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