There are times in life when books, or movies, or t.v. shows connect with you, with the time of life your in, and subtly (or even not so subtly) change you. Well, at least they did for me.
I can name a few. Judy Blume books for my pre-teen/teen years. (especially , Forever, the book that really explained THINGS to me). Bridget Jones’s Diary (the book and the movie) for those awkward years when friends were getting married and I wasn’t, but I was having fun none-the-less. And “The Gilmore Girls.” Because I have daughters.
The timing of the show was perfect for me. It began in the year 2000, just in time for my marriage to begin. It was a chick show in the best possible way, but my husband even loved it. It was funny and quaint and sarcastic and hopeful. Adult and young adult all at the same time. They loved books, movies, and great music. They were who I wanted to be.
I wanted to be Lorelai Gilmore. Except with a husband. And I wanted a Rory Gilmore.
We found out I was pregnant in the fall of 2002; we found out it was a girl in early 2003. So, during the peak of “The Gilmore Girls,” I gave birth to my first daughter, Elizabeth. Or Libby, as we call her.
We were going to be just like Lorelai and Rory, but with a man in the house (my husband is pretty much Luke; He can make a mean meal, can fix anything, and has a caustic sense of humor). We were going to be funny and honest with each other, tell each other anything and everything.
And then we had another girl (15 months later), a daughter with special needs, and the dynamics changed. But that was okay, it was going to give me more of a chance, right? A double-your-chances-double-your-fun kind of thing?
Now, I’ve been pretty honest with Libby, but I do keep somethings from her. And I really thought I should be a mother more than a friend during those first years. But now she’s almost 12, so things should be changing, right? I mean, she still needs a mother. But I would like her to come to me, too.
I hoped so, and I’m holding onto that hope. Libby likes to keep things to herself; I hope it’s the age and not that she doesn’t trust me. I want to share movies with her, and books (or more books, I should say), and coffee. I want to have a Lorelai/Rory relationship.
I know — t.v. and everything. But still, I want the Gilmore experience. I want to move to Star’s Hollow so we can live in a small town with heart and quirky and closeness. My husband can transform a hardware store into a diner and I can have a best friend named Sookie who is sweet and funny and supportive. I would love a life full of characters so funny and strange that my life is never boring. I want Star’s Hollow.
But, more than anything, I want a daughter who trusts me. Who looks up to me and feels like I can handle anything she tells me, and knows that no matter what she tells me, I will love her.
I want her to know that I think she is strong, and smart, and brave. She is kind and courageous and independent. That she’s in an awkward phase of life where nothing seems to work the way you want it to, and that it gets better, but it will probably get worse first.
I want to hug her and protect her, but let her go, too. I want her to be herself, but remember to respect others, also.
I want her to look back and have the same thoughts as Rory Gilmore (from her high school graduation speech):
“My mother never gave me the idea that I couldn’t do whatever I wanted to do, or to be whomever I wanted to be. She filled our house with love and fun and books and music, unflagging in her efforts to give me role models from Jane Austen to Eudora Whelty to Patti Smith.”
I know “The Gilmore Girls” set me up with some unreasonable expectations, but I hope it’s also made me a better mother. It showed me a different dynamic in the mother/daughter relationship, and I’d like to think it’s possible. It showed me that with a sense of humor and coffee, anything is possible.
I think that it maybe a good time to start binge watching “The Gilmore Girls” with her. I think Lorelai and Rory would approve.
And now, onto Someone Is Watching by Joy Fielding.
I was lucky to get an advanced copy of Someone Is Watching by Joy Fielding. The book will be released tomorrow, March 24th, 2015.
If I only had one word to describe Fielding’s Someone Is Watching it would be THRILLER. It is classic in its basics, but modern in its execution and characters.
Bailey Carpenter is a woman pushing the envelope, in need of a good therapist, starting right from the beginning. Her mother, a wonderful woman by all accounts, died a few years earlier, and her father more recently also died, leaving his fortune to her and her brother. One problem: he had grown children from other marriages, and they also want a piece of the pie.
Bailey fills her days working as an investigator for a law firm. She’s not afraid of a little danger and kind of walks on the edge a bit. She lives in a fabulous condo her dad bought her before his death, and drives her mom’s older, classic Porsche.
She’s grieving her parents and hasn’t comes to terms with all the death in her life, giving Bailey a kind of an indestructible complex; she likes to walk on the edge a bit. Because of that, she thinks nothing of the dangers that lurk in a quiet neighborhood when she’s on the trail of a deadbeat dad, watching for him to return to his girlfriend’s home. Her indestructibility leaves her unprepared for an attack, and she’s raped and beaten to within an inch of her life. And she has no idea what her attacker looks like.
After the attack, Bailey goes into full agoraphobic mode. She’s afraid to leave her apartment, afraid of all men (except her stoner brother and the building doorman), afraid of all noises. When her half-brother (who is suing her) arrives, she’s pretty much on full freak-out mode, and he installs a half-sister, Claire, to care for Bailey. And Claire, brings her teenage daughter, Jade, making things interesting.
The three of them begin attempting to unravel the mystery unfolding across the street. All these ultra-modern condos are full glass, so they watch, with binoculars, the sexy man across the street (they nickname him Narcissus) lives his life–including a series of sensual one-night stands and fights with his significant other.
During this time, Bailey is getting strange calls and hangups, usually in the middle of the night. She’s unsure whether they are real or dreams. Her world is upside down. And she starts to call the police on every man she sees that ‘could’ be her attackers. So, when Bailey and Bailey alone sees Narcissus murder a woman in his apartment, no one believes her. Bailey, though, needs to know if she’s totally gone crazy, and embarks on solving the mystery of Narcissus.
The characters are great, the story is pretty good (very Hitchcockian). I liked this book. It’s not too deep, but it would be a great spring break read.
I give Someone Is Watching 3 stars. Fun, but don’t expect great. You won’t find it.