As a child, I grew up in Conservative congregations in Georgia, New Jersey, and Minnesota, was educated in Jewish day schools from kindergarten through fifth grade, and spent most of my childhood summers at Jewish summer camps.
As an adult I have written for Jewish newspapers and teach in a synagogue. She would usually say that she was “not an atheist” or that she was a non-practicing Methodist.
When she arrived at my friend’s house, her hair was dyed red and she was dressed in a black suit: very Agent Scully. We went out for Thai food with my friend and his wife.
It felt very much like a double date between two married couples, even though the meeting was hardly planned that way.
I went to a Christmas at her family’s house and it felt less ritualistic than family’s Christmas Eve Chinese-food-and-a-movie tradition.