In 7th Grade, one of my teachers had a set of self-improvement books in her class. The teacher was Mrs. Shelton. The books were on the bottom shelf. I remember devouring every one. I don't remember what the books were called or much of what was contained within the pages. I do remember the author emphasizing the importance of goals and recommending writing down every thing you wanted to accomplish in your life.
So, I did. I made a list of 60 items ranging from "Deliver a baby" to "Win an Oscar, Tony, and Grammy" and for 21 years I've kept that list.
Let me tell you. Seventh grade Sarah dreamed BIG.
Seventh grade Sarah also watched A LOT of Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. Every Sunday night my parents and I would order a pizza and settle in to watch the newest exploits of the Man of Steel. I loved that show and I L-O-V-E-D the star of the show - Superman himself - Dean Cain.
He was smart. (He went to Princeton!) He seemed so sweet and kind. Oh, he was (is!) also smoking hot.
Hence, #14 on the list.
Meet Dean Cain.
I'm not sure at the time if I thought about the proximity of Superman's hometown of Metropolis, IL, to my hometown of Paducah, KY. Just a short 15 minutes drive over the bridge, the small town of Metropolis hosts an annual Superman Celebration.
I'm sure at 12 years old I thought Dean Cain and I would meet during our future shared professional endeavors. (For example, #17 Be on the 50 Most Beautiful List AND Most Intriguing). However, since becoming an adult and realizing a successful acting career was not in the cards, I've often thought the celebration might just be my ticket to meeting my childhood crush.
Every year since moving home I've checked the roster of visiting Superman stars and every year I've been disappointed.
Until this year.
The 2014 Superman Celebration's featured guest was none other than Mr. Dean Cain!
June 14th. I had a date with destiny.
First hurdle? I needed a ticket for one of the four autograph sessions with Dean Cain held throughout the day. The tickets were being passed out at 7 AM, which is when I needed to be heading to the 5K for which I had been training for 5 weeks. LUCKILY, I married the most wonderful man in the entire world who woke up at FIVE AM to get in line and get me a ticket.
He called me right before the race and said I'd be meeting Dean Cain at 10 am.
In my excitement, I shaved a minute and a half off my running time.
After the race, I ran home and got all dolled up to meet my superhero. A little after 10 am I joined a long line of fans. A small emergency was quickly averted when I found out I needed cash to pay the $40 for a photograph with Dean with a VERY quick trip to the ATM across town.
Back in line I chatted with anyone who would listen about my list. One girl questioned the authenticity until I pointed out #13 "Wear Armoni, Valentino." The misspelling convinced her.
Finally, it was my turn.
To be honest, I expected a small chuckle over the list and quick picture. Instead, Dean Cain was total freaking charmer. He laughed at the idea of my 7th grade life list and seemed genuinely STOKED to be included. After I showed him the list, he swept me up in the biggest most wonderful bear hug.
Then, I died and went to heaven.
Seriously, I was excited about the entire experience from the beginning but his incredibly warm and embracing reaction took what could have been a fun moment to a completely unforgettable one.
Of course, I also have to give a SERIOUS shoutout to the staff member snapping shots the entire time. I seriously thought my $40 got me one photo - not an entire documentation of the experience! I didn't get the guy's name because I was too busy squealing with glee and cartwheeling out of the room but THANK YOU WHOEVER YOU WERE!
After the final shot, as I was about to walk away, Dean Cain looks at me and says, "Wait! Are you going to mark it off? I want to mark it off!"
Then, he took my list, marked off #14, and signed it "Love, Dean Cain."
Look, I love celebrities. I always have and I've met my fair share in my time. Some were kind. Some were rude. However, no matter how much I loved the celebrity I almost always leave the interaction a little bit disappointed. Maybe I wish I'd said more or had more time, but I always leave feeling like the star had been a bit tarnished.
Not this time.
There was absolutely nothing about meeting Dean Cain that was disappointing. For a small moment, my 32-year-old self - the self weighed down with kids and career and responsibility - got to be a giddy 12-year-old girl again - a girl standing next to the guy she thought was the hottest guy in the whole world. And unlike most of the guys I interacted with when I was in 7th grade, this guy was sweet and kind and everything I dreamed he could be.
It was perfect and it's got me thinking that my 7th Grade Life List maybe has more adventures to offer.
What do we think I should tackle next? Tell me what would have been on you YOUR 7th Grade Life List!