Sunday, November 25, 2007

A Fish Out of Water

Last night I attended the Salt Lake Choral Artist's concert at the Mormon Tabernacle last night (Andy's Choir). Since Andy had to be there at 6 and the concert didn't start until 7:30, I thought I could use the time to catch up with an old friend and look at the beautiful lights. If you have never been to Temple Square between the time of Thanksgiving and Christmas, I suggest you go. It is beautiful.

On our way to Temple Square, my friend called me and informed me that she would not be coming. Awesome. No worries. I can still get some hot chocolate and wander. Ok. As we got out of the car (three blocks away) I realized that it was much colder than I anticipated. Slowly, we made our way toward the illuminated castle as my runny nose began to freeze. My toes began to tingle, then lose feeling...followed by my calves and then thighs. My gloveless hands began to ache in the unadulterated chill of the wind.

We reached the tabernacle and Andy had to go to join his choir. All I needed to do was find some warm drink, sit down in a warm spot, and read my book until the time for the concert arrived. Easy. I made my way to the "Nauvoo cafe" for a delicious treat. As I approached the counter I graciously allowed the 16 year old worker to finish her conversation with her friend on her hot pink razor. She looked at me with frustration, told the person on the end of the line that she "had to go" and proceeded to stare at me wordlessly. I looked around to see if I missed something and asked if I could order some hot chocolate. She handed me a pack of swiss miss (well, the equivalent of) and told me that it would be $2.08. Whatever. I grabbed a 16 oz cup when she informed me that the 8 oz cups are for hot chocolate. I asked if I could have a 16 oz cup seeing as how it was so cold outside and the fact that I just paid $2 for some powder. "No," said the adolescent. "You have to use the small cup." Whatever. I grabbed the non-biodegradable cup a little too fiercely and went in search of the "hot" water (which turned out to be luke-warm at best).
I looked around the cafe and every seat was taken. I had to brave the outside.

I exited the building slightly more frustrated than when I had entered and was run over by a pernicious 7-year-old. As we collided, my precious $2 8 oz hot chocolate met its end on the concrete outside of the cafe. I counted to ten as I found a near by seat. I pulled my phone out and called Tommy, someone I knew could sympathize with my predicament. I chatted with Tommy as I watched very jolly people skip around all the lights. I saw people on dates, families in warm coats, and random people asking for change...which was always granted. The temple was crawling with people and it reminded me of a not fun Disneyland.

I finished my phone call and checked my ticket to see what time the tabernacle doors would open for seating. Behold! They were to open in 20 minutes!! The clouds parted, and God smiled on me! Ever-conscious of my visible breath, I threw my sad empty cup away and ran to the tabernacle. I was the third person in line and at least had the company of very friendly old people around me. The missionary standing guard was quite congenial and offered interesting tidbits about the construction of the temple and the history of the buildings. He asked everyone around (by this time there were about 50 people in line) if they had read the most recent "Ensign" (you could tell he was from out of town because he pronounced it correctly). Everyone (but me) raised their hands and giggled from self-achievement. I stood looking around who had read the most recent "Ensign" until I noticed the man was looking directly at me. "For those of you who haven't," he said to me, "yadda, yadda, yadda." What he had to say was interesting but by this time I was concentrating on two things...#1: staying on my feet as my legs again, had no feeling...and #2: tolerating an old man rubbing up against my back side.

The line grew longer and I began to feel shoving. The people in the front were being pushed off their balance from the others behind them. I tried to move to where this strange man's body wasn't constantly touching me, but no matter where I moved, he followed, apparently glued to me. After working at a clinic for sex offenders, I tend to jump to conclusions. I turned around and asked him very politely to step back (as my attempts failed. Perhaps he didn't know he was so close). "Don't you like the heat?" the old man said with a toothless grin. Disgusted, I shoved my way to the other side of the line.

The concert was wonderful, the dinner afterward was great, but it was my experience at Temple Square that really made it worthwhile!

1 comment:

hilary said...

With a 'toothless grin' you can probably rest assured that it really was warmth he wanted and not something else...So sorry for canceling!