How Gilmore Girls Do Money: Luke Danes
“I’m thinking about retiring,” Luke said, sliding a plate of waffles and bacon across the bar to Lorelai and plunking the can of Reddi-Wip down next to her.
“Is this, like, an I’m thinking about the concept of retirement thing,” Lorelai asked, “or is it more I’m thinking about retiring tomorrow? Because we have plans for tomorrow. They’re in our phones.”
“Not tomorrow,” Luke said. “Maybe next year? I don’t know. I’m getting too old for all of this.”
“Hey, I just read an article in a magazine that said 50 is the new 30,” Lorelai quipped. “Of course, the only people who still read magazines are people who are 50 and wish they were 30.”
“I’ve started wearing insoles,” Luke said. “You know who wears insoles? Old people.”
“A lot of people wear insoles,” Lorelai said. “I think I just saw one of the Jonas brothers do a commercial for insoles.”
“Who are the Jonas brothers?”
“Okay,” Lorelai said, “you’re old.”
“My feet hurt, my back hurts, I’m bald—”
“You’re not bald,” Lorelai said automatically. Luke did have a little hair left, after all.
“You’re bald,” Babette called out, from her table.
“But very distinguished,” Miss Patty added. “Like Nicholas Cage.”
“Patty, no man wants to be told he’s Nicholas Cage,” Lorelai said. She swiveled back around to Luke. “Maybe you just need a massage.”
“I don’t want anyone squeezing me and rubbing oil on me,” Luke said. “That’s like watching Caesar make the hamburger patties.”
“Okay, how about two weeks off? Go sit in your boat and think manly thoughts.”
“And then I gotta come back and do all of this again?” Luke sighed, and Lorelai saw the lines on his face. “I’ve got money in the bank and a business with my name on it. Why not retire? I could come in every now and then, make sure Caesar and Zack are doing okay, gradually let them take over.”
“Luke, you can’t retire.” Lorelai sounded like she was trying to put her foot down, but there was a note of pain behind it. “What would you do with yourself? We’ve got at least another forty years. Of life. Can you imagine all of the things that could happen in those forty years? Don’t you want to be part of it?”
“My dad didn’t get those forty years,” Luke said. “Neither did yours. And I’m tired.”
He walked two plates of eggs and home fries over to a corner table and considered ending the conversation there, telling Lorelai he had stuff to do in the back and not bringing retirement up again until he had more of a plan, but she was sitting there sadly dipping waffle chunks into her whipped-cream tower, the words building up in her like coffee filling a pot, and he knew that he had to go back and listen to whatever she needed to say.
“I love work, Luke,” Lorelai said. “I love running the Dragonfly and going in every day and making it the best inn it can be. I don’t ever want to retire. Not when I’m 60, and not when I’m 80. When I think of myself in the next forty years I see an old woman in an amazing outfit walking into the Dragonfly and having everyone listen to her because she’s still in the game, Luke. She’s still part of something important.”
“You see your mom,” Luke said.
Lorelai paused, whatever she had been planning to say next blocked by that realization. “Wow. Okay. Maybe I do. But I love work, and I don’t know what it’s going to be like if I love work and you don’t love it anymore, and I’m going to be getting ready for another day at the Dragonfly and you’ll be retired and you’ll forget what it’s like, to love something that much, and we won’t be able to talk about it anymore.”
“It’s not going to be like that,” Luke said. “I don’t know what it’ll be like yet, but I know it’s not going to be like that.”
He poured her another cup of coffee. “And you’ll be able to talk about whatever you want. God knows I’ve listened to everything you’ve said, ever since I met you.”
Previously on How Gilmore Girls Do Money: Jess Mariano
Support The Billfold