This goal was one that was very near and dear to my heart.
In case you’re new here, I must tell you something very important about me. I’m obsessed with the ’90s television show, “Boy Meets World.” I don’t mean I just like it. I mean I’m obsessed. I have watched the show ever since I was about seven years old. I watch it every single day even now, at the age of 27. I’ve watched it every day for twenty years pretty much. You know those online quizzes available for every show to test your knowledge…I ace them all for the most part when it comes to BMW. BMW is Boy Meets World, of course. Keep up. Why am I so obsessed with this show? There are so many shows from my childhood that I have a deep affinity for, but none of them close to this level.
It’s simple. This is the only show that makes me feel really good. I don’t just watch this show passively. I get into it. So much so, it really feels like I’m a part of this special on-screen family they’ve created. I get so invested into the storylines. Every single episode strikes a chord. Whether it’s the serious episodes like when a fellow student Claire is getting beaten by her father or a hilarious episode like the Scream parody episode. Every episode teaches me something. Every episode has made me laugh and cry. Every episode gives me a comfort. You can call it nostalgia. But, I don’t. The show holds up and has every bit of meaning today. It gives me comfort because it really gives me the feeling that I’m a part of their special world. Cory and Topanga really have ideal lives. I’m not saying their lives aren’t without challenges, but they are pretty ideal. They have an amazing love story. Amazing best friends- Shawn and Angela. Cory has amazing parents- Alan and Amy. Whom, I feel are my surrogate parents. And of course, an amazing teacher, mentor, friend and neighbor, Mr. Feeny. Their lives were ideal because the people around them were just good people. I yearn for that. In reality, I’m jaded because of my circumstances. I don’t trust people. So, to slip away into their world where they go through life’s challenges together and I feel a part of it all, it really just gives me a wonderful warmth, comfort, and happiness.
So, now you know why I love the show and now you know why I would write such a goal. I wrote this on my “to-do for life” list a couple of years ago. “Bucket list” sounds so grim to me. Anyway, I wrote it of course with the intent on making it happen, but not knowing if it would or how. The mindset I had with this list was to write anything. Whether I thought it was possible or not. I was rewatching the MTV show “The Buried Life” randomly and it inspired me. Not to write a list. I already had that. But, to write a list of just absolutely grandiose ideas that I wanted to accomplish. On this list, I included number 74: Meet BMW Cast. There it was. I made my claim. I was going to meet them. I didn’t know how or when, but it was definitely on the list. So, it was a start.
Fast forward two years, my brother was randomly on Instagram and he noticed Rider Strong, whom he follows, had posted that he was going to be in Chicago for a convention. Rider Strong if you didn’t know played Shawn Hunter on Boy Meets World. Once he read the post, we both perked up. This was it. Chicago is about a four-hour drive from where we live. This was our opportunity to meet Shawn freakin’ Hunter. He wasn’t across the country in Los Angeles or in New York. He was only going to be four hours away! We HAD to go. So, for a little background information. We just moved recently. You know how much of a hassle that is. We were tired, tight on money and time. But, we didn’t care. We were immediately thinking of ways to hustle up money to go to this thing. That’s where our best friend Reddit comes in.
/sidehustle…./beermoney, Craigslist gigs section, we were on them all. We texted friends and family and asked them if they needed anything done for a fee, of course. We Googled, “how to make money fast.” I’m telling you we were desperate. And this was just to meet one member of the cast. While we were taking a break from our research, my brother noticed that Will Friedle, who played Eric Matthews on BMW, also had posted that he was going to be at the same convention. This time though, the post mentioned that the core four members of the cast were all going to be there. So, to be sure, we checked Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel’s pages and it was true! Our adrenaline went up past 100 on the meter. If we HAD to go before, it was a do or die mission now.
It was a Tuesday. The event was on Saturday. On Craigslist, I stumbled across a couple of festivals needing event help, so I emailed them. A day passed by. No response. It was now Wednesday and we were no closer to going to the event. As I was searching, I stumbled across a post on Reddit asking for online jurors. Easy $100. My brother and I both applied. We heard nothing back that day. We were getting worried. The convention was literally a couple days away and we were losing confidence that we’d be going. On Thursday morning, I checked my emails as I always do and to my delight, I saw that the online jury job had responded! I told my brother to quickly check his email and he was accepted too! Cha-ching! We both completed the online survey and the next day she sent us the money through PayPal. We were close to having enough, but not quite there. A few hours later, I noticed a notification on my phone. It stated that I had sold one of the Xbox consoles I listed on eBay. I immediately rushed to eBay and transferred the money from my PayPal account to my bank account. Later that day, I finally booked the bus tickets and purchased the convention tickets. When I say I was excited, you’ll never know how elated I was.
After enduring a five-hour cramped bus ride from Detroit to Chicago, we were finally in “The Windy City.” When we got to the convention, it was typical comic-con stuff. People were in consumes, there were booths and panels, etc. As we kept walking past the booths, we finally saw the holy grail. It was Will Friedle, Danielle Fishelle, Rider Strong and Ben Savage’s booths. I stopped dead in my tracks. I was overwhelmed with emotion. They weren’t in their booths, but just seeing their booths made it all surreal. We kept busy until it was 1:45 PM which is when their scheduled photograph session would start. As time crept closer to 1:45, I got more and more anxious. We finally got in line, which is of course long. By far, it was the longest for the BMW cast than for any other guests. We waited. And waited. And waited. It felt like a slow death march. You got to understand, I was super excited, but I was also very anxious and overwhelmed. This is before even meeting them too. We finally got called next to the curtain. As we made our way around the curtain, I saw them. I saw them in person. Oh my God.
My heart began to pace faster than ever before. My palms began to sweat. I couldn’t stop smiling. You got to understand…I’m pretty much meeting my idols. This was it. There was nobody in the world I idolized more, fangirled over more, wanted to meet more…all of it. These were the people that fit that bill. As we were called up, the photographers told me to stand in the middle. Will and Ben were on the outsides, so that meant I was going to be between Rider and Danielle, along with my brother. While we were in line, they told us to keep conversation to a minimum, because that had been causing the long delay. But, I was not about to travel to Chicago on a cramped bus, walk and wait all day at a convention to not be able to say SOMETHING to my idols. No, I wasn’t going out like that. So, I knew I had to say something. Anything. Just be sure to keep it short. When we got in our positions to take our pictures, I was severely overwhelmed. I even slipped out a “this is so surreal”, to which Danielle and Rider laughed at.
I had my arms around Rider Strong aka Shawn Hunter. ’90s teen idol. The guy who made me laugh and cry so many times growing up. Oh my God. I really had the most genuine smile I’ve ever had for a picture in my life. After they took the picture, the next people in line were about to take their turn. I saw them inching closer and I knew I had only a few precious moments to thank the cast. So, after we wrapped up the picture, I quickly turned to Rider and Danielle, since they were closest to me. I said, ” I just want to thank you for making the best show of all-time.” To which they responded with big genuine smiles, “Aw, you’re so sweet. Thank you.” We left the photo booth. I was in awe. Two of my idols just called me sweet. I was on a natural high like never before. The feeling was just pure bliss. Beyond that, I can’t describe it. I was just amazed. Amazed I met them. Amazed I touched them. Amazed I spoke to them and amazed that they spoke back to me. Amazed I had a picture with them to keep for the rest of my life. This was it. This was the one goal that I NEEDED to accomplish. Everything else is gravy. From the bottom of my heart, I wanted to thank these people for having such a positive impact on my life. And I did. My goal was complete. Going back to Michigan on the cramped bus was made all the more enjoyable just remembering what happened and looking at the picture constantly. Now as I sit here and type this, the memories all come flooding back. I have a huge grin on my face and then I peer over to the picture just to make sure it actually happened. It did. And it was awesome.
Some pictures from the event: