This Sloane's Farewell to John Hughes

John Hughes and I had a very close relationship. Sure, he didn’t really know about it, and truthfully, I didn’t think about him much either. Yet, our stories were intertwined from the day I was born and named “SLOANE” and the day he gave the same name to the girlfriend of Ferris Bueller in his epic 80s classic film, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Sloane Peterson was the coolest girl around. First of all she snagged Ferris as her boyfriend. Not bad. She put up with all his crazy wackiness, and despite his consistent shenanigans towards everyone around him, he was genuinely sweet on her.

**She wore that incredible white leather fringe jacket. **

I loved her.

Mia Sara might have played Sloane Peterson in the movie. But I lived with her, the memory of her, and of that role every day.

Secretly, I always worried about the “what if.” Like what if she was a total loser? What if the movie was a dud? What if I was a boy and my parents named me Doogie? That would have been terrible. These are the thoughts I had frequently as a kid.

I knew things about the movie most other people didn’t. And that’s because I was asked throughout my childhood and early adulthood EVERY DAY about the movie.

The biggest thing? Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was made in 1986 - making me older than the film. So my SLOANE came first. I always wanted to ask John Hughes where he got the idea to name the character “Sloane.” I still have hope that I’ll find out, even if he is gone.

Some friends in high school called me Peterson. It was like a calling card. Everyone loved that movie. My high school boyfriend was no Ferris, but he was pretty damn cool and a total jokester so we made a good version of the hippest high school couple.

Let’s talk college. Every single person I met for four years had some version of an introduction:

This one was normal: “Oh, Sloane, like the girlfriend in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, I love that movie!”

My friends hated this: “Oh it’s like the name from that movie, wait don’t tell me, I’ll get it, like the one…oh yeah Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” I had to humor people, guide them to get this. Of course, I knew what they meant, but people had to remember on their own to really connect and put one and one together.

My friends would ask if it drove me crazy getting asked all the time. It didn’t. I would say things like, “Well having a unique name helps when someone is yelling your name across the Quad. It doesn’t work so well if you do something really stupid.” I learned from an early age to be careful of my brand (it’s funny now thinking of it that way) but it’s true. A Sloane story would be about me. I hoped most of them out there were good ones.

I still love being called Peterson by a few close friends. I never get tired of people mentioning the film. I don’t think I ever will and let me tell you, people still say that introduction all the time. All. The. Time.

It’s strange having such an intimate relationship with a film I had nothing to do with. Being recognized and associated with something to which I only share a name. But it’s a good strong name. I love that my name is Sloane.

Sure, John Hughes had other great films, Weird Science, The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink…and I bet there are kids all over the country with the same connection to the characters and names he put in those films.

After college, it shifted a bit. 90% of people still asked if I was “Sloane from that movie” but a few others have come into play. New Sloane’s on the market. Sloane from Entourage. Sloane Medical Center. Sloan School of Business. Sloane Square in London. Sloanes everywhere.

For awhile, when people asked if I was Sloane - like from another one of those above - I would think “Seriously? You don’t know that movie?” It had become such a part of me that anyone who didn’t remember it that way, it was weird, bizarre even, not to have people mention it.

I’ve met a few other Sloane’s in my day. I’ve met a few Sloan’s too. Actually while we’re on the Sloane topic, let’s straighten one thing out. Sloan is for boys. Sloane is for girls. That’s the only way I’ve ever seen it done. Please for everyone out there, get your Sloan and Sloane’s straight! Always wanted to set the record straight.

In my own mind though, I’m the original. And John Hughes and Mia Sara can share second place. After that, well the rest are just one Sloane in a million.

John Hughes, my dream of having dinner with you just once is gone forever. I know your friends and family mourns you, but your spirit will live forever in your films. Rest in peace.

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