I grew up with Rory Gilmore.
Not literally, of course. She is, obviously, a fictional character and all I could do was watch Gilmore Girls on television, not live it. But, in a way, I felt like she was a possible classmate and might have been a friend if I was very lucky indeed. We were just about the same age and went through high school and college together, as far as timelines were concerned. She may have lived in quirky and idyllic Stars Hallow while I lived in less-than-exciting Collinsville, IL, but she was still, as they say, my spirit animal. We were both studious, mostly-unpopular bookworms who always brought along a back-up book and who were completely devastated by a bad grade. I modeled my own 16th birthday party on hers, complete with pink boas.
Of course, she had far better hair than I ever have managed to have, her boyfriends were all remarkably attractive (if all generally rather terrible ideas... like many of mine), and she seemed to subsist on a diet entirely comprised of coffee and junk food, all while maintaining a perfect figure and flawless skin.
Some people blame their unrealistic life expectations on Disney princesses. I rather think I can chalk mine up to Rory Gilmore.
I watched the show religiously all through its seven seasons, have re-watched it twice since, and am ridiculously excited about the mini-series coming up later this year! (Though, if Luke and Lorelei don't get married, it might be over.)
All this is just leading up to explaining why exactly I spent an hour and a half this morning standing in line for a free cup of coffee.
The short answer? Because it had a Luke's Diner sleeve around it, that's why.
The long answer? Let's back up a moment.
Today is the 16th anniversary of the show's premiere (ohmyGodI'msoold), and so Netflix sponsored around 200 coffee shops around the country to turn into pop-up Luke's Diners for the day. Clearly, I had to go.
And clearly, I had to be a complete nerd about it.
Guys, I cosplayed Rory Gilmore.
I dug out my old "Reading is Sexy" shirt, which she wore in a college episode, and my Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, which she is also seen reading in an episode, and I headed out the door to meet Jake (appropriately dressed in flannel and a backwards hat, a la Luke).
I also was unknowingly headed out to meet half of St. Louis. That's a slight exaggeration, but only slight. The line to get in to Luke's Diner/Shameless Grounds was half a block long.
I had expected a bit of a crowd. Gilmore Girls had a large following, after all, particularly among my age group. But the announcement of the pop-ups had only gone out yesterday, and surely most people would have jobs to go to on a Wednesday morning, wouldn't they?
But, I had company, I had a book, and I was surrounded by other apparently just-as-rabid fans who were equally as willing to waste over an hour of their lives to get a few photo ops and a free coffee.
At last, we reached the counter and achieved our goal. I appropriately geeked out, took selfies, got my coffee, and headed in to work.
Was it worth the wait? Hard to say. It's not like I couldn't get basically free coffee at home. Or at work, for that matter (and in much less time).
But it was the experience. That's the part that I couldn't get at home, or at work. Like Mark told me, it was like standing in line to buy Harry Potter at midnight, or camping out for a midnight showing of the new Star Wars movie (all things that I've done). It was all about the experience, about being there, not necessarily about the end result. It's about being surrounded by like-minded weirdos who get excited about the same nerdy things you do. It's about reliving the days when I'd sit down with my mom, or my roommate, to watch a new episode of Gilmore Girls. It's about taking time to do something just because, and to indulge in the silly and pointless side of life that says, "why not?" instead of "why?"
It's about getting the chance to be in Stars Hollow, even if just for a cup of coffee.