Being a person of the Jewish faith, I’m not someone who normally worries about what to give up for Lent. (Obviously.)
One year, though, I did.
A huge chunk of my life ago–perhaps ten years back?–I was having a discussion with my closest friend at the time about what she would sacrifice for the season of Lent. She agonized over her decision (I think that’s part of the ritual, no?) and finally decided to forgo sweets for the duration.
I, being a good friend, decided to give up something, too. (Not “for Lent”, mind you, because sacrificing for Jesus is not something we Jews do, you know?) I decided to give up soda for the duration of Lent in order to be supportive of my friend, and because I thought that if I could give it up for the period of time between Ash Wednesday and Easter, I could possibly give it up for good*.
As Lent went on, my friend and I whined to each other often about the struggle at hand and our desire to dive into a massive pile of cookies or a giant pool of Coca-Cola.
We were both successful, and yes, I did consume a 20-ounce bottle of soda the second I was given the “all clear”.
That year, Passover began immediately after Easter. During the eight days of Passover, Jews give up all “leavened” products. That means bread, bagels, crackers, cake, cookies, pancakes, waffles, and any other foods made with yeast are prohibited.
As I prepared for Passover, getting rid of the prohibited items and stocking up on things like eggs, yogurt, cheese, and produce, I suggested to my friend that it would be nice to “do” Passover together in the same way we teamed up for Lent.
“ARE YOU KIDDING????”, she exclaimed. “No way. That would be too hard for me!”
The thought of that moment annoys me even to this day, and no, we are not still friends**.
*That makes me giggle. I have since given up soda approximately eight times.
**Not because of that single episode, but the lack of reciprocal support was indeed a red flag.
©2011 Suburban Scrawl