Those who regularly check Noble Thinking have noticed I haven’t posted anything for a few days – the first time since I started the blog that I’ve missed more than a day.
The reason was that I was one of the “leaders” for a church youth group trip up to Salt Lake City, UT. The first Saturday and Sunday of every April is what we in the LDS Church call General Conference. It is a chance to get instruction, in the form of talks, from a multitude of Church leaders.
It was a great trip on many levels, and it had its humorous moments. We drove five vehicles: three minivans, one suburban and a king cab Ford F-250 with a camper shell for all the suitcases, bedding, etc.
I led the caravan, I suppose because I’m the Bishop, but probably more because I tend to drive a little fast. I drove a minivan with six teenage girls. Yes, you read that right. I drove for 12 hours with six teenage girls, their music and their talking, yelling, laughing and gawking at “cute boys” in other cars. And I lived to tell about it.
At one point I sent a text to a couple of the other guys – who happend to be driving the manly vehicles – the Suburban and the truck – and told them I that was going to need a testosterone injection after 12 hours in a sea of estrogen. I suggested going out for rare steak and watching a rugby match. One of them texted me back with this: “We will just beat you MMA style and shave your head. Now that is manly.” That was coming from a guy who HAS a shaved head and COULD beat me MMA style with one hand tied behind his back. (I didn’t have the guts to ask him, because I didn’t want him to show me, but I have no idea what being beat MMA style means.)
It actually wasn’t bad driving the girls (especially compared to beatings and a shaved head). For some, it sounds like a nightmare come true. But it wasn’t. They are all great girls, and I actually enjoyed it. I liked most of the music they played, tolerated some of it, and gave the disapproving looks for a couple of songs. I actually discovered that there is a Jonas Brothers song that I can tolerate: Love Bug.
(Did I just type “tolerate” and “Jonas Brothers” in the same sentence?!?)
The whole experience driving the girls up and back made me feel both young and old at the same time. Which is a pretty weird experience, and I don’t really know how else to describe it.
The Conference itself was awesome, and everyone had a great experience. In a couple cases, probably life-changing experiences, which is why we do those kinds of trips.
The drive back on Monday was pretty similar to the drive up, it just felt like it took longer. And it was more expensive. The girls had been making fun of my sunglasses all weekend (they were kind of expensive Ray Ban’s I bought a few years ago – and not the Tom Cruise version). To stop the harassment, at one the of the stops we were near an outlet mall with a Sunglass Hut and I told them that if the six of them could come to consensus on a pair of glasses, I’d buy them.
I think the sales lady is probably the smartest person in the world. Before I knew it, she had the girls rallying around a pretty expensive pair. Is it me, or is there nothing “outlet” about a Sunglass Hut at an outlet mall? If those are “outlet prices” I’d hate to see what full price is!
A few minutes later I was fitted with a pretty slick pair of “cool” sunglasses (see picture above).
A couple observations. First, I would have never even picked up those sunglasses to try on if I had been shopping alone. Second, I must have bad taste, because in the four years I had my old pair, I never had a compliment. Within two hours of buying the new pair I had a dozen compliments, one of them from the shaved headed MMA guy.
Now that’s manly.