When I was attending my small Christian college in a nowhere town, one of the biggest social occasions for the girls was a candlelighting. I don’t know if anybody else does this, so I’m going to assume it was unique to our school. After a girl got engaged–which happened pretty much on a weekly basis–she would only tell one or two of her closest friends. These friends were responsible for advertising an anonymous candlelighting, finding a candle, and tying her engagement ring to it with a colorful ribbon. On the appointed evening, most of the girls in the dorm would gather, especially the ones who were acquainted with the various girls who were rumored to be the subject of the evening’s candlelighting.
The group would gather in a circle in the dark and pass the lit candle around while singing an appropriate love or wedding song. Each girl would peek at the lovely engagement ring, ooh and aah excessively over it, and hold her breath as she waited to discover which girl would blow out the candle, claiming the ring as her own. Once that moment happened, every girl present would give the lucky girl hugs and wait for her to tell her engagement story.
I went to my share of candlelightings, each time with a touch of envy. It was expected of me, though, so I continued going. As the candle circulated through the dark room, I would have fantasies about my own candlelighting. Sometimes I would envision the current boyfriend sneaking into the room, leaning over my shoulder as I happened to have the candle and blow it out for me, and then proposing to me in front of all my friends. That never happened. In fact, my candlelighting itself never did. I always put on a good show of being happy for my newest engaged friend, but I left the room more lonely than I had entered, and that pit of jealousy in my stomach only grew.
I graduated from college without ever getting my candlelighting. That was one of the saddest parts of my graduation. I knew I would never have another opportunity for one. That was one of life’s milestones that had passed me by. I’d lost my chance to be the center of attention for something so wonderful, and even if I ended up happily married later in life, I couldn’t regain that lost moment. Only my fantasies about my candlelighting remain.
I wonder if the only reason I wanted a candlelighting so badly was the peer pressure. We were at that stage in life when boyfriends, fiances, and husbands were most important to us. When we didn’t get them in that order during those few college years, it felt as though we weren’t a part of the crowd.
Now that I’m married, my missed candlelighting seems unimportant. I have the perfect man, so it doesn’t matter much that I didn’t get to announce it in such a dramatic way. I haven’t changed, however. My desire for that wonderful attention has transferred to the next stage of my life.
I feel exactly as I did at every candlelighting every time I hear or read of another woman’s pregnancy. I desperately want to be happy for them, and in a way I am, but I’m so jealous I could be sick. I want it to be my turn. I fantasize about what it will be like when I read that positive pregnancy test, how to tell my husband, my family. I have several different blog entries announcing the good news all but written in my head.
I don’t want to begrudge my friends, even in blogworld, their good news, but I’m ready for it to be my turn. I want that attention. I’m so scared that this will be just another milestone that will pass me by and that like my candlelighting, I’ll always wonder what it would have been like to experience it.
Well, here ends NaBloPoMo. I suppose it’s good that I was so dedicated to blogging on a regular basis before the month started. I didn’t have much trouble with it, other than being out of town. I’ll probably keep blogging on a nearly daily basis, like I did before. Don’t go away!