Want to see me turn into a crazed 12-year-old girl faster than a speeding bullet? Get me in the same building as Dean Cain.
I fell for Dean when the Lois & Clark show started in 1993. I was 12. As the show progressed, my obsession with Mr. Cain grew. Specifically, I was quite taken with his Clark Kent character. Though, I certainly didn't mind the man in blue spandex either. Eventually, my entire room was lined with Dean Cain magazine tear-outs. This included a large Superman poster, which has remained on the wall of my childhood bedroom for 20 years. I finally took the poster down a year ago this month to take it with me to ComicCon, where I hoped to have Dean sign it. More on that in a moment.
Dean even has a place in my first scrapbook. I snipped this pic from the Parade Magazine and placed it right next to the dollar bill I won in the box of Coke, as you can see from my fancy Post-in Note Journaling spot. LOL
Okay, fast forward to last spring, when my friend Stace invited me to help out at the ABC 4 TV booth during ComicCon Fan X 2016. I've always wanted to experience ComicCon, and I love hanging out with this particular friend, so it was an easy yes. Of course, the fact that DEAN CAIN would be there didn't hurt either.
Not wanting to forget any of the magical details that swept me off my feet and made my super dreams take flight, I decided to blog about this once-in-a-lifetime experience. I ask that no judging take place on your part. I'll warn you, that I'm about to share my own alter ego. It may not wear glasses and it's FAR from mild mannered...
The first day of ComicCon, Stace and I went for a walk over to the area known as Celebrity Row. This is where all of the celebs have booths, sell autographs and pics, and meet with fans. Each celeb had their own booth. The line-up included such actors as Agent Scully, Skinner, and Cigarette Smoking Man from The X-Files, Carlisle from Twilight, Lavar Burton, and many others. But the booth I was most interested in seeing belonged to Dean. He had already left for the evening, so I helped myself to some Dean shenanigans and plenty of super selfies.
Like a chimp in the Primate House at the zoo, I climbed around that booth like a nut, stroking the chair Dean sat in and climbing on a stool to get pics of the higher poster on his booth wall. I even said, "Look! That's the pizza he was actually eating." Gushing over TRASH! What was happening to me? I had soared straight to cloud 9.
Stace kept telling me that this was nothing compared to how I'd feel the next day when Dean was actually in the booth, but I told her this alone was enough to make me happy. Little did I know...
As my fun in the booth concluded, a ComicCon employee came over. I'm guessing she was about to ask us to leave (or at least put both feet on the floor), but since we were already on our way, we simply chatted with her a bit about how excited I was to meet Dean (as if that weren't already crystal clear).
The big day was here. I slapped on my bright red lipstick and Superman shirt, grabbed my 20-year-old poster, and got to the convention.
The first real Dean encounter was at his ComicCon panel, where he spoke to a packed house and answered questions from the audience. Stace was busy in the booth, so I went with a new friend, Jonna. I can only imagine what she must have been thinking.
We went in before the panel began. Another panel was underway, so we sat at the halfway point and I started plotting my way to the front row. I won't go into the colorful language I may have used when discussing the front-row competition that I could see making their own plans. (Alter ego at work!)
"I'm going to get us seats in the front row," I told Jonna in a hushed and VERY serious tone. "I can't wait for you, but I'll save you a seat. I have to make my move!"
And make it, I did, scoring us seats in the front row. Faster than a speeding bullet, I darted and dodged my way towards the front of the room. And like a game of Musical Chairs, I pounced on those front row seats just as those sitting in them for the previous panel thought about standing up. It wasn't my finest moment, but I was a girl on a mission.
Before Dean entered, the panel host and fellow Con staff members were "joking" about needing to keep an eye on me. I honestly think they thought I was going to storm the stage or something. I suppose such comments as "if Dean doesn't get out here soon I'm going to have a seizure" didn't help matters. (Eep! How embarrassing!)
I made instant friends with fellow Dean fans around me. We started gushing about how dreamy he was and how excited we were to meet him. It was so fun! I was in my element.
And then... Dean!
Being in the front row, I may or may not have shouted a few... PG13 comments to him throughout the event. One attendee asked if he'd ever put "the suit" back on again. He said he would and I yelled out "how about right now?" The audience laughed, not realizing I was only half joking. Another guest asked what super power he'd have if he could have one, he said that there are times when x-ray vision wouldn't be bad, to which I replied, "You're telling us!" When he looked my way, I followed that with an exaggerated wink.
When the panel concluded, I let "your so sexy!" slip. He just laughed in my direction. I then proceeded to take this selfie as he was saying farewell.
The panel alone was enough to make my year. It was such fun sitting that close to him and hearing his thoughts on this and that. But it also got my jitters up. Every time I tried to make my way to his booth following this, I couldn't bring myself to go up and say hello. So, instead, I sat in the booth and painted him a card. Seriously?! I gave him a card? Oh my... Whatadork!
Finally, it was decision time. I either had to go say hello or give up on my super dream. It was just after 7:00 PM, and he was done signing autographs at 8:00, so I had to make my move.
With all the courage I could muster, I approached his booth. But... he wasn't there!! Could he be off, responding to an inaudible call for help?! The volunteers at his booth said that he left a little early. He had been working all day without a bite to eat, so he was getting food. Gee, the nerve. A man works 9 hours straight and wants to eat?! ;) But I wasn't so level headed in the moment. Instead, I think I responded with something to the effect of, "noooooo! I've been building up the courage to come see him all day. Will he be back?!" They didn't think he'd back until the next morning and asked if I'd be there. I didn't know if I'd have a babysitter or not, which is what I told them, suddenly realizing things were starting to unravel before my eyes...
Just then, the ComicCon employee from the night before, the one I was gushing about Dean to, happened into the booth. "Oh, it's you," she said in a friendly manner. How could she forget the nut who had been bouncing around in that very spot like a metal sphere inside a pinball machine just the night before?! I explained my sadness and she went to work. "Let me see what I can do," she said. "Oh, no no! I don't want to interrupt his eating," I lied. Well, it wasn't a complete lie. The level headed me that was somewhere in the background of my fogged state truly did want to let the man eat. Good grief! But that voice was severely overpowered by what I can only describe as "my kryptonite." Actually, it was my friend who put it this way after hearing my story, and boy was she right.
I don't know if you've ever had a chance to meet the one your heart throbbed for in those crucial formative years, but it does something to you that I can't fully explain. It's like you're immediately transported back to your 12-year-old self and become this awkward, yet full-of-hope, giddy pre-teen. However, your adult, I-know-better brain is still in there somewhere, trying to regain control. It's like that famous scene from Seinfeld, where Jerry's mind is playing chess with his... well, you know. But it's two completely different states of thinking in competition with one another. This is what I was contending with as I stood there, poster in hand, knees shaking, when...
OUT WALKS DEAN CAIN!
"Sorry," he said. "I was having a taco." "No! I'm sorry. You really didn't have to come back out," I said, trying to sound composed. All the while, my legs were jello and my smile a mile wide.
PAUSE Sadly, I put this story on hold at this point. On hold for a year. I didn't know if I'd ever post it anyway, as it's VERY embarrassing to reveal my alter ego, but I did know I wanted to remember the experience and this was a good place to document. I've just come off of FanX 2017. Alas, it didn't include a Dean sighting, but I did see friends experiencing their own kryptonite, which reminded me of my own magical experience a year back and made me want to revisit this memory. I wish I hadn't dropped off at the most important part of the story, but the experience seems tattooed on my brain like the giant S on Deans muscular arm in my poster. (Yes, I realize that's a fake tatt, but you get where I'm going with this.) I'm confident this is an accurate description of what happened next, but it will lack some of the detail, which is a super bummer! Anyhoo, let's get back to it.
I hand Dean my poster, explain that it has been on my wall for 20 years, and sprinkle in "I promise I'm usually normal" about 100 times. Again, it was the battle of the brains going on, and this was my adult brain's desperate attempt to salvage the situation when it was so clearly losing.
"What's your name," Dean asked.
"Well, if you check my jr. high notebooks, it's Megan Cain," I remarked with a grin the size of the Daily Planet.
Dean just laughed and went to work signing my post.
To my darling Megan (Cain?),
Such a pleasure to know you!
He was seriously such a sweetheart. If that autograph doesn't say it all, I don't know what does. Of course, that was before it was time for him to come out from behind the safety of the tall table dividing us. When it came time for pictures, I asked if I could give him a hug, but it was more like a full-body embrace. I kept squeezing his muscular arms and burying myself in his chest. Boy, did he smell good! And I was saying the stuff of a full-on crazy person. "Mmmm... You're so soft," I gushed, before my adult brain screamed DON'T TELL A MAN HE'S SOFT! "I mean, you're hard." NOT THAT EITHER "I mean you're cozy soft. I could just stay wrapped up right here all day." I was desperately trying to clarify that I meant he was perfect and cozy and comfortable, but it was a rapid downward spiral. He just laughed.
I then went on to say how I "even married a man who looks kind of like you." Ummm... creepy much? I mean, there is a definite resemblance, but I assure you I did not go out and seek a Dean lookalike to call my Mr. It was just a happy accident.
To further compliment his character, he let the ComicCon employee who had retrieved him in the first place take several photos when I technically only paid for one. The photos and autographs are how celebs make their money at these events, so this was a VERY kind thing to do. As you can see from this sequence, I was not of sound mind.
But the momentary calm was short lived. As it was time for me to go, he KISSED ME ON THE CHEEK! I thought I'd die, right there on the spot. He went on to thank ME, saying I made him feel good about himself. What a kind thing to say and do. He should feel good about himself. He's a warm, friendly, giving gentleman who knows how to make a super fan feel fantastic, all while she's probably freaking him out.
He later went on to like my tweet when I posted this photo. You know I screenshotted that moment for the scrapbook!
All in all, it was an experience of a lifetime, and I have Stace Hasegawa to thank. It's no secret I'm a Dean fan. My bedroom wall may no longer be wallpapered in Teen Beat tear-outs of him (Cory might frown on that a little), but I'm still quick to gush if the topic of childhood crushes or sexy celebs comes up. Just yesterday, he came up in a text convo my family was having about Dancing with the Stars.
A few days before that, I had received this text from a friend.
Stace even made me a Dean ring once. LOL Just a joke to say she appreciates my hysteria.
By now, I know what you must be thinking--someone warn Dean to get a restraining order. I don't blame you. This all must seem super nutty. I assure you I'm fairly levelheaded. I'm just trying to illustrate that my thang for Mr. Cain is pretty well known. It's kind of a joke. I mean, I'm a happily married woman. But it's something that still comes up in conversation and gives us all a good laugh. So, for Stace to call and offer me a coveted Con ticket so I could have this experience was by far the coolest thing ever!
Today, a year later, I still think back on this and smile from ear to ear. A big item was checked off my bucket list that day, and I can never thank Stace or Dean or that ComicCon employee (oh, how I wish I knew who she was) enough for making super dreams come true.
Dean, in the VERY SLIM chance you happen upon this someday, I want to thank you. You made my awkward jr. high years much more fun. At a time when I was the last thing on a boy's mind, you were there, in your charming Clark Kent way, proving to me that men were different. Oh, sure, you were playing a part, but it was an important part that resonated with so many. I know I can't be alone in feeling as I do. And it was deeper than just a girl crushing on a gorgeous face. The Clark Kent role proved and continues to prove to girls that women can be strong, independent, smart, and defiant, and men will still melt for them. The premise of this story is timeless and one that gives girls the world over a good gauge of equality and true love. And you brought that story to life at just the time in my life that it mattered most. I happened to be in journalism at school when Lois & Clark aired, and I knew I wanted to grow up a Lois and find my Clark. I like to think that--the real super dream--also came true!