By Kay Elam, Sigma Delta (Huntingdon College), Rituals, Traditions, and Jewelry Committee
Do you meet AOIIs wherever you go? I don’t mean at Convention or other AOII gatherings. I mean out and about, here and there. Do you find AOII sisters everywhere? I do – maybe because I tend to wear “AOII Alumnae” attire pretty much all the time or because my car has an AOII license plate holder on it, or maybe it’s kismet.
When I redid our master closet, I got three quotes. One of the designers measured and gave me a quote on the spot, another one measured and sent me a quote, and the final one measured and asked me to come into their showroom to see their product.
When I arrived for my appointment, I didn’t see my designer. Someone else asked if she could help me, and I said, “Hi, I’m Kay, and I’m here to see Haylee.” She said she’d get her, then stopped in her tracks and said, “Are you Kay Elam?” Shocked, I responded in the affirmative. It turned out she had worked at AOII Headquarters, and we’d worked on some of the same projects during the Pandemic but never met in person. She’s now the VP at the closet company I decided to use. When I discussed the three bids with my husband, he said, “Why are you even comparing the quotes? You know you’ll go with your sister.”
As my new AOII friend and I chatted, I learned that our AOII stories are very similar. We were both chapter presidents when our collegiate chapters were installed, and we both worked at headquarters for a while. Not to mention, we both love organization, thus the whole closet thing. A few weeks later she came to one of our alumnae dinner groups, and we talked about our love for Ritual. It’s been so much fun getting to know her, and it’s all because of AOII.
Another time I was shopping in Target, wearing an AOII sweatshirt, when this cute young woman approached me and asked if I was Kay Elam. Just as with my closet friend, I was taken aback and had no idea how she could have known that. Come to find out, she was also on staff, and she was the Ritual Adviser at a local collegiate chapter. Because I was the RT&J liaison to that chapter, she somehow pieced together my identity. As we got to know each other, I shared that I’d been on the interview team when her collegiate chapter began the chartering process. We also had an immediate connection and bonded over our love for Ritual.
I’m amazed at the number of AOIIs I see when I least expect it, and how it almost always is the beginning of a long conversation and a new friendship. The bond we share through our Ritual is something I find hard to explain to non-AOIIs, but I’ve learned not to question it. I prefer just getting to know new sisters—wherever I meet them.
You may contact the Rituals, Traditions, and Jewelry Committee (RT&J) about anything Ritual-related at RT&J@alphaomicronpi.org