Warning: Posts in this segment may contain language that is inappropriate and/or offensive to some readers.
One Summer Memory, Two Best Friends
Everyone has summer memories, and many of these memories harken back to a summer’s night. I don’t know what’s so mystical and magical about a summer’s evening, but there is no denying that feeling.
Growing up, I had a friend named Tiffany. We were opposites in every single way imaginable, but somehow, we managed to be friends. Best friends. We met in Kindergarten and sustained our friendship even during the time I lived to Europe for a year. But as Tiffany and I came into our teen years, we were more opposite than ever before. This story is about the last time I remember connecting with her as a best friend, before we split apart into two different worlds forever.
It was the summer that I was 12. I was homely, awkward and worst of all, instead of listening to Pantera like the rest of the kids my age, I listened to the local Oldies station. I was basically a nice girl living in the wrong time. Had I been alive forty years before, I might have had a chance to fit in. But it just wasn’t in the cards.
I didn’t live far from downtown in those days. Tiffany came to stay the night (she lived about 30 min away from me) and we decided to walk into town to get some ice cream. Tiffany’s favorite flavor was Rocky Road, and I liked orange sherbet. Just that one fact alone could sum up the difference in our personalities.
After stopping at the local Baskin-Robbins, we went to the downtown toy store. It was a large, independently owned store and in the back room there was a huge section for babies. There were all these cribs. So I said to Tiffany: “Let’s pick out a crib.”
And Tiffany says to me, “What for?”
And I replied, “For when we have kids!”
And Tiffany asked, “Why would we pick out a crib for our kids NOW?” which was actually a pretty good question.
But I rushed ahead of her with a big smile on my face, into the nursery area. Tiffany reluctantly followed me, rolling her eyes at my idiocy.
I stopped at a beautiful white crib with soft pink bunting. I think there might have been some pattern on it, but I don’t quite remember.
“THIS is the one,” I said. “This is the crib I’m getting for my daughter…” I beamed and turned to Tiffany, who stood there with a scowl on her face. “Which one do you like?”
“I don’t like any of them,” Tiffany replied, refusing to look at the treasure I chose.
“Aw, come on,” I said. “Pick one.”
“Dee, this is SO stupid!” she said. “I’m not picking out a fucking crib. Now let’s go look at the bikes.”
“Okay, Tiffany,” I said. “But THIS is the crib I’m getting when I have a baby. I can’t wait!”
(Now that I think on it, it’s probably a good thing that I didn’t have a boyfriend until many years later, the way I was so eager to have a baby…. but back to the story.)
Finally, we left the toy store and on our way home, we decided to make it a Blockbuster Night. Tiffany wanted to rent Beverly Hills Cop III, but in the end I won out and we rented Peggy Sue Got Married.
Peggy Sue Got Married is a 1986 film directed by Francis Ford Coppola starring Nick Cage and Kathleen Turner. (by the time we rented it, it was already several years old) I liked its retro theme, even though it’s the epitome of 1980’s cheesiness as far as films go. One thing I really liked about it, though, is that it involves time travel. The synopsis is that Peggy Sue, a middle aged woman with marital problems, passes out at her 25 year High School reunion and wakes up back in 1960. Jim Carrey is in it too, before anyone knew who he was.
We had hot dogs for dinner and watched the movie. I don’t think Tiffany enjoyed it as much as I did, but I could tell she didn’t exactly hate it either. When it was over, we decided to go sit outside look at the stars. We sat on two redwood folding chairs by the lap pool in my yard.
I don’t know whose idea it was to wish on a star, but I could have sworn it was Tiffany’s and not mine, even though it sounds more like something I’d have come up with.
“Dear Stars,” I remember her saying. “This is Tiffany and Dee. We wish that we will always be Best Friends, no matter what.”
“And have kids,” I added. “And they’ll be friends too.”
“Okay,” Tiffany said, then went back to addressing the stars: “We wish that our kids will be friends someday too.”
“Yes,” I added, looking up at the brightest star. “We wish that Tiffany’s daughter and my daughter will be best friends like we are… My daughter, Peggy Sue.”
“Peggy Sue?” Tiffany asked in disbelief.
“Yes!” I confirmed, smiling confidently.
“You’re gonna name your daughter after a movie?!” Tiffany made a face.
“I just like that name,” I said. “Don’t you?”
“No,” Tiffany laughed. “Ha! Peggy Sue.” She scoffed. “I know,” she continued. “How about we make our daughters’ middle names after each other?”
“Then that would be… ‘Peggy Sue Tiffany‘?” It was my turn to make a face. “Well… okay.” I agreed.
“Good,” Tiffany said. “So when I pick a name for my kid, your name will be the middle one… Stars,” Tiffany looked up at the sky and took my hand. “We wish we will be friends forever–”
“You know,” I interrupted, “I might name my third daughter Peggy Sue because there are some other names I kinda like better.”
“Fine, whatever!” Tiffany said.
“Oh, and I want to be an actress!” I interjected. “A movie star.”
“Dee, you’re not going to be a movie star,” Tiffany informed me. Of course she was right, but she didn’t have to shoot so straight. I frowned.
“Why? You don’t think I’ll make it?” I asked.
“Well… It’s just that… See. You’re a thinker. And I’m a doer.”
“What does that mean?” I asked.
“It means you just think about things, imagine them… but I DO things,” she explained. “I go after what I want. So you are a thinker and I am a doer.”
I don’t remember what I said to this. I picture myself just sitting there. Of course, all these years later, I have to confess that in a way, maybe even in a big way, Tiffany was right.
I never had any kids after all– it just didn’t happen… While sometimes I feel sad, I can also look back on this memory and laugh at the innocence and optimism I once had at such a young age. Everything was as simple as wishing on a star on a summer’s night.
I think the funniest part of this story, though, is when I found out in 2016 that “Peggy Sue Got Married” is actually a song! It was recorded as a follow-up to the major hit “Peggy Sue” by Buddy Holly. I was pretty shocked to find out it was a song. I obviously knew about the original song, and I always liked it. But as for the movie, I just assumed that the name “Peggy Sue” was taken from the first song, and the “Got Married” part was added to make a title for the film. But no. The entire title stands alone as a song, which was recorded by Buddy Holly in his apartment not long before his death.
After I finally got all that cleared up, I then asked myself why I wanted to name my would-be-daughter Peggy Sue. I guess it’s because I associated that name with the 1950’s era, which I always loved. It’s really kind of a metaphor. I suppose I subconsciously perceived Peggy Sue to be symbolic of the American Dream… much like my dream of having my very own happy family one day.
So years later, as I looked at the CD cover of The Very Best of Buddy Holly and The Crickets, my memory flashed back to that night. I could still hear Tiffany say:
“You’re gonna name your daughter after a movie?!”
“No, Tiffany,” I thought. “After a song.”
🎵”I won’t say that the story’s true. I’ll just leave that up to you…”🎵
But I suppose it’s not much of a story. It’s just a simple memory about two best friends on a summer’s night… and a dream never realized. 🌠
The above lyric line is from “Peggy Sue Got Married” written and recorded by Buddy Holly, which years later ended up being one of my favorite songs.