The process goes like this:
One of her close friends places a wreath on the staircase rail by the front door of the house. To everyone in the house, this means “Candlelight ceremony tonight!” Then, after our sorority chapter, we all gather in the dining room and form a large circle around the perimeter of the room.
The president of our sorority lights a small tea candle and starts it in a circle. As the candle gets passed from girl to girl around the room, we sing some song about love and Chi Omega and all that fun stuff.
The candle goes all the way around the circle once. Then, on the second time around the circle, the anticipation heightens. There is almost a tangible electricity in the room as the candle passes from girl to girl. At any moment, someone could blow the flame out, signifying that she is engaged. I love that moment. I love the quick intake of breath followed by the sound of about a hundred girls screaming with excitement and surprise.
After a quick round of congratulatory hugs from her closest friends and acquaintances, the girl stands on the nearest chair and to a chorus of “Tell us the story! Tell us the story!,” she does just that.
And as she recounts each moment– how she definitely didn’t see it coming, thought he’d been acting funny, cried when he got on one knee, etc– there are appreciative oohs and aahs from the girls listening in rapt attention. Something about listening to a proposal story touches the hopeless romantic in all of us (or at least in me), and there are more than a couple watery eyes by the end of the story.
Basically, its practically a magical experience. And we are having one tonight!!! Looks like someone got engaged over the weekend (Valentines Day, so not a huge surprise there)… I can’t wait to find out who!