I Paid $40 For Closure With Sean Astin

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Let us start at the beginning… which also, kind of happens to be the end…of my first crush:

When I was eight years old, I watched “The Goonies.” Like so many young girls, I fell in love with Mikey, whom I learned was played by an actor named Sean Astin.

In those days, magazines had actors’ fan-mail addresses readily available. I am nothing if not a stalker persistent. I wrote Sean Astin love letter after love letter (he was thirteen at the time). I wanted nothing more than for him to send me a “real” picture of himself. Not the ones I had cut out obsessively from the Teen Bop Magazines my mother would dutifully and religiously buy me.

I would sit and wait, imagining him opening my long thought out letter. Me, expressing that I loved him in “The Goonies.” That we would be just perfect together. Could he please send me a picture of himself?

And I waited.

I guess maybe a year had passed since my first letter when I realized that there was going to be no response. I wondered what became of the pictures of my eight year old self that I had sent him: An awkward young girl grinning into the camera. She wore a huge smile, giant blue framed glasses and a jumpsuit covered in tropical parrots that her grandmother had lovingly made for her.

With no response, I promptly forgot my crush. Moved along. Not to think of him again until the trilogy “The Lord Of The Rings” came out. I refused to acknowledge any of his other movies. He had broken my heart. He no longer existed. But being the geek that I am, I had to see “The Lord of The Rings.” Which meant seeing my long lost love again.

Oh, the heartache.

I loved those movies. He did a fantastic job playing Samwise.

And that was that. Sean Astin was just a memory. A memory of sadness and disappointment, but nothing more.

Except, my husband informed me that Sean Astin was going to be at Comic Con this year. And suddenly, I desperately wanted an apology. Okay. That sounds crazy. As an adult, I realize that there is no way he could write or respond to every little girl who wrote him.

But, I desperately wanted closure. For my child’s heart. For me, it was like going back as a child and meeting Santa Claus. To have that one last belief again. To be able to say a formal good bye.

My sweet family waited in line with me at Comic Con.

I finally met him.

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I grinned like a maniac. Redemption was finally in my grasp. I said to him:

“When I was eight, I sent you love letter after love letter.”

I am not going to write what he said. I did not get his permission. We spoke for a very brief second. I will say he is aging very well. I can see why I liked him when I was eight.

He had three pictures of himself to choose from that you could have autographed for $40. You had to buy a picture to meet him. I chose “The Goonies” picture. It was what the child in me wanted.

I thought about having him write, “I’m sorry I never wrote you back.” Or, “Thanks for the letters. Your parrot jumpsuit was awesome!” But, I ended up asking him if he could write, “I liked your eight year old picture.”

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He very graciously wrote it out.

He did not ask my name. I did not tell him. It did not matter. Eight-Year-Old Jenni grinned deep down inside me.

And then she walked away.

She had gotten her picture. She had gotten her closure.

Let’s take a moment to grin with her. It is not often in this world that a child’s dream comes true.

And it only took 28 years.

And it only cost $40.

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…It is at this point that Adult Jenni winces and wonders what the heck she is going to do with this picture.

Closure anyone?

25 thoughts on “I Paid $40 For Closure With Sean Astin

    • Thank you Rebekah! You know, it was really cool! I am glad I got to do it. And my son thought it was so neat to see Samwise! It was a win-win!

      Thank you so much for commenting! Have a lovely weekend!

      Jenni

    • Thanks Danielle! I do not like crying! It is the worst! But if you say it is good, then I will check it out. I am leaning towards putting the picture in a scrapbook for my kids. I just like art on my walls. Not even the kids get their picture up there. ; )

      Have a lovely weekend!

      Jenni

  1. Just found you from YHL. Almost peed in my pants at the end of your post. Loved it! Can’t wait until I have the time to stalk your blog more throughly. (LOVE the bookcases & ladder…& your gallery wall…& your white walls…&….)

    • Oh my gosh! Thank you so much! I am glad you enjoyed the story and that you got my humor. I appreciate that! I am glad to meet you. Thank you so much for commenting.

      And thank you for your sweet compliments! Awww, shucks! ; )

      I love Young House Love! They are the best. I hope your weekend is gorgeous!

      Jenni

  2. This happened to me too a few years ago!! My sister and I were in looooove with Duran Duran when we were young teenagers. I thought Simon Le Bon was dreamy and my sis was in love with John Taylor. Well, 24 years later she was working at a radio station in Dallas and they came over for a meet-n-greet before their concert. I flew in from LA just to meet them and go to the concert. I mean, I owed it to my 14 year old self! Simon Le Bon put his arm around my waist for the pic and squeezed and I about swooned. LOL. What a riot. My mom framed the picture for each of us and I still have it out. You simply must take Danielle’s advice and frame your pic. It will make your young self smile every time you look at it.

    • I love that story! That is fantastic! Okay. You definitely got me beat for amazing experiences. Although, Bruce Willis once winked at me in his car. Ha!

      I love that your mom framed both of your pictures! What a sweetheart! Does your sister still have hers?

      I will probably be boring and put my picture in a book with a printout of my story and a picture of me with my glasses and parrot jumpsuit. That way my kids will understand it!

      I am glad I am not the only one who got to meet her crush. My friend was telling people most people don’t. I am grateful I got to.

      Have a peaceful weekend!

      Jenni

    • Thanks Brynne! It is so gorgeous there! You are so lucky! That seems to me to be the ultimate little town. Was it? And is it still that way? Do you still go back and visit? Sorry! So many questions! I must know! ; )

      Have a great Saturday…and Sunday!

      Jenni

      • It’s still pretty much the same. I am going back for Christmas. It is beautiful but I don’t think I could go back to that much rain after being away so long. With my parents still there, I get to visit so it’s like having the best of both worlds.
        PS will be bringing some of my dad’s honey back to Ft Worth. He said its a beautiful color of red this year.

      • That sounds so lovely. I can picture it. I love the rain, but I have never had to live in a rainy climate. I am sure I would feel differently if I had to live with it everyday.

        Ooooh! The sounds sounds great! Red? What is that from? My dad’s is wildflower, sage, and orange.

        Have a beautiful Sunday!

        Jenni

  3. How cruel to have a fan mail address and then no one to at least send you an autographed picture in response! Of course, my embarrassing story is writing to Santa in the 4th grade to test his reality and being so impressed with the hand-written note I received (not in my mother’s hand) that I brought it to school to show people he was real. ouch.

    Oh god- I was such a huge Goonies fan- I had a special edition magazine with back stories and interviews with all the actors! I would go around telling everyone why it was the best movie ever (it has COMEDY, it has ROMANCE, it has ADVENTURE!). Martha Plimpton was my idol. so cool! I think it was definitely worth it for your experience. Now if you can only find a copy of that original picture- I need to see it! 🙂

    • Hi Sarah!

      It is kind of cruel, but back then there were no digital pictures or computers. I think getting a picture to a fan was probably harder and/or more costly than it is today. Most fan sites will send you a picture if you send a self-addressed envelope and the wait time is three-four months. I know this from my Cindy Lauper research.

      I love that! Your note. What a sweet mom. She probably did not know you were going to bring it to school! In first grade, he was coming to our school in a helicopter. I stood up as the whole school gathered to witness this phenomenon. How or why this was happening, I have absolutely no idea. It was in a rural area. It is a mystery. But right before he came, I screamed the truth to all of the kids quietly sitting. I had learned it from my cousin the night before. I could not bear to see these kids lied to. Well, I was escorted away. And I never did get to see him land. Awww. Memories!

      “The Goonies” is one of my favorite movies still. I never did stop watching it. I think as I got older, he was so little, there was no appeal. My kids love it, too. In fact, in one of the pictures on the site, you can see the movie case we brought for him to sign.

      And, I will definitely post that picture if I can find it. I just have to figure out which parent took the photo albums!

      Have an adventurous weekend!

      Jenni

  4. What a great story. I am glad that it has a happy ending. I am sure there are always entirely good reasons why stars don’t respond to every letter though they might if they knew just how much it could affect their young fans.

    At various conventions and events I have met just about everyone sci-fi related I want to meet and there is a big difference between those who love meeting fans and others who don’t. Even then though you can people who are otherwise wonderful but you meet them on a bad day or even a bad moment (I’m talking to you Neelix from ST:Voy).

    It’s always great though when the person you meet meets or exceeds your expectations. My fave autograph is one from Deforest Kelley aka Dr. McCoy. He is the only one I didn’t get to meet but I did write him a looong letter. I didn’t expect a reply as firstly he was Dr. McCoy and secondly he was extremely old and suffered from arthritis and at that time only wrote a dozen or so autographs for charity events each year.

    However being an optimist and knowing what a nice man he was, I quietly hoped I would get a reply, even a mass-produced one. Month by month time went by. I didn’t expect anything in the first 3 months, 6 months would be quick. 9 months, that would be the optimal time surely. Every day I would run down the stairs and check the post until after 1 year I finally gave up hope. I didn’t mind, I just wanted to write and say thanks for the good times he had brought me until then and the additional 20 or so years more I now have 🙂

    Anyway, 1 year and around 3 days after I wrote to him, I received a large vanilla envelope with extremely fine writing on the front. Ooh, it was from the USA… don’t get many of those. Even bigger oohs, it was from California and it contained cardboard.

    Thank-you Deforest, I knew you’d come good. Nervously I opened the envelope not know what quite to expect. There it was, a large black and white photo with a personalised autograph “To Stephen, Best wishes Deforest Kelley”.

    Yipppeeee, my 5 or 6 page handwritten scrawl had been read and listened too and I received my priceless gift and none of those charges you get at conventions. A really genuinely nice man who happened to be a Hollywood star who played my favourite character of all time.

    He didn’t have to send me anything, I knew he was ill but bless him for making a young guy over the moon. I still have his autograph above my desk, well a scanned copy… I don’t want it fading in the sun.

    • Hi Stephen!

      Thank you! It was a good thing for me to do. With OCD, I like having closure on things. Plus, it is a good story for the kids. They enjoyed watching the interaction. I wish everyone could have the same experience!

      That is such a lovely story you told. Defrost is a wonderful man for doing that. You are so lucky! That is just really, really cool! When I met Patrick Rothfuss this summer, it was like that. He is such a beautiful human being. I just really like him and he is SO nice to his fans!

      Have a fantastic week!

      I will write you more in an email tomorrow! I must get some sleep!

      Jenni

  5. This is my favourite post you have ever written. I laughed so hard – because I totally recognised my own pre-teen, movie-star crushing self! I’m sure anyone who reads this would, too. How UTTERLY awesome that you said that to him, and had him write that message on your photo. As for what to do with it, of COURSE you need to frame it and hang it somewhere prominent. And then maybe tell people who spot it and ask you about it a little fib – you know, that you just found this in an old shoe box and decided to hang it up, and that Sean Astin sent you that in response to the love letters you sent him when you were eight. And then see if they believe you… Maybe? 🙂 Either way, frame this baby and display it proudly! In the name of closure!

    • Thank you, Gwen! I appreciate that! I had the best time writing it. I was hoping it would be funny. Sometimes my humor can be hard to get. I am so glad he went along with it. I was sure for a second he was going to decline. If you think about it, it could be kind of creepy. But he did it! Yay!

      Right now the picture is sitting on top of my entertainment center. I must protect it better! : )

      Have a lovely week!

      Jenni

  6. This story is so charming. I do think he should have asked your name though, but what a great story. The other cool thing is that he is the son of Patty Duke and John Astin from the Addams Family.
    You look so calm too, which made for a perfect photo.I hope you frame it!
    Stacey

    • Thank you Stacey! It was a lot of fun. I am glad you think I look calm, because I was a nervous wreck. It was a wonderful moment for the child inside.

      I appreciate it! I hope your Thursday is relaxing and fun!

      Jenni

  7. Pingback: How The Jenni Got Her Gripes - Gnome Lover

  8. So I’ve just discovered your site during an obsessive episode of hunting down as many live pictures of Anthropologie clothes on normal girls as I could…this helped wean down my shopping basket to the point where I didn’t have to give up food for the month to get the clothes I wanted, yay! Anyway, love your site, love your style (I’m a Free People girl at heart) and I live in Canada so we don’t really have Free People and Anthropologie around every street corner, it’s great to see these clothes ‘live’!!

    I know this is an older post so I’m not sure if you’ll reply but I LOVE LOVE Hedgehogs, I got a great sweater from Asos a couple years back but I adore that top your wearing in these pics! Any chance that was a relatively recent purchase?? Have you read the Arcadia Bell series? It’s fantastic, but she had a pet hedgehog, which of course made me want to get one too (just like I desperately wanted an owl after Harry Potter)…I soon learned that they eat crickets so…gross, that’s not going to happen, I now just try to collect Hedgehog and Owl related clothes and housewares…does that make me a cat lady???

    • Thank you Michelle! You are so sweet! That is exactly why I show the clothes so people can see the clothes on a real girl. I am glad you like that. : )

      The top is called the creature top from Anthropologie. I have seen it on ebay. I bought it in a large for an oversized look. Modcloth has a ton and I mean a ton of hedgehog clothes right now. I have not read the Arcadia Bell series but I am going to check it out. I LOVE Harry Potter. People say they love Harry Potter but they use the term too loosely. I reread the books and rewatch the movies all. Of. The. Time. ; ). I hope you find some awesome hedgehog stuff!

      Sweet dreams!

      Jenni

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