November 12, 2011

Break Your Mother's Back: Superstitions Part Two

After posting about superstitions yesterday, I couldn't stop thinking about nonsensical things I do. It's time for complete honesty... I might be more superstitious than I first reported.

Signs I'm More superstitious Than I Thought

I raise my feet when driving over train tracks.
I've done this my whole life, and I don't even know why. I called Mom for the answer. I'm so mad. Mom told me it's because of circulation problems. Are you kidding me? That's not superstition, but it sure is a bit crazy. Guess I'll stop until I get old enough to have circulation issues.

I Say, "Bread and Butter."
Another one learned from Mom. When you are walking with a loved one and a physical object comes between you, say a tree or lamppost, you must both say, "bread and butter." If you don't, you will be separated in life. My children say it (after hearing me say it so much), but my husband never does. We have been married almost 17 years. So far, so good.

I hold my breath and make a wish when driving over a bridge.
Technically, you make a wish going over a bridge in one direction. When you travel back over said bridge, you have to hold your breath. You only get your wish if you don't exhale. Since we'd often only go over a bridge one way, I combined it and now hold my breath and wish at the same time. Haven't kept data on those wishes. One guess where this came from?

I never answer if I hear my name called in the middle of the night.
It's the voice of death calling. Again, blame Mom. This was particularly difficult when I had kids. A simple call of, "Mom" could send chills down my spine. I'd shake hubby. He'd answer. He's a brave man. And he's still with us.

I'll never own a weeping willow.
Why? You guessed it, Mom. According to her, once a weeping willow grows tall enough to cast a shadow, the shadow marks the place of your burial. Creepy.

Mom also used to say when you got chills, it was someone walking over your future grave site. Seriously, this woman is responsible for most of my childhood nightmares. She has one vivid imagination.

Did you see a theme above? I don't know what I believe or don't believe. Things learned in our youth can be so powerful. One thing I know for sure, my mom is one superstitious lady.

And I'm passing it on. My children never go anywhere without watching cracks. It started as a fun game and grew into something I can't control. Although I appreciate their concern for my back, I completely lose patience in a store with small tiles.

My kids also hold their breath when we pass a graveyard. Can't blame my mom for this one, a friend's mom told them. I think she's brilliant. Do you know how many times I've considered pulling to the side of the road next to a graveyard for a few seconds of peace and quiet? I figure I can keep driving once they've all passed out.

Side note: When I called mom for clarification about the above, she told me it's knock three times on wood. "Knocking once won't do anything about a hex." One more. Never sew a stitch from the shoulder to the neck because it leaves an evil pin mark on that end. Always go from the neck to the shoulder, so you don't pierce the spirit.

She says this all comes from our Acadian side, a superstitious group who refused to bend their beliefs and was exiled. Then ended up in Louisiana and became known as Cajuns. Their blood flows in ours. I always learn something when I call Mom, and I call Mom a lot.

Is there any ritual you do without even thinking? Who's to blame responsible?


Claire Hennessy said...

LOL your mum has a lot to answer for! I still find it difficult to walk under ladders, and when I see one magpie (this may just be an English bird as I haven't seen any in California) I say "One for Luck and lots of money" under my breath to counteract the 'One for Sorrow' superstition!

Julie Glover said...

Wow, superstitions mirror OCD a little. ;)

You'll need to be careful if you hang out with me, Tia. I've owned several black cats. I think nothing of breaking mirrors. I step on cracks with no problem. Then again, maybe that explains that time when . . .

Kate @ Teaching What Is Good said...

Oh Tia, I'm just CRACKING UP over your post!!! I don't even want to THINK about how disturbed I am from my mother's superstitious nonsense!!! But thanks for the BIG chuckle, girlfriend!!!

Tia Bach said...

Claire, Julie & Kate-Thanks so much for dropping by and commenting.

After yesterday's post, I kept thinking more and more and realized how many things I do without thinking.

I'm still a bit ticked off by the train track thing. I may have to come up with a better story for that one to pass down to my girls. ;-)

Claire, never heard of the One for Sorrow superstition. Interesting.

And, yes, Julie... OCD is a passed down trait, too. ;-)

Kate, always love seeing you visit!

Unknown said...

Superstitions are interesting, and funny. We do all these things without even knowing why, other than they've been handed down, generation to generation. The one where you say, "Don't Step on a crack or you'll break your mother's back," is obvious." But I never knew the origins of "Bread and butter." I just say it when the time is right. So thanks for the lesson. I'm guessing you call out "Jinx!" as well, right? ;-)

Tia Bach said...

Jackie, Thanks for stopping by!

My girls say, "Jinx" and then count to ten before saying, "You owe me a soda." I have no clue where the second part came from. ;-)

Anonymous said...

I never lift my feet so someone can sweep under them, because if I do, I'll be an old maid. Since I married the first time post-50, I'm not sure how to gauge the effectiveness of that one. But I think it's the only one my mother told me about, except for breaking the mirror. I do toss spilled salt over my shoulder.

Tia Bach said...

Kathy, Thanks for stopping by. I never heard that one about lifting your feet when someone sweeps. My father-in-law does it all the time (actually while I vacuum), and he's just fine! ;-)

Love all the comment love on this one. Thanks everyone!