When I was in elementary school, around 7 years old, FX started airing reruns of Adam West's 'Batman' TV series. Already a fan of the character thanks to my father and his comic book collecting, I was hooked. One day, I remember questioning what was on before 'Batman.' It was 'Wonder Woman.'
Suffice to say, I became instantly drawn to this powerful woman, wearing satin tights fighting for my rights. She was new and colorful to me. I was enamored.
My dad started getting Wonder Woman comics. I flocked to anything with Lynda Carter involved, including having Lens Express catalogs mailed to me because Carter was the spokesperson. If you were to see me playing outside, chances are I had on some gaudy bracelets and a jump rope strapped to my waist -- my own golden lasso. My best friend Marc would join me, usually playing Rover, the trusty robot dog from the later seasons of 'Wonder Woman.'
One Christmas, not too long after I began idolizing Wonder Woman, my brother did the nicest thing he has probably ever done for me. I remember sitting in a pile of torn up wrapping paper, eager to open gift after gift. I was handed a small, wrapped box. Unsure of what it was since most of my gifts were the shape of action figure packages and thus easily guessed, I took it with hesitation. Assured it was for me, I opened it to find a picture frame box.
"Why did you get me a picture frame!?" I demanded of my brother. Annoyed, my mom urged me to open it. With displeasure already taking over my face, I opened the box, not expecting what a wonderful surprise would slide out. It was a signed black and white picture of Lynda as Wonder Woman, her smile beaming out of the photo. Scrawled across the picture it said: "To Chris, Love, Lynda Carter."
I don't remember much after opening the gift besides throwing myself on my brother, embracing him. My mom says I clutched the photo to my chest and did laps around the house, screaming with excitement.
Without my knowledge, my brother Ben had gone to the library -- this was before the Internet made finding things such as mailing addresses for fan clubs and PR agents a two-minute task -- and looked up Lynda's mailing address. He wrote an impassioned letter, asking for a personalized autograph to give to me as a gift.
Fast forward 16 years to August 2011. I'm watching Lynda Carter film a "You've Got" video for AOL (watch it below!), talking about her music and how special Wonder Woman is to her. As an observer on the sidelines, I agreed with every word she said. Wonder Woman is an inspiring character to both women and men; a superhero special to many people.
After her interview, I told Lynda's publicist how big a fan I was and still am and mentioned the Christmas present story. He took me back to the green room to catch up with Lynda herself. I said hello and we shook hands, which was enough for me -- but it continued. When I told her how much I loved Wonder Woman, she gave me a high-five. Content, with a smile so wide I'm not sure how it stayed on my face, I stood there in awe.
Her publicist began telling her my Christmas present story, but I soon picked up the reins and shared the details. The people around her laughed and cooed. A smile brought a twinkle to Lynda's baby blue eyes and she opened her arms and moved toward me. So much zoomed through my mind -- here I was, hugging Lynda Carter! Wonder Woman! This was something I used to wish for when I blew out my birthday candles or saw a shooting star!
We posed for a picture, said goodbye and I left, red-faced from the exhilaration of experiencing something that I had dreamed about, but never thought would happen.
I met Wonder Woman.
Have you had an inspiring celebrity encounter? Share your own stories in the comments.