Wednesday, October 4, 2017

A very special Tuesday

Michelle and Shonda.  As an aside, I love both dresses.
Tuesday is one of my days to work at home.  In addition to everything I can get done, there's also what I don't have to do -- get up early, get dressed like a grownup, take public transportation downtown and deal with people.

All of which I did yesterday, willingly and with a huge smile on my face all day long.

Yesterday was the Pennsylvania Conference for Women at the Convention Center, and Michelle Obama was the keynote speaker.  That was all I had to hear back in July, when one of the partners at the office where I work part-time was trying to sell tickets to the two tables the firm had purchased.  When I heard the ticket price - $175 - I hesitated for a moment, but honestly, when I am ever going to get the opportunity to hear Michelle Obama speak, except on television, at pretty much any price?

Add to it an entire day of other speakers, workshops, lunch, networking, wine and who-knew-what-else, and I ended up convincing myself it was a bargain.

Just a FEW people
And it was.

So there I was, at the Convention Center from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., surrounded by TWELVE THOUSAND women and a few slightly cowed men.  And it was fabulous.  Motivating, inspiring, fun.

The morning session (post-coffee and pre-workshop) was Carla Harris, Shonda Rhimes and Shawn Achor.  I really only knew Shonda (who doesn't?), but Carla Harris was fantastic.  Picture Oprah on Red Bull, and you have the energy level.

Two breakout sessions in between, and then a fairly mediocre box lunch, but with Brene Brown, Kathy Sledge leading an enormous group sing-and-dance-along of "We are Family," and then an hour plus conversation between Shonda and Michelle Obama.  Which was amazing.

A surprise guest
Originally it was just announced that Michelle would be keynoting, and a few people were initially upset that it was turned into the conversation format, but I loved it.  Even though I'm sure they went over points of it ahead of time, I thought it really humanized both women, showed them as the tough, intelligent, amazing women that they are.  One small sample here, a Twitter link, but the only place I could find it.

And it didn't hurt that President Obama showed up on videotape at the end to wish her a happy anniversary.  You could hear the collective "Awwww" from thousands of women as we all melted just a bit.  Honestly, I think everyone there would like their partner to say those words, in that tone of voice, with that little embarrassment.  Not much of an ask, right?


Cindy said...

Wow, that must have been a fabulous day! I'd consider it a bargain.

Carolyn (Diary of a Sewing Fanatic) said...

I would have paid the $175 without hesitation too! Cause Michelle Obama!!!! Also love the "adulting" line...I feel that way some days too.

Karen said...

I'm still slightly hung over from the whole thing, honestly. But it was amazing - and I found a clip of Michelle online that I've added to the post, because Michelle! She stayed high, but there was a little bit of shade there.

Summer Flies said...

Bargain... what a wonderful sounding day.

Kay said...

OMG I'm so jealous! It sounds like a once in a lifetime experience. It sounds like you had a wonderful day filled with powerful speakers, but I would have paid $175 just for the opportunity to hear Michelle speak again. Thank you for sharing your wonderful day.

I heard Michelle speak in 2012, at a small rally near Leesburg, VA. As you say, I'm sure her remarks were prepared, but she is so sincere, so empathic, that it feels like she is just talking to a small group of friends. She is a wonderful woman and a wonderful example to all women, and it's such a loss that she is gone from the White House. Maybe one day we will see her there again...