The power of dance

Aside from Nigel being a dick in the intro, this video has stayed with me for years since it premiered and is by my favorite female choreographer, Mia Michaels. (The actual dance starts at about 1:10 and I’d recommend starting there).

The thing is…it’s technically about addiction, as a destructive, debilitating force in one’s life. And as that, it’s incredibly powerful. I mean, I lost my breath when I first saw it and have watched it many times since then. It hit home for the addictions I and people in my life have faced. But there’s always been…something else there.

For a variety of reasons, I’ve only now just realized that I react so strongly to this piece…as a dance of D/s.

Let me be clear: I’m NOT trying to equate D/s and addiction.

They are two separate things.

But the feelings in this dance could very easily be translated into the kind of intense, sadistic kind of D/s I’ve been looking for and only experienced like….twice in my life.

The sinister quality in his eyes (especially at the end…send chills up my spine), the gentle ways he cradles her, the utter calm, confident presence he has, the thing he does with her leg that shows he is as intoxicated with her as she is with him, the power

I know this is a piece that was not intended to depict D/s. I know this is a very personal, unintended interpretation. But that’s the nature of art, isn’t it? To draw your own meaning from it? To help you find answers that aren’t necessarily in books. To draw a path to places in yourself. To connect you to other people and yourself.

It’s worth noting that if you don’t have a consensual non-consent or kidnapping or capture and takedown or animalistic/primal hunt spirit as part of your kink, you might not be able to see what I see. I know people who get very uncomfortable with the way he’s pawing at her and she keeps trying to shake him off. But for me…I see the struggle and the chemistry but interpret it differently. I’m sure if anyone had seen me and a partner taking our first steps into con non-con, it would’ve seemed brutal. And it was. And I want fucking more. I crave being overpowered, (when pre-negotiated) told YES when I scream no, to be pursued, hunted, chased, taken.

I just have to remember the flip side. It’s not easy for someone who cares about you to hear “no” and keep going. Even with negotiation.

Especially with all the (thankful) rise in consent culture, it’s difficult to hear someone you care about crying and struggling to get away from you and still pursue what you want. To take what you came for. So it’s taking a while for me to find someone again who can do that. To push me to tears, to take…something. It doesn’t even have to be sex, but that is where most of my fantasies go. But then will also be there for the gentle come down, the aftercare, the stroking, the resurrection for the phoenix to rise again. Dear god, I want to emerge from those ashes again…

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Tilling the “fertile chaos”

So this horoscope for the week just happened by Rob Brezsny:
You have cosmic clearance to fantasize of participating in orgies where you’re intoxicated and free of your inhibitions. It’s probably not a good idea to attend a literal orgy, however. All the cleansing revelry and cathartic rapture you need for now can be obtained through the wild stories and outrageous scenes that unfold in your imagination. Giving yourself the gift of pretend immersions in fertile chaos could recharge your spiritual batteries in just the right ways.

“Fertile chaos” is probably the absolute best description of what my brain feels like after the past week. From the time we flew in on Wednesday to now, I’ve been bombarded with sensation, expectation, experience, people, desire, growth, hugs, changes, fires, anger, joy, pride, pushing myself outside my comfort zone, and so much more. Intense doesn’t even begin to describe it.

There are many lessons I learned throughout the course of this week, too. Things like:

1. I can perform with two of my exes, we just simply don’t have to speak to each other. It’s not what I prefer, but it’s their choice and I respect that.

2. Thankfully, with other exes, I’m lucky to still have a strong connection and playdate possibilities…if only I could find the time. In fact, there were two people there I was hoping to play with or even just spend more time with, and it just didn’t happen. Way too busy. I’m crossing fingers for the GKEs, as I’m not foolish enough to think anything can happen at SPWF, unless it’s Thursday or Sunday. During the event? Not bloody likely.

3. Gin & Tonic should be sipped not chugged, no matter how flummoxed I am. Thankfully, both times came when I was off shift and had finished my performance.

4. I need to do more burlesque. It was exhilarating and felt like I was home. It was the most normal, perfect feeling in the world stepping on that stage again. And fuck, I missed being backstage.

5. The people I work with are incredible and took amazingly good care of me while I was in a compromised state of G&T haze. From the guided imagery massages, to the full on knee-in-my back, to the escort to the bathroom, I was loved and cared for throughout. People also checked in on me the next day and just overall were awesome.

6. The energy from this event was just so overwhelmingly GOOD. From the people I worked & performed with to the attendees to the hotel to weather, to the support I personally got..it was all incredible.

7. I’m able to see where I’ve grown. For instance, in the past, the way I spent Thursday night would’ve be difficult for me. This time? Only a little, but for unrelated reasons. I’m learning how to work with compersion even when it’s complicated and I love that.

8. I’m able to see where I haven’t grown. I finally feel confident in my job and like I have my mojo back for performing, but when it comes to lining up play, even with people I know and like, or figuring out why seeing someone in a new light shocked the fuck out of me, and I’m a fucking basketcase of raw nerves. Or, apparently, fertile chaos. It’s just trying to decide what to plant in this land. How to get the sensation and submission I’m craving without freaking out about it or just pushing it down and pretending it doesn’t exist.

9. I’m able to embrace the wild serendipity, most of the time, at events. Like thinking I need to talk to someone and three seconds later, they come around the corner. Or walking right into someone I thought wasn’t coming but really wanted to who wound up being able to drop by just on one day and I managed to cross paths with them in that brief pocket. AND not only getting a wonderful hug, but also a clarification that he’d like a cuddle date with me at the next event we’re both at, to which I very enthusiastically agreed and am SO looking forward to.

So all of this and more is swimming in my head. New burlesque numbers to choreograph, scenes I want to have, sadness that this was the last Wicked Faire, fear of pursuing new possibilities or making myself look like a moron, better strategies for drinking, how to get my needs met, awesome people and experiences and feedback. Fertile chaos, indeed.

“Confidence looks good on you.” (Part 1)

The title of this post brought to you by one of the best compliments I received from a dear friend for my return to the burlesque stage this past weekend. Processing all of this weekend is going to be a gigantic task and I thought I could wait a day or two, let it all marinate, and then process it closer to this weekend, but it’s all just pushing at the sides of my brain and heart until it feels like it’s coming out of my pores. Since my brain wouldn’t shut the fuck up, I figured I’d start trying to get some of it out now.

First and foremost, holy SHIT, I went back up on stage. It’s been 3 years, to the event and though there were myriad reasons why and I ultimately think it was the right decision at the time, I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity and the life push to get back up there. My husband kept telling me, throughout the past three years, that he couldn’t wait to see me back up there. He would suggest songs for me to do. He hated the fact that I didn’t allow or ask for a final show when I retired and would suggest songs to do if I ever tried to have one. And after the show, all he kept saying was that he was so proud of me and that I was beautiful. In fact a friend and person in my department snapped the most adorable pic of my husband watching me that just melted my heart. The joy and pride are visible on his face and I’m so grateful.

Then there was the endless stream of coworkers telling me how wonderful the performance was. I had no idea so many were there. I told people selectively because A) I didn’t want people to feel pressured to go because we were all also working, B) in case anyone got called away to do something worky, I didn’t want to pin my hopes on anyone but my husband and a few select others being there. But apparently word spread and just about the entire staff was there, as was the hotel staff (though since they’re technically not allowed to be with the masses, they watched from a hidden place in John Malkovitch’s head.), and also previous members of White Elephant, some of whom I hadn’t seen in years. It was just the best confluence of old and new and wonderful as I could possibly imagine.

And performing felt so damn good. Especially to reclaim things after that interaction I had which I allowed to hamper me for so long, which I wrote about in this post. And even more especially since the person I spoke of was AT Wicked Faire. All kinds of reclaiming for me.

There were points where anxiety almost got the better of me. I second-guessed a few things, almost changed something very large but thankfully, with an expert assist, decided not to. My garter belt broke about 30 minutes before I was supposed to go on stage and I had to tell myself to just keep going so I said “fuck it”, took off the garter belt, and went without stockings. Just meant you could see more of my lacey panties. 🙂

Another way I also went “fuck it” was that this was the first time on a public stage that I went completely topless. I mean, artfully so, but still. No bra. Which terrified me until I did it and turned around to face the audience…who ROARED with applause. It’s the best pop I’ve ever gotten in my career on stage and it was exhilerating. To have that positive and immediate feedback for something that I’m very self-conscious of was absolutely incredible.

There were just confidence boosters all weekend: the love and support of friends and family, being welcomed back to the stage with open arms both backstage and on stage via the audience, glowing feedback I received, the many assists in costuming and makeup that lovely friends/family new & old provided, and through it all, my husband, who kept telling me that I was going to be brilliant every time I got nervous.

And I have so many ideas now, for new numbers, for some interesting future collaborations, and this whole resurgence of feeling sexy, excited, and confident again has led to other doors opening to me which were also part of my “things I want to improve in the New Year” post. Which leads me to part 2…

“Confidence looks good on you.” (Part 2)

My return to the burlesque stage was nothing short of a fantastic experience. It helped me better get to know two people I met within the past year, both via makeups. It helped me reclaim some of my own sexiness and confidence. It’s also leading to other things from the “things I want to improve in the New Year” post.

Things like rejoining the local kink scene, which is apparently happening this weekend. I’m a little nervous but also really excited. I’ve been in hibernation too long, too. While I’ve been a kinkster for nearly 20 years now, I don’t have a lot of public, community experience. For some reason I attract SO’s who prefer private play and don’t want to engage much in the community as a whole. However, while my current SO is much the same way, he’s fine with me exploring with other people.

Which is great because there are things I want that he has no interest, experience, or time for. What isn’t great is that because of a combination of my own anxiety and fears, I’ve kind of hermitted and withdrawn from seeking out partners, both of the dating variety and the playing variety. And it largely comes down to that confidence thing that apparently looks good on me but is so hard to put on sometimes.

For example, I haven’t really been a Domme or topped anyone in a REALLY long time. There are friends I’ve flirted with that way but for various reasons, I haven’t found anyone to top or be a Domme to yet. There are a few possibilities on the horizon, but nothing definite or anywhere near fully formed.

And on the flip side, since I’m a switch, there’s my submissive side screaming to be tied up, flogged, punched, thrown into a wall and down on the floor again. Who wants to explore consensual nonconsent more. Who desperately wants to get over the fear of her own body and finally try rope suspension. Who wants to ride the wave of a single look that takes my breath away while imagining all the things that could happen after that look.

I had a few of the latter this weekend. One source, thankfully, was someone who knows she can drop me with a look and enjoys toying with that and me. And I thoroughly enjoy both. But there were other things and people that happened that have left me at a complete loss because they uncovered things that I have no idea how to deal with and leave me completely derailed. I wish I could transfer one area of confidence into another area that doesn’t have any. Of course that wouldn’t help the several levels of complex considerations.

It feels like some of the things I wanted to happen are finally happening, or might have the opportunity to happen, but I just don’t know how to encourage any of it. I’m afraid if I do the wrong thing, say the wrong thing, I’ll scare people off, or fuck something up, that they’ll realize they didn’t want or like me as much as they thought. Or maybe they won’t like me at all that way. And that’s fine. Just, would hurt. But I can put on my big girl panties and deal. It’s just…a deep fear basically boils down to feeling like if I don’t get too close, I won’t wind up exposing the really scared parts of me, both mentally and physically.

I mean…I don’t let very many people see me naked. For a fucking burlesque dancer, I’m actually really self-conscious of my body and while I’m trying to get out of that, I know that many riggers like to work with naked and I’m petrified to do that because if I’m self-conscious of myself in its unbound state, what the hell am I going to look like tied up and then things are going to get smooshed and I’ll look terrible and ugly. And since submission is such a large part of me but also a part that hasn’t really been tapped into in the last few years, exposing myself, the raw nerve that wants someone to take control, to cause pain, to caress, to tie me up, to TAKE…that combined with fear of what my body would look like during that? Oftentimes crippling fear doesn’t even begin to cut it.

Thankfully some friends are taking it upon themselves to help, which is how I’m likely winding up at a local dungeon this weekend and finally taking more steps towards getting involved with the local scene. Maybe little by little, I can take on some confidence in the kink world again.

Being “gifted” is not always a gift

A few friends posted a link to this article about the dark side of being “gifted” and I’m really glad they did. It reminded me of the things I went through in and out of school as a “gifted”, or as they put it back when I was in school, “Academically Talented”.

I wrote a response on my Facebook that I’m going to share here because the article hit me really hard as I remembered what I had gone through as a child labeled as “too smart for my own good.”

“Gifted kids need a place where they can feel safe and accepted for all their various intensities. A place where they can be themselves, quirks and all.”

YES. I was lucky enough to be in AT (Academically Talented) in grade school and some advanced classes in my first high school. Of course, it wasn’t fun to have my dad’s girlfriend at the time call me “ET” because she said I might be smart but I lacked common sense and frequently made fun of all the ways I was “dumb”.

In the beginning of sophomore year, I switched high schools because of difficulties at home. My new high school was not safe, I was bullied constantly, and I fell into depression and anxiety worse than ever. The child psychology team decided to label me as truant, antisocial, and of sub-par intelligence. They wanted to put me on anti-depressants and my mom told them to go fuck themselves. I’m still grateful for that, because without her pushing for me, I wouldn’t’ve been diagnosed with severe hypothyrodism.

I never thought I’d drop out of high school, but after crying and begging my mom to sign me out, she finally did when she saw what they were doing to me and how they were treating me. But she made me promise I’d at least get my GED and Associate’s Degree. So I went to Youth Corps, a job training corps designed to help people study for their GED and also get job training. When you join, they give you a practice GED so you they know what you have to study. I aced it and so they asked me to tutor everyone else instead of studying. When I took the test, even though my mom’s car had no heat and it was the dead of winter, we covered ourselves in blankets (we joked and said we were on a sleigh ride) and went. Her car literally died on the way to testing site (we had to push it into a parking spot), and I still managed to come in second in the state on my GED.

Also, not only did I get my Associate’s, I got into the Honor’s Society of Community Colleges and then got an honor’s scholarship to get my Bachelor’s. Which, two years later, I also earned.

So fuck my dad’s then-girlfriend, fuck the high school I went to that I dropped out of, and dear god am I grateful for all the people who understand that “gifted” doesn’t always mean you have an easy life, or that you feel safe in spaces so many other people do, or that you have the same emotional and mental sensibilities as others. Thank the universe for people who are now understanding introversion is not antisocial, that mental health issues like anxiety and depression can’t be shamed out of you or told to just “stop”, and that high intelligence scores and a love of words doesn’t mean you’re a “know-it-all who thinks they’re better than everyone by using $5 words.” (All examples various people have tried to do or say to me at some point in my life.)

There are a lot of quirks. There are a lot of difficulties. Bless this article and all the gifted people out there, whatever your gifts are. May you learn how to use them best to your advantage and find a tribe who will support the gloriousness that is you.

“Show me how you burlesque…”

A friend dropped this empowering and hilarious article (I Took My Clothes Off For An Audience As A Plus-Sized Woman and It Ruled) on my Facebook and wanted to know my thoughts, as a plus-sized founder and former co-director, choreographer, and dancer of a burlesque troupe. Who’s also about to go back on stage for the first time in three years next weekend. *gulp*

Anyhoo, the writer is someone who’s never seen a plus-sized burlesque dancer. Which is really the only unbelievable part of the whole thing, because oh, honey. Where do you live that they don’t have plus-sized burlesque dancers? What sad, cookie-cutter place is this and please can you start performing regularly to bring some body positivity and diversity to the stage?

That aside, the article fantastic. Kristin Chirico, part of the BuzzFeed staff (so jelly of THAT position!) decided to take 4 burlesque classes and try her hand at a burlesque performance, all while writing and photographing her journey. Her tone is one I envy: hilariously self-effacing without truly belittling herself. She is fearless in the face of hyperbole AND a corset, which I just love.

However, delving deeper, my friend wanted to know what I thought about Kristin’s observations of learning about and how to do burlesque. Here’s my take.

Straight off the bat I love her intro, which goes like this:

Hi. My name is Kristin. Like many of you, I am a hot fried basket of fears, insecurities, and anxieties, particularly when it comes to my body.

This is because I have spent a lot of my life, regardless of how big I am, being told (explicitly or implicitly) what I’m not allowed to do or be because of how I look.

But one of the things I have been told I DEFINITELY can’t be is sexy — especially in a plus-size body.

So — because I love making rule-makers unhappy — I decided to try the sexiest body-related thing that I could think of: BURLESQUE DANCING.

AMEN, sistah! My previous post where I decided it was time to get my ass in all it’s fat glory back on stage came from a similar place. I’m tired of being told I can’t be sexy. I’m tired of feeling not sexy. I’m gonna do something about it, and so did Kristin. Rock on!

She then goes on to summarize that “burlesque dancing, in case you don’t know, is a big sexy creative celebration of the body.” YASSSSSSS.

BTW, her teacher, Natasha of Hells Belles Burlesque, is wonderful and the type of teacher I’d like to be if I ever got back into burlesque fully (we’ll see how the performance goes next weekend!) She tells Kristin that “burlesque is an environment where everyone feels accepted” and while that’s not always the case (cosplay and anime audiences can be brutal for plus-sized women, as can dive bars – ask me how I know), I think that’s the spirit of burlesque. She also reassures Kristin that “no matter what happens, everyone is going to love it.” I’m really glad she had and instilled that much confidence in her student and that she knew her audience that well.

So Kristin starts learning choreography and has to battle her own asshole brain (we all have an asshole brain part) that tells her that she doesn’t look sexy but more like she’s “smugly shaving her legs”. But kept on keeping and went on to talk about her costume and name.

Her take on costuming:

We also wanted to make the corset really special-looking, and that meant sticking rhinestones on it until it could be seen from space.

“Yay!” I said about hot-gluing rhinestones to my corset, because I had forgotten literally everything I ever learned about hot glue.

See what I mean about an awesome sense of humor?! It’s totally true that many types of burlesque try to make things as shiny and sparkly as possible. It’s also totally true that people get excited about rhinestoning until they actually have to…y’know, adhere a kajillion little fucking pieces of sharp-ass sunlight to their costumes.

In selecting her stage name, she asked her officemates, but they weren’t helpful so she “ended up going with “Cherry Ontop” because it’s a pun on my name and it can double as my Bond girl name if my life ever takes a really drastic left turn.”

Then it’s back to actual choreography for her number, which, as she wisely notes, is “NO JOKE. I spent so much time trying to remember all my steps that I almost didn’t have time to focus on how ridiculous I felt.”

It’s totally true! Choreo is NO FUCKING JOKE. You have to count and time things, and remember it all, and feel the music, and make the audience feel like you’re doing more than just waiting for your next movement. You have to make it all come together in a way that the audience can relate to, swoon to, crave more from. It are srs biznis.

Important note:

The other thing about flipping your hair is that it basically turns your glasses into little projectile weapons.

OMG, yes. This is why I don’t wear my glasses on stage. I’ve found that since I can’t wear contacts anymore (a sad Rocky Horror-related injury and I hate it but such is life) it’s better to go “blind” than to risk my glasses whipping off my face, into the audience, and likely breaking from the adventure.

She talks about learning to remove clothes and how it’s not as simple as taking them off. Oh, no, no, no. There’s ART in the removal:

In burlesque, you can’t just remove your clothes — that’s for normals. You go slow. You make the audience work for it. You use your teeth! And once an article of clothing comes off, it becomes a sexy prop that you can run all over your body.

But then she touches back on the plus-sized thing and something I had to struggle with when I first started doing burlesque:

Eventually the idea was for me to make it look sexy, but slowly taking my clothes off just felt to me like I was screaming, “LOOK OUT, HERE COMES MY BODY!” like a very artistic emergency warning system.

*sigh* Yeah. It’s true. You have to get past that asshole part of your brain that tells you that you have to warn people of you impending nudity because they’re not going to want to see it. That you have to apologize for being onstage with the audacity to make your body move in sexy ways. That there’s no way that you or they should be *gasp* enjoying it. You have to just punch the fuck out of that asshole brain part and then relish in your sexiness.

Another thing she covers, which helped me understand why some people I know don’t like to practice (some of those “people” are me. Sometimes.), is why people don’t like to practice.

I realized then why I don’t like practicing things, and it’s because practice is a reminder that you are not good at something yet, and sometimes it’s painful to be faced with that, especially when there is good stuff on Netflix.

Yup.

But it’s really important to practice, especially in your WHOLE COSTUME. Otherwise, you get to dress rehearsal and realize you don’t know how to bend in a corset. I’ve been there many times. I’ve choreographed many routines in socks, leggings, and a t-shirt only to realize that those routines are VERY DIFFERENT when you add stockings, heels, a corset, two bras, two skirts, two jackets, and a boa (or feathery snake of doom, as the feathers will get everywhere. Feather boas are second only to glitter with their insidiousness stealth migration patterns.) Cause I have totally done THAT costume.

From there, her confidence begins to build. She starts to “discover (and be impressed by) all the fun things my body could do.” (GO girl! It’s awesome when you get to that place.)

Her teacher, Natasha, notices and asks if she’s sure she’s never had any performing experience before, and this is where I got a little misty-eyed.

And then I suddenly realized, oh, right! I was a theater major, but I stopped performing a long time ago. And in that moment, I felt more than a little bit of regret that I did.

When I was in college — and had boundless energy and time — I noticed pretty quickly that I wasn’t going to be given opportunities to perform unless I made those opportunities myself. I spent a lot of time writing and acting in my own shows alongside all my friends who also couldn’t get roles. But constantly having to fight to make sure you are heard takes a toll. And by the end of college, the message had been pretty firmly drilled into my head: Lady, no one wants to see you on a stage.

I wish I hadn’t listened. I wish I had known what I know now, which is that sometimes people don’t want to see or hear you for reasons that have nothing to do with you.

But I know that now, and that’s a start.

Amen and halleloo to THAT. But my favorite part was still to come. (And it’s not even her slaying her number, which she did, btw.) It’s what she decided right before she went on stage:

I accepted that like it or not this is happening, so when they announced me and I walked up onstage, I just decided, right then and there: I am welcome here because I have decided that I am welcome here.

I am welcome here because I have decided that I am welcome here. That is going to be my new mantra as I walk on stage next weekend.

Her wrap up of the article and experience was also very empowering, and I’m glad she said she’s up for doing it again:

I’d do it again because it was fun. Because it was great exercise. Because it gave me perspective on all the amazing things my body can do. Because I got to learn that I have powers I never thought I did, and because I can enjoy doing things even if I am not an expert at them.

Because nobody should spend a decade being terrified to perform for some reason as trivial as “someone might not like it.” Because that “someone” is usually a big whiny complainer who is mad for reasons that have nothing to do with you.

And also because rhinestones are totally boss.

Hells yeah, Cherry Ontop. Kudos to you for helping to bring body positivity to the forefront and adding more to the tableau of sexy, confident, plus-sized burlesque dancers. You’re totally boss, too, and I’m immensely grateful for this article. Now I should go work on my costume and practice for next weekend. 🙂

Another way to go back to Stars Hollow

I-Love-You-You-Idiot-GG-cover(Book review #2 – original post @ Cannonball Read 8…it’s a little fluffy but proof that I am blogging at least once a week.)

Did you know Netflix and DVDs are not the only way to get a Gilmore Girls fix? That’s right…there are BOOKS. Now, before you get too excited, there aren’t many (four, to be exact), they focus on the first/second seasons before the show had really found its legs, and as such, they have nothing to do with the reboot that got GG fans all in a tizzy and has officially started shooting!

Anyhoo, I’ve been a diehard Gilmore Girls fan for years now and don’t know how I only found out last year that there were novelizations of the show. I don’t usually go in for novelizations (unless it’s the amazing My So-Called Life and the even better sequel that came out after the series was cancelled My So-Called Life Goes On) but since this is probably my favorite TV show, I had to give them a whirl. And in this day and age of Amazon and reselling, I was able to pick up the first book for $4 total, with S&H.

To be honest, I was slightly underwhelmed. That book didn’t strike me as interesting as the My So-Called Life ones, which is probably because of the choice to make them solely from Rory’s POV and first person in her voice. It makes sense, since they were geared towards YA audience, but it gets disconcerting when you know there were things Lorelai was going through or that happened in the town, but you have to wait to see it unfold once the news gets to Rory. However, since I read that last year, and my husband bought me 2-4 for Christmas, the reviews are starting with book two.

This book covers episodes 1.14 (That Damn Donna Reed), 1.15 (Christopher Returns), 1.16 (Star-Crossed Lovers and Other Strangers), 1.17 (The Breakup, Part II), skips right over 1.18 & 1.19 (the series introduction to Trix, Rory’s great grandmother, Rory showing Emily around Stars Hollow, that whole Rachel finds the future Dragonfly thing, and ugh…Rune.) to fairly seamlessly pick back up with 1.20 (P.S. I Lo…) and 1.21 (season one finale Love, Daisies and Troubadors).

And can I just take a moment to say that I’m sad they started with “That Damn Donna Reed” for this book? Because the episode right before (1.13 – Concertus Interruptus) where Lorelai and Sookie take Rory, Paris, Madeline and Louise to a Bangles concert…would’ve been GOLD to read from Rory’s perspective. Anyway…

This book focuses on Dean and then the lack of Dean in Rory’s life. I find it hard to say it covers their breakup because I still don’t understand that as a breakup. Rory ran away from him when he said he loved her, but they never actually broke up. She just started telling people that because she got wigged. The book didn’t clear it up and I was really hoping it would. I mean, maybe when you have your first really awkward moment in a relationship when you’re 16, you think that you’ve just broken up, but I don’t get how Rory went from awkward moment of boyfriend telling her he loved her and not being ready or able to say it herself to “we broke up.”

Granted, later in the book, it turns into a mother-daughter bonding thing (cause, duh, Gilmore Girls) where Lorelai worries she hasn’t been a good role model for Rory to help her express her feelings for a partner in a healthy way, leading to Rory flipping out when love was brought up.

The book also covers Christopher’s return, Tristan and Rory’s ill-fated kiss (though not the following plotline when Rory set Tristan and Paris up on a date), Rory’s decision to surprise Dean by preparing him a Donna Reed night, complete with dinner and a poofy peach Donna Reed dress. Which still boggles me. Where did she get the dress? The TV show doesn’t cover it and neither did the book. They show where she got her ambient music (Lane, of course), but suddenly Rory is able to do a full-on Donna Reed cosplay that takes her own mother/BFF by surprise and they never explain it? Le sigh.

Anyway, if you’re a fan of the show and you want some insight into specifically Rory’s perspective, I’d recommend tracking these these books down as quick, light reads. If you’re not a fan of the show but want to live the Gilmore life vicariously through me, stay tuned, because there are two more books left and I’m in the middle of the third!