetera, et cetera.

Princeton, Yale, Stanford, and Sarah Lawrence, previously discussed.

Columbia University, private Ivy League university in New York City. Founded in 1754 as King’s College, it was established by royal charter under King George II. It is the oldest university in New York, the 5th oldest in the US, and one of only nine founded before the Declaration of Independence. It was renamed Columbia after the American Revolution.

One of the wealthiest universities in the world, its alumni, staff, and students have included seven Founding Fathers of the United States, four US presidents, 33 foreign heads of state, two secretaries-general of the United Nations, ten justices of the US Supreme Court, 101 Nobel laureates, 125 National Academy of Sciences members, 53 living billionaires, 22 Olympic medalists, 33 Academy Award winners, and 125 Pulitzer Prize recipients.

Proust Wrote in Bed

RORY: I hate that you’re torturing yourself like this, in bed like this.
PARIS: Proust wrote all three thousand pages of In Search of Lost Time in bed.

Marcel Proust, previously discussed as the author of In Search of Lost Time. Proust had lifelong poor health caused by severe allergies and asthma, and rarely left his apartment. He wrote much of In Search of Lost Time sitting up in bed, and was completely confined to bed for the last three years before his death.

The New Justin Timberlake

PARIS: I might as well record the new Justin Timberlake over this.

Justin Timberlake (born 1981), singer, songwriter and actor, previously mentioned. He rose to prominence in the 1990s as one of the lead vocalists in the boy band NSYNC, and began a solo career in in the 2000s. His latest single at this point was “Rock Your Body”, released as a single in March 2003 from his 2002 debut solo album, Justified. The song went to #5 in the US, and #1 on both the Dance Club and Mainstream Top 40 charts. It was most popular in Australia, where it went to #1.

Population Control in Europe

PARIS: . . .shouldn’t even be taken into account. This dovetails nicely into my feelings about population control. It’s a little hot in here, can we do something about that? Anyway, population control has been dramatically successful in most European countries to the detriment of some, especially Italy, which is experiencing a marked drop.

The birth rate declined in Italy in the 1970s, which, coupled with postwar mass migration, led to a rapidly ageing population. However, recently the birth rate has grown significantly, and since the 1980s, Italy has attracted migrants, particularly from Eastern Europe and North Africa, helping their population grow.

Paris’ interest in population control does seem to continue – her beliefs verge on eugenics, and in A Year in the Life, she is head of a fertility clinic.

92nd Street Y or Brick Church

PARIS: It’s partly my parents’ fault, they didn’t brand me properly. I should’ve been at the 92nd Street Y or Brick Church.

RORY: Prep schools?
PARIS: Preschools. It decides everything.

The 92nd Street Y and the Brick Church School are both upmarket faith-based preschools on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in New York City – this may suggest that Paris lived there when she was a small child, her parents moving to Hartford later.

Does this provide a hint of why Paris never quite fit in at Chilton? The other alternative is that she believes her parents should have moved to New York for her preschool education, which is just selfish and impractical enough to be believable for Paris’ character.

The 92nd Street Y [pictured] is a secular Jewish cultural centre which offers a diversity of programs, including a nursery school. The Brick Church is a Presbyterian church which has offered early childhood programs since 1940, and members of the congregation receive preference in the highly competitive application process.

The fact that Paris considers both these preschools as options she could have had suggests that Paris’ mother may be or originally was Presbyterian. Either that, or she has no idea how preschools actually work.