Meeting Elizabeth Smart

Yeah, so today I went to the Elizabeth Smart cocktail party and speech in Fort Wayne. I had a blast, frankly. I’m really glad I went.

I had a fashion emergency beforehand, the first one in my entire life. Five minutes before I was supposed to leave to go to the Scottish Rite Auditorium where the event was being held, I found out my shoes (patent-leather sandals) had died. The soles were coming off and flapping. I tried taping them back on but (a) the tape showed and (b) it didn’t work anyway. I’ve always hated those shoes, but they were my only pair of dress shoes and I could hardly show up at a cocktail party in sneakers. I had to frantically run to the store and grab the first pair of dress shoes I saw, and ask a clerk to cut the tags off so I could put them on right then and there. Fortunately I was only a few minutes late for the cocktail party (fashionably late you might say) and plenty of people arrived after me.

Everyone was given a booklet about dealing with abduction, called “You’re Not Alone: The Journey From Abduction to Empowerment.” I was able to speak to Elizabeth for a few minutes and she autographed the booklet. She is even prettier in person than she looks in the pictures. I told her I really admired her for refusing to let her horrific experience ruin her life, and that I had used her as an example for myself in that regard. Her husband Matthew was also there, and I chatted with him a bit. Other people asked him where he’d met Elizabeth and he explained about the mission in France, and I asked him if French people really went on strike as often as it seemed like. “Yes,” he said, “they’re always striking. For the smallest of reasons. They’re never happy.”

After I had my few minutes with Elizabeth, the TV reporter who was covering the event approached me and asked to interview me on camera. I said okay, and she basically asked me what Elizabeth and I had talked about and I told her. Off-camera, I told the reporter about the Charley Project. And I did get a sound bite in the resulting news broadcast, see here.

Elizabeth’s speech was before┬áthe cocktail party. She basically told the story of her abduction, including details I hadn’t previously heard about. She’s a very good speaker. I’m not given to getting all emotional about such things but I found myself getting a little choked up when she talked about what she went through.

And on top of it all, three different people complimented me on my dress.

It was quite an evening.