Emily’s Wedding to Richard

Emily reminisces about the preparations for her own wedding to Richard. She says that she and Richard have been married for 34 years, so since 1967 – the year before Lorelai was born (it’s interesting that they had Lorelai so quickly, yet never had any other children).

In The Third Lorelai, Emily complained of having received terrible gifts from Richard’s mother Trix for 35 years, so presumably that includes the year between their engagement and their wedding, and they got engaged in 1966.

Emily’s story is very romantic, with her unable to eat for the week before the wedding due to nerves, being weak in the knees and trembling, and thinking of Richard constantly. Each night she would secretly dress in her wedding finery, and glory in how safe she felt – marriage to Richard meant not only being with the love of her life, but gaining complete security as well.

Nearly everyone at the table is enthralled and touched by her story, and Sookie and Rory immediately have to contact their respective boyfriends, as if this love story brings home to them how important security is in a relationship.

Lorelai, however, acts bored and nonchalant, stuffing her mouth with free peanuts while Emily recalls her week without appetite, and even loudly yawning at one point. And while Sookie and Rory are contacting Jackson and Dean, Lorelai doesn’t call her husband-in-waiting Max, but Christopher.

Cocktails

Emily is already drinking a Manhattan [pictured]; a cocktail made from whiskey, vermouth, and bitters, usually served in a cocktail glasss with a Maraschino cherry. It seems to date from the mid-19th century, and to have originated in bars around the Manhattan area. There are many variations on the drink. Because Emily praises her Manhattan for not being too sweet, it may be a Dry Manhattan made with dry vermouth, or a Perfect Manhattan, made with a mixture of dry and sweet vermouth.

Lorelai orders a Rum and Coke; it is not certain who for, but because she orders it first and without asking, it may be for Sookie. Rum and coke is a mixture of rum and cola with a dash of lime juice served with ice. It originated in Cuba, where it is called a Libre Cuba (“Free Cuba”), and dates to the early 20th century after Cuba won its independence in the Spanish-American War of 1898.

Lorelai orders a Margarita without salt, possibly for Miss Patty. A margarita is a mixture of tequila, Cointreau, and lime juice, traditionally served in a special cocktail glass that looks like a champagne glass. Originating in Mexico (its name is Spanish for “Daisy”), it became popular in the 1930s, when Prohibition gave Americans a reason to go over the border into Mexico to get a drink.

Lorelai orders a Martini with an olive, previously discussed. I feel that the martini may be for Michel – as he didn’t tell Lorelai what he wanted, she may have chosen the standard cocktail at the elder Gilmore residence for him.

Lorelai orders a Shirley Temple, previously discussed. This now seems to be Rory’s go-to mocktail, which she drinks with ice. Note that even as a supposed 18 year old, Rory is unable to drink alcohol in a bar, as the drinking age is 21 in the US. As Rory is the only person not drinking, I presume she is the designated driver.

Lorelai orders herself a giant Long Island Iced Tea. This drink is a mixture of vodka, tequila, rum, triple sec, gin, and a splash of cola, which gives it the amber tea-colour it gets its name from, often decorated with a lemon and a straw. It has a very high alcohol content, due to the small amount of mixer in it.

“Disgusting Cow” Movies of 2001

DEAN: Well, what movies haven’t we seen?
RORY: We haven’t seen just about all of them.
DEAN: Yeah, they all stink this year …
RORY: There are at least five of them featuring someone doing something disgusting with a cow.

I’m not actually sure which five or more movies in the first half of 2001 featuring cows Rory might be thinking of, but here are some candidates.

The romantic comedy Say It Isn’t So came out in March 2001, directed by J.B. Rogers, produced by the Farrelly Brothers, and starring Heather Graham and Chris Klein in the lead roles. In one scene, the protagonist punches a cow, only to get his arm stuck in the animal’s rectum.

The romantic comedy Someone Like You came out in March 2001, directed by Tony Goldwyn and based on the novel Animal Husbandry by Laura Zigman. It stars Ashley Judd and Hugh Jackman in the lead roles, and opens with an experiment being done where a bull is observed servicing a herd of cows. The fact that he will only service an individual cow once is significant to the film’s theme.

The adventure comedy Joe Dirt came out in April 2001, directed by Dennie Gordon, and starring David Spade in the title role. In one scene, Joe thoughtlessly ties a bottle rocket to a cow’s tail , and watches the tail spin out of control as the bottle explodes.

The comedy The Animal came out in June 2001, directed by Luke Greenfield, and starring Rob Schneider in the title role. In the movie, the main character’s life is saved by a mad scientist who replaces his critically injured body parts with ones taken from animals. In one scene, the main character has a dream about cows grazing in a field – which isn’t actually disgusting, but it’s implied to be his dream because he wants to attack them (livestock is attacked as part of the plot).

The comedy Dr. Dolittle 2 came out in June 2001, directed by Steve Carr, and a sequel to the 1998 film Dr. Dolittle (vaguely inspired by the Dr. Dolittle children’s books by British author Hugh Lofting). It stars Eddie Murphy as Dr. Dolittle, a doctor who can talk to animals. During the film, the animals organise a strike as a protest; cows refuse to give milk, and several can be heard shouting “Strike, strike!”. This isn’t particularly disgusting though.

It’s not known whether Rory and Dean saw the “disgusting cow” movies themselves, or whether Rory is basing her opinions on reviews, trailers, or what other people told her about the movies. There is a strong possibility she is exaggerating, as I could only think of two films which actually depict a person doing something to a cow on screen (Say It Isn’t So and Joe Dirt).

It is notable that all the “cow movies” I listed are comedy films which received below-average to extremely poor reviews.

“Is it right to be sampling wedding cakes?”

RORY: Is it right to be sampling wedding cakes when Sookie’s making ours for free?
LORELAI: What is right anyway, you know? Who defines right? And if eating cake is wrong, I don’t want to be right. … So, ethics?
RORY: Highly subjective and completely overrated.
LORELAI: That’s my girl.

Lorelai and Rory decide that committing fraud to rip off a little old lady is alright because they are Gilmores and therefore special. Note that Rory, “the sweetest kid in the world”, is perfectly okay with this, and has already scarfed down a large amount of cake before even raising the question of whether it might possibly be wrong.

Worcestershire sauce

LORELAI: But in spite of all that, I was kind of thinking, and you don’t have to, that maybe you could pull yourself away for a second.
LUKE: Ah, well I …
LORELAI: I mean, you know, finish the ketchup tonight, but maybe leave the Worcestershire sauce for tomorrow.

Worcestershire sauce, often just called Worcester sauce, is a fermented liquid condiment first created in the 1830s by English chemists John Lea and William Perrins, who went on to form the company Lea & Perrins, with the sauce first being sold to the public in 1838. Similar fermented anchovy sauces had been made since the 18th century in England, and fermented fish sauces go back to the Roman Empire. Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce is now owned by Heinz, and other companies make it as well.

Non-Americans may be bemused by Lorelai’s pronunciation of the sauce’s name, as she says each syllable phonetically: war-SESS-ter-shy-er sauce, rather than the more usual WOOS-tuh-sheer sauce, or just WOOS-tuh sauce.

“Just as infatuated”

MAX: Will you still want me when I get back?
LORELAI: I think there’s a very good possibility that I will be just as infatuated with you then as I am now.

Max’s asking if Lorelai will still want when he returns from Toronto is a reminder of the song Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree, earlier discussed. It’s noteworthy that Lorelai still hasn’t told Max that she loves him, just as she admitted to Rory that she couldn’t say “I love you”, even as she urged Rory to say it to Dean. Here she only says she is “infatuated” with him, suggesting an intense but short-lived passion. Again, Max fails to pick up on this red flag.

“Every gift so far has been for you”

MAX: I don’t know if you’ve realised, but every gift so far has been for you.
LORELAI: Yes, well, in this town, I am the queen. You are simply my jester.
MAX: A position I happily accept.

For reasons which are not made entirely clear, Lorelai Gilmore is the queen bee of Stars Hollow, and has an almost celebrity status in the town. You can see that all the gifts are extremely girly, such as a matching Hello Kitty waffle iron, toaster, kettle, and lamp, floral chinaware, and lavender lamps. They are the kind of gifts you might give a young girl, rather than a mature woman who is already a mother, and about to be married. Max is almost superfluous at his own engagement party.

Lorelai does not say that Max will be her king, or stand beside her as her equal. She is making it clear that she is the boss in this relationship, and that Max is just there for her amusement. It doesn’t sound like a good basis for a marriage, and for Max to “happily accept” it is a warning that he’s either delusional or doesn’t take her seriously. Big mistake.

“I will not be ignored”

RORY: Time is ticking.
LORELAI (imitating Dean): “Rory, I love you, Rory. Rory, I will not be ignored, Rory…”
RORY: Leave.

Lorelai is slightly misquoting from the 1987 thriller film Fatal Attraction, directed by Adrian Lyne, and written by James Dearden, based on his short film Diversion. The film is about a married man named Dan (Michael Douglas) who has a brief affair with a woman named Alex (Glenn Close). Alex becomes obsessed, and stalks Dan and his family.

At one point, Dan confronts Alex at her apartment, and they end up in a physical altercation. Alex says to him, “Well, what am I supposed to do? You won’t answer my calls, you change your number. I mean, I’m not gonna be ignored, Dan!”

Fatal Attraction was a massive box-office hit, the #2 film of 1987 in the US, and the #1 film world-wide, leading to more psychological thrillers being made in the 1980s and ’90s. It received fairly good reviews, and much discussion around feminist and mental health issues.

It is notable that Alex’s surname is Forrest – very similar to Dean’s surname of Forester, as yet another hint of Dean’s obsessive stalker tendencies.

Lane’s Korean Name

Lane tells Rory her “Korean name” – it is unclear whether this is her legal name, and Lane is a name to be used among English-speakers, or whether Lane is her legal name, and her Korean name is a middle name given to help preserve her culture, and to be used when she is among people of Korean heritage. I suspect the latter.

The teletext says that Lane’s Korean name is Hyung-Hyung, which is highly improbable. Hyung is not a Korean name, but a title of respect given to address a male, literally meaning “older brother”. The Kims would have been completely nutty to choose that as Lane’s Korean name, and if done deliberately, must be a joke by the scriptwriter (Amy Sherman-Palladino).

It is possible that Lane actually says her Korean name is Hyun-Kyung, which can be translated as “virtuous respect”. It’s a reasonably common Korean name for girls, and there are several famous women with the name.

(Lane seems to have bought two lava lamps from Andrew’s bookstore, Stars Hollow Books).

“A study on rats”

MICHEL: I am weighing my turkey.
SOOKIE: Why?
MICHEL: A group of scientists did a study on rats where they cut their daily calories by thirty percent.
SOOKIE: And you felt left out?
MICHEL: No, the rats lived thirty percent longer. And the scientists were so impressed that they cut their own calories just like the rats.

Michel is referring to a famous and oft-cited 1934 study, which found that when scientists cut the calories of mice by 30-40% but still gave them all the nutrients they needed, they lived longer than expected – sometimes twice as long as the expected lifespan.

It has been difficult to prove conclusively that this works on humans also, and sometimes it doesn’t even work on mice – the mice have to be young and well-fed to begin with for the calorie reduction to be of any use. Older and leaner mice died earlier than expected when on a calorie-restricted diet (which doesn’t seem like good news for Michel, who isn’t all that young, and already slim). Furthermore, mice on a calorie-restricted diet can find it harder to fight infections.

Since 1997, The Calorie Restriction Society has been collecting data on its 900 human members who are on calorie-restricted diets, but it may be decades before a definitive answer is reached. However, a 2012 study on monkeys found no difference in lifespan between subjects who ate a normal healthy diet and those who ate a calorie-restricted healthy diet.

It’s notable that Michel is eating turkey, since in the Pilot episode he said he didn’t eat meat. Possibly that was a dietary fad, or perhaps he only considers red meat to be “meat”.