by Lauren Graham, 2016
I love Gilmore Girls. I remember watching it each week with my roommate and recording the ABC Family reruns on VHS (!) so we could have an episode to watch every day. She gifted me the entire series on DVD over the course of a few birthdays and “I’m ready to wallow now,” was the phrase I used when I was finally ready to discuss a breakup with her. Gilmore Girls may have ended years ago, but it’s still a big part of our lives. I’ll withhold my opinions on the reboot here because they don’t change the fact that I think Lauren Graham is fantastic and I relished the opportunity to spend just a little more time with her in the pages of her memoir.
The memoir is fairly typical in scope. Graham describes her upbringing – having been born in Hawaii, living with her father on a houseboat after her parents’ divorce, skipping kindergarten because she already knew how to read (who knew she’s more Rory than Lorelai?!) – and quickly moves on to the trials and tribulations of entering the acting world. Of course, what we’re most interested in is her time on Gilmore Girls and Graham does not disappoint, offering up her thoughts on specific episodes throughout the series. As I would expect from this classy lady, she does not take this as her chance to divulge juicy secrets or cast quarrels, and she speaks about her time on the show – both in the initial run and in the reboot – with the utmost respect.
Usually I’m a bit put off when people who have coupled later in life (like, after the ripe old age of, you know, 25) spout pat reassurances of don’t worry, you’ll find your guy, he’s just around the corner, but I find Graham’s rendition of the spiel endearing. Perhaps this is because, unlike most of us who just face hearing family or friends wonder when we’ll settle down, she had to hear it from the press and fans and random people on planes who told her father not to worry because “there’s still time.” If anyone knows how demoralizing the idea that you’re not complete until you’re married is, it’s her and she speaks about it with the grace of someone who understands the absurdity of it all, even after being happily coupled with Peter Krause: “here’s the thing: I was fine on my own, and so are you. But it can be hard when you feel ready for Happy Couplehood and you seem to have missed the train… But life doesn’t often spell things out for you or give you what you want exactly when you want it, otherwise it wouldn’t be called life, it would be called vending machine.”
Ultimately Graham doesn’t offer much in the way of career advice or profound musings on life. This isn’t the sort of memoir you’ll want to pick up if you don’t already know and adore her, but I think that’s fine. Not every memoir has to deal with weighty subject matter and it’s enough to learn that someone you admire worked to get where they are and appreciates everything they’ve achieved. I listened to this on audio, narrated by Graham herself, and her warm voice immediately brought back so many lovely memories of watching her for all of those years. Sometimes it’s nice to just sit down with a cup of coffee and chat with an old friend, and that’s exactly what this felt like.