Emily Post and Martha Stewart

LORELAI: Okay, once again, I bring up the fact that this is a wedding present, and as I am not getting married, neither God’s law nor Emily Post allows me to keep this …
[Martha Stewart] said that if it arrives after ten weeks …
RORY: Eight.
SOOKIE: …eight weeks, that you don’t have to return it.

Emily Post and Martha Stewart, both previously discussed. The program that Sookie watched was Martha Stewart Living.

There is, of course, no such “wriggle room” rule in etiquette (Sookie and Rory invented it because they want the ice cream maker). If your wedding is cancelled, you return all the gifts, no matter how late they arrive (unless the sender specifically tells you to keep it, which does sometimes happen).

However, if a gift arrives with no name attached to it, then there is little you can do, because it’s considered even ruder to ring around and ask people if they sent such-and-such (it seems like you’re criticising them for not sending it, and assume they are too dim-witted to attach a name to it). You could try to find out the sender by calling the company who delivered it, but after that there’s not much you can do. If conscience smites you, you can always donate it to charity, or sell it and donate the money.

Lorelai must surely suspect her mother of sending it, yet she’s the one person that Lorelai doesn’t ask, as if she doesn’t want to know.

Sookie says it is more than ten weeks since the wedding was cancelled, and Rory corrects her to more than eight weeks. In fact, it is just over twelve weeks since Lorelai and Max’s wedding was meant to take place.

“Dress to impress”

MADELINE: Hey, party at my house Saturday.
LOUISE: Dress to impress, please.

Dress to impress is a dress code that might be written on a party invitation, like “smart casual”, “black tie”, “costume party”, etc. It’s an especially vague one that leaves most people wondering what the heck they are supposed to wear, but seems be a favourite with rather pretentious people, like Louise. (The only etiquette guide I could find which covered it said it was a sure sign the party would be utterly dreadful, and not to attend). To me, it suggests getting dressed up without actually seeming formal, but not relaxed enough to be smart casual.