we were late.
like we were waiting in traffic in the parking garage at 5:40pm.
and you're supposed to be in your seats 2 blocks away 10 minutes ago.
and in utah, 2 blocks away means 2 football fields away.
i kid you not.
so they tell you that you have to be there a half an hour early on your ticket.
5:30pm it says.
or you might lose your seat.
except you're sitting in traffic everywhere b/c everyone else is late too.
because really, when you're gathering 21,000 women in one place
to something that is going to start on time no matter what,
because it's being broadcast live,
you have to tell them a time to be early.
except i'm thinking that they should tell us to be there an hour early,
because then maybe more of us would have been there by the time it started.
except we'd probably all STILL just be squeaking in during the open song.
it was amazing to watching the empty seats around us and on the sides fill in,
like dominos falling into red cushion seats.
so picture my 67 year old mother and i,
running up 200 south and then down north temple,
not high ones,
think kitten ones,
because we KNEW we wouldn't want anything higher than that.
and the women were all flocking
toward the conference center
and everyone was smiling and laughing.
chatting with their friends,
and my mom and i just couldn't stop giggling.
wishing that we would have just gone to our designated parking area from the start,
instead of trying to go to the $5 lot across the street from the conference center,
which turned out to be handicap only.
it's been awhile since i've been down to temple square during conference time.
you forget how packed it gets.
so a half an hour's worth of traffic later we are finally parked in our designated parking area,
and we're running in heels,
and my mom was all,
"don't forget your mother is 67 and doing this!"
and i was all,
"do you need to stop? are you ok?"
and she was like,
"oh no, i'm good! just don't forget
that i can do this and i'm 67!
i feel like i'm in vietnam. this is great!"
and then we talking about how if we were good rule followers
who went to their assigned parking spots in the first place,
we wouldn't be having nearly as much fun.
then once we got there,
we found friends in the line behind us,
because out of 21,000 women,
in small town utah,
you're guaranteed to see at least 3 of your neighbors
when you go downtown for conference.
really, i saw 3 of my neighbors.
not planned, not looking for them, just ran into them.
small. town. salt lake city.
coming from a small california beach town,
it never ceases to amaze me,
how everyone knows everyone here,
and you see them everywhere.
sometimes it's freaky.
so one of the ushers escorted us to the shortest line through a side door,
they checked our bags,
we went through the metal detector,
and for half a second i was scared.
to be at a large publicized church gathering.
because our world is just different now.
different than it was ten years ago,
the last time i went to something at the conference center.
but then we got inside,
and the opening song was going,
and all of the women were still filing in by the thousands,
and it was just amazing.
because i promise you,
you've never seen a bigger girl's night out than the general relief society conference.
one of my favorite nights of the entire year.
longer lines than disneyland.
and then when it was over,
we took our time walking back to our car,
and sat in traffic again for another hour,
b/c we forgot that it's smarter to eat downtown after.
so we sat in the car,
and talked about the themes of the talks,
how much we loved the talks,
how lucky we were to hear the prophet speak,
and then we ate chinese food at 9:30pm at night,
in a restaurant full of women
in their church dresses
and we talked about how it's just so wonderful
pink sunsets too.