How I Met Your Mother: The (Wo)man. The Myth. The Legend…of Peggy

Not-so-Carrie recently included me on one of those obnoxious Facebook messages asking everyone to send her a private message with a story of her mother so she can make a book/album/kitschy-mother-daughter-thing as a moving-out gift. Don’t you just love those messages? Especially when there’s that one friend that always messages back the whole entire group just for fun because it said not to? Oh wait, that’s me. So typical.

So per said request of said best friend of mine, I’ve compiled the story of Peggy. It’s not quite a NY Times Bestseller, but…

To set the stage for this, let’s visualize. It’s a Husker Saturday in the football-centric downtown Lincoln, Nebraska – on a home game afternoon nevertheless. If you’re not wearing red (or your blackshirt jersey) you’re a minority on a Saturday in this town. Cue the tailgate party and gathering of friends, acquaintances, and otherwise who all come together to celebrate a common bond of a love of football, tailgating, and consuming copious amounts of alcohol, jello shots, and chili.

Here I am, about to take a jello shot (for the umpteenth time that day most likely) when I spot Not-so-Carrie’s mom and yell “Peggy! Get over here! We’re doing another jello shot!”

Cue the confused looks.

“Umm, my name is Lori.” (trademark cackling laughter)

“WHAT?!? I thought your name was Peggy! Eh, whatever, it’s jello shot time. You in?”

And so became Peggy, born out of a jello-shot-induced haze.

I’m really not sure how I ever got “Peggy” out of “Lori” but it seems fitting. We have joked ever since that “Peggy” is Lori’s drunken alter ego, however everyone refers to her as Peggy all the time now. It just seems to click.

Another game day, Peggy stops by with Not-so-Carrie to pick me up on the way downtown to watch the game. Since it was an away game, we figured parking spots wouldn’t be as hard to come by. Sure enough, we scored a prime parking spot in one of the few parking garages – probably because Peggy was smart and reserved the spot ahead of time, but I like to think we just got lucky. So here we are, parked and about to get out when a car full of elderly people pulls up and decides they want to back in. Figuring we’d be nice and wait to open the doors until they’re done, we sit there…only to observe said car back right into the wall of the parking garage. Cue the cackling. Next stop: Bar #1 of the day….where Peggy proceeds to ask for a couple shots of liquor to put in her Frappuccino-esque drink from the corner coffee shop. Only with Peggy…

Not every Peggy story involves drinking. Or game days.

I have countless memories of the Peggster in her natural habitat: at home in her pajamas, cooking breakfast/lunch/dinner, picking me up in Omaha, and other such places where she feels most at home. Such memories include:

  • One time, Peggy was so kind as to lend me her clothes so I wouldn’t have to do the walk of shame in my clothes from the night before. Thanks Peg, you’re the best.
  • Taco Nights. Or whatever you’d like to call it when I get to eat Peggy’s taco. Yum.
  • Eating Peggy’s muffin. Yes, I ate Peggy’s muffin. It was delicious, in case you were wondering.

My birth mom (or the woman who claims to be at least) is pretty cool, but Peggy is a close contender for my favorite mom. I’m pretty sure she’d adopt me, especially seeing as Not-so-Carrie sent me a video of her family saying hello to me after I’d moved away in which Peggy said (and I quote) “You’re my favorite kid that would live with me besides Halle.” Keep in mind, Halle is the not-so-miniature Miniature Pinscher…and one of Not-so-Carrie’s sisters is in the room visiting from out of state. I feel honored. I guess that Mother’s Day card to my “Mom of the Midwest” paid off.

Another time, one of Not-so-Carrie’s suitors drove in from a land far, far away – otherwise known as Indiana – for the surprise birthday party that I threw her. Texting-and-driving our way across the country, he asked me what her mom’s name was because he didn’t want to look like the asshole who couldn’t remember her mom’s name. Cue the “Haha it’s okay. Peggy isn’t that rememberable of a name.”

Fast forward to the party, and Peggy never even missed a beat. It’s second nature for her to answer to Peggy at this point anyway.

All in all, Peggy (or Lori if you must) became more than a fill-in mom over the past two years. She became a go-to late night taxi service, a guaranteed delicious home-cooked meal, a champion jello-shot-taker, and one of the best sources of laughs I’ve ever met. But most importantly, Peggy became a friend.

As her last of three daughters prepares to fly the coop, I worry that Peggy might go crazy in an empty house and start talking to the dog – oh wait, this already happens – or giving random drunk college boys rides home from the bar – oh wait, this already happens too. Having your kids leave home must be nerve-racking, but I know Peggy will be fine. Plus her daughter will be in good (manicured) hands in a fabulous city with a fabulous best friend. Don’t you worry, Peggy…Not-so-Carrie will be fine. I’ll take good care of her, and we’ll have plenty of jello shots waiting for you when you visit in October.

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