To celebrate the last day before the Lenten season begins, my friends and I went to a local bakery known for its paczkis. That’s a Polish word, pronounced ‘poonchkeys,’ for what would be a jelly donut on other days.
But Sandra Kay’s, the bakery in question, is known for paczkis, both quality-wise and variety-wise. It did not disappoint, although I ordered an almond horn instead. I’m not one for jelly donuts under any guise.
Still, Fat Tuesday reminded me not only of my childhood in various mid-west cities (St. Louis, Little Rock, Chicago), but also of Mardi Gras in New Orleans. This is not to say I participated in these rituals; rather, I was told to ignore them and think about the next day: Ash Wednesday.
In my world that was the day I would give up something – chocolate, snacks, pretzels, whatever — for the six and a half weeks before Easter. I would do this to make me a better person. One with more self-control. One with strength over temptation.
I can honestly tell you I didn’t think a moment about giving anything up as my friends and I indulged in our various pastries.