by Julianna Squicciarini
As Dr. Iannis puts it in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, “Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides…” Well, I don’t know from personal experience whether or not that’s true ;-), but I can tell you that putting together a party is definitely madness. At least, that’s what I have been experiencing for the past month and a half. I can’t believe how much is involved in arranging a “simple” party!
This Valentine’s Day, I hosted an elegant luncheon for young, single women in the Charlotte area. The themes were love, romance, and courtship from Biblical and conservative perspectives. I find that I have a passion for the Next Generation, and by touching the lives of my peers, I hope to change the future.
So I sent out formal invitations, mostly to my friends, and ended up with 21 young ladies, including myself. I actually rented a room for this important occasion at one of our family’s favorite restaurants – Maggiano’s Little Italy in SouthPark.
My planning started early in January, not only with the guest list and location, but also with the important question of speakers. After much emailing and phone calling, I was blessed with two incredible women willing to share their wisdom and experience with us. To round things out, I decided to speak as well.
When Thursday – Valentine’s Day – finally arrived, I found myself in a sphere of tranquility. I had done all that I could to make things go smoothly; Morgan and Mary had graciously agreed to take care of the centerpieces, and Christine and Mums took up the slack in all those other little areas about which I am prone to forget. I had shopped the town for a new dress (I mean, after all, I was a speaker!), and actually ended up buying three different outfits before settling on the one I liked the best. Dressed appropriately, all five of us headed up to SouthPark.
The dim lighting in the room created the perfect romantic atmosphere I wanted. Morgan and Mary busied themselves with decorating the four round tables, while Christine set out chocolate truffles for each guest. At around ten to twelve, the first of the girls walked in. There was a steady flow of people after that. Of my speakers, Jill Fitzgerald was the first to arrive. Our family has known Jill and her parents for quite a while, some of us were present at her wedding six years ago, and after a daughter and twins, she is now pregnant with her fourth child. Rachael Carman, my other speaker, got there shortly after that. Mrs. Carman is a mother of seven and just celebrated her 21st anniversary. She has spoken at retreats and seminars up and down the east coast.
Might as well thank my sponsors once again. This event would not have been possible without the financial support of Quo Vadis LLC – IT professionals here in Charlotte leveraging technology and providing wise counsel to small businesses (www.quo.cc) – and We Light the Candles, and online community providing encouragement, resources, and connection to the Messianic young women of the world.
Apparently, preparation is the key, because everything went without a hitch. I felt the love and support of my family more than ever, as Morgan presented me with a lovely bouquet of roses when all was said and done, and my father took time out of his busy work day to hear all about it when we got home.
In summary, this was a fantastic experience and something I look forward to doing again in the future. Hopefully by then my guest list will have expanded to even more young women looking to focus their lives and hearts in the right direction.