Rory walks away as Lorelai tells Christopher that she doesn't know how Rory's going to make it in society. She says that, at this rate, Rory will get a job and only marry once. She picks up the phone to call Emily. She tells Christopher that Emily has been calling every five minutes to check on something about Rory's clothes or shoes or whatever, but that she hasn't called at all tonight. Maybe because she was expecting you for dinner? She tells Christopher that her parents are openly fighting, and that they've never done that before. Christopher suggests that she move to California, which is what he does when his parents fight. Lorelai tells him that Richard doesn't even want to go to the debutante ball, and she can't figure out why. Christopher suggests that Lorelai talk to him, and then asks rhetorically whether he was the one who just said that sentence. Lorelai says that there's nothing she can do tonight, so she's going to go to bed. She asks whether she needs to turn off the lights for Christopher, and he says he's got some work to do. She laughs, and then remembers that it's not a joke anymore when he says he has to work. Christopher magically pulls a PowerBook out of nowhere. It's magical and allows you to work immediately upon opening it.
We're at the ball. Lorelai looks beautiful in a black shiny dress. Her hair is pulled back in a simple ponytail at the nape of her neck. Rory's hair is up, and she's carrying her dress. Rory sees the giant staircase she's going to have to descend. Lorelai suggests that she slide down the banister instead. The Debutante Ball Lady informs Rory that she's late and leads her upstairs, where the other girls are getting ready. Lorelai tells her to head for the "toxic cloud of Chanel and Final Net." She also reminds her again to slide down the banister.
Rory's led into the Room of Pretty Girls and is told she won't have a lighted mirror, since they all went to the girls who were there before dawn getting ready. The Debutante Ball Lady informs the girls that they all have to be ready to go by 7:30. This throws a panic among all of the girls in the room. I can't believe they didn't put Paris in this episode, pouting that she has to be a debutante, or Louisa, loving every second of it. Rory sits down next to a blonde and remarks that she can't believe she's got an hour and a half. "I know! I am never going to be ready!" the blonde says. She complains about the swelling on her nose (I guess she got a nose job right before the ball?) and then introduces herself as Libby. She holds up two different lipsticks and says she's thought about this all month and can't decide what shade to wear. She doesn't want to look like a whore. "Or a teacher," she adds with much more disdain. Rory says it's a difficult decision. Libby says that this cotillion will determine her social status for the rest of her life. "Wow," Rory says. "What if you trip?" Libby cannot believe that Rory just jinxed her. Rory says that she's the one who's probably going to trip. Libby says you shouldn't joke about things like that, and then barks at the woman doing her hair.