Nona is an amazing mother of four, including to twin 4-year-olds (holy handful!), an incredibly intelligent and strong female, hugely successful in her professional field, and one of the most incredible and supportive friends I have. In fact, the last few months of my sanity are owed to her, our Friday Night Girl's Night, and our mutual love for sushi and Starbucks.
In addition to all her amazing qualities, Nona is Jewish. Nona has hosted the last two Jewish holidays at her house - last week it was Rosh Hashanah, and tonight it was Yom Kippur. And she invited me to both at her house. I know it's weird to write this, but I frankly don't know a lot of Jewish people (having been raised, educated and surrounded by mostly Catholics for much of my life, despite my own lack of association with the religion at this point), so in turn, I have very little experience with or knowledge of the Jewish faith.
So when I got to her house, I had my first experience with matzo ball soup, potato pancakes, creamy jello stuff, Jewish bread, sour green tomatoes, and this noodle thing that I learned to pronounce, but won't even try to spell. All of it was so very deelish, but it took my body three days to recover. Tonight for Yom Kippur, we had fresh bagels and lox, pretzels, fruit, and tuna and egg salad. Again, deelish. But the best part? She gave me a 6-pound bag of Gummy Bears!!!!!
So let me get this straight: I not only get to eat but am encouraged to binge on high carb foods, get schooled on the basics of Jewish faith (which I know embarressingly nothing about, but frankly, I know very little about the religion I was actually raised by - a funny little quirk that my family finds both ignorant and endearing), AND get a 6-pound bag of gummy bears as a parting gift? Heck, I've been Catholic for 31 years and all I got was a lot of guilt for having pre-marital sex and a stifling fear of Hell for silently cursing out my parents. Well, that and my First Communion, which came with a party and a nice chunk of money. And let's not forget forced confession during Lent, which got me out of classes during high school.