How Gilmore Girls Do Money: Miss Patty
As Miss Patty got older, she began hiring Stars Hollow teenagers to help her in the dance studio; she tried writing out the steps, but it was a lot easier to wave her arm around and thump her cane to keep the beat, and the teenagers tended to get her meaning, or to make up something else that was just as good. Did it really matter if it was an arabesque or an arabesque penchée? As for tap, well, it all came down to shuffle-ball-change in the end.
She dreamed, sometimes, of a young dancer arriving in Stars Hollow to help her teach the next generation of students. She had to invent contrived circumstances to imagine how this dancer would end up here; in her mind, she gave the dancer a Vegas background, so they’d have something to talk about over wine. The teenagers weren’t interested in Miss Patty’s stories. They didn’t know who Mel Tormé was; they could barely believe that Miss Patty had once performed on the same stage that now hosted Britney Spears.
That was okay, though. Miss Patty had done a lot of things that no one would believe. A lot of people guessed about her and Taylor, but nobody ever guessed what went on at Babette and Morey’s place. When you’re the stone at the center of the Stars Hollow rumor mill, you get to decide what grist passes through.
And now she kept her affairs very closely to herself. How much she hurt, and how much she smoked to cover the pain. (She loved the Stars Hollow boys who brought her marijuana, especially the ones who understood that they were supposed to play along with her flirtations. So many of those boys were terrible at improv.) Babette would never buy it—”I’ll pay the fine, but I am not going to jail!” she would say—but she could make a very kind pot brownie.
She also keeps very quiet about her finances. It turns out that owning property, and knowing Taylor Doose in a way that nobody else in Stars Hollow ever would, helps a girl get by in her old age. Taylor casually writes the check for her property taxes, and has increased the “town hall meeting rental rate” to a level that would shock the town hall, if it ever showed up on the budget. But it didn’t, because Taylor paid Patty out of pocket and under the table, and Patty had made a joke about the night she put her hands under the table, and Taylor smiled and sighed at the same time, in that stiff-lipped way he had.
They were old friends, although they never smoked together and only Patty drank, as Taylor slowly ate bonbons from his shop and made little tally marks in a notebook so he could keep his ledger accurate and account for the consumed stock. His business had grown, thanks to an economy where people were more than happy to buy a $5 scoop of ice cream but hesistant to buy anything else, and hers had not. So they sat side by side in the evenings, the same old sweater vest and shawl that sent off sparks if they got too close but ultimately repelled each other, in the end.
“Do you remember,” Patty would begin, and Taylor always did.
Previously on “How Gilmore Girls Do Money:” Max Medina