Friday, January 13, 2012

Very Superstitious

[By Legally Blonde]  Today is Friday the 13th, a day when adults who were scarred by watching the Friday the 13th movies at an impressionable age will be looking around every corner for Freddy Krueger. And superstitious individuals will be on edge all day waiting for bad things to happen, things that would never happen if it were instead Friday the 12th or 14th.

I have spent years trying to wean myself off all the superstitions I learned growing up. I’m sure most of you are familiar with certain of these -- step on a crack, break your mother’s back. Find a penny, pick it up, all day long you’ll have good luck. A black cat crossing your path is bad luck, but you can get rid of the bad luck if you make an X and spit three times. It’s bad luck to take salt and pepper directly from someone’s hand at the table, so make sure they put it on the table before your pick it up again. Spilling salt will result in seven years of bad luck, unless you throw the salt over your left shoulder with your right hand. Breaking a mirror will also result in seven years of bad luck, but I’m not sure what the cure is for that. You know that walking under a ladder brings bad luck, but did you know that driving under a moving train is good luck?

Opening an umbrella in the house will bring you bad luck, but the worst kind of luck will befall you if you do not exit the door that you entered. One night my parents went to a dinner party, entering the house through the front door. When the party was over and they were leaving, a torrential downpour had started and my parents didn’t have an umbrella. The host’s car was parked in the connected garage and he offered to drive my parents to their car parked down the street so they wouldn’t get wet. This would have meant leaving the house by the kitchen door, which my Mom refused to do. So she walked a block in the pouring rain and came back to get my Dad who was waiting for her in the dry garage.

Last year at one of my son’s baseball games, a little girl was sitting on the ground with her legs straight out in a crowded area. I was making my way to the dugout and so I stepped across her outstretched legs. The dad went crazy and made me go back over her legs and then walk entirely around her. The wife was apologetic, explaining her husband was just very superstitious. I complied with a smile but was baffled because I had never heard this superstition before. I called my Mom, who quickly exclaimed, “Well, she would have died!”

While I didn’t know this one, I do know a good many others: Sing before breakfast, cry before dinner, kiss an upturned hem for a new dress, don’t tell nightmares out loud or they’ll come true, put a penny on a knife if you give it as a gift or it will cut your love, get out of bed on the same side you get in, and my favorite one – if you put your underwear on inside out in the morning, you must wear it like that all day because it’s bad luck to switch it around.

No comments: