Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Superstitions from Family and Friends

An unusual event happened at Bunco last month. It was strange because the Bunco group I belong to has been playing once a month for over forty years and this has never happened--at least not as long as I can remember.

The Bunco attendance prize was a cute and fancy watermelon knife, like the one on the left. (I had already bought an identical one at a local supermarket for me -- there was a super sale --- and another for my granddaughter to use in her new apartment.)

 Immediately after opening the Bunco gift bag with the knife inside, the prize winner hopped up from her chair, grabbed her wallet, and gave the hostess a penny.  When I asked the winner why she did that she told me it's bad luck to receive a knife as a gift. When you receive one, you're supposed to give whoever gave it to you some money. Curious about why it was bad luck, after I got home I did some research. Seems like there are several superstitions connected with knives.

The next time I saw my granddaughter I told her about the knife-gift superstition and reminded her that I had given her some money, along with the knife, so she was good. She looked at me like it was just another of my weird stories.

That reminded me of my mother's superstitions. Here are a few I remember:

If you spill salt, toss some over your left shoulder.
If your right hand itches, you're going to meet someone.
If your left hand itches, you're going to get some money.
Never put an umbrella on a table.
Never put a hat or shoes on a bed.
It's bad luck for a bird to fly into the house.
Don't let cats near newborns.
Don't cut a baby's hair before it's a year old.
Finding a coin heads-up is good luck.
Dreaming of muddy water mean bad luck. (My grandma would call everyone in the family when she had one of these dreams.)
Bad luck and good luck come in threes.
If it comes in three, let it be -- a warning to watch out for poison ivy and poison oak.

That's all I can think of right now.

How about you? Did your family have any superstitions?



20 comments:

  1. Never return a container empty.

    If somebody gave you food in it, give them something back. Sometimes, my mom would put a couple of dollars and a coupon in my Chex Mix container when she gave it back to me, if she didn't have brownies or green beans or some other foodstuff. Never an empty one.

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    1. That's a good one. Practical and hospitable.

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  2. My mother warned me about my cats and my daughter, but when she saw the cats napping with her--and they were definitely NOT trying to suck the breath from her--she stopped the crazy warnings.

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    1. Sounds like it worked our for you. I often wonder how dome of those superstitions got started.

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  3. I save most of my crazy superstitions for sports seasons. Like I'll wear the same clothes if my team won, or I'll change up the mojo if my team's losing (mostly by leaving the room and making Mr. Man leave the room and then we get in an argument 'cause I'm crazy and he doesn't want to leave the room and then I blame him when my Falcons lose).

    Yeah, well, it sounds a little crazy when I write it out like that...:-)

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    1. Interesting comment, Cathy. I know what a sports fan you are, but wasn't aware of your superstitions.

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  4. This post made me chuckle, Donna. I grew up with so many superstitions and some of them really stuck. Can't get rid of them no matter how much I nay say. Have you heard this one: "If you sing before you eat, you'll cry before you sleep."

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    1. Hi Clara,
      That's a new one on me. My husband, who was born in Germany, taught me one: The bird that sings can't eat.

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  5. Oh, just thought of another one: Don't play in the fire or you'll wet the bed.

    It's quite possible my mom just made that up for when we went camping.

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    1. Hi Val,
      That's a new one on me, but I like it! Your mom was a fascinating woman.

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  6. We didn't really have any superstitions when I was growing up, but we had lots of "rituals," mainly having to do with meals. Saturday night was hamburger night, Sunday was meant for fried chicken.

    Like Cathy, my hubby and I have plenty of sports superstitions, though. Like we don't change our socks during playoffs. If we are on a winning streak, something very simple can throw it off, like driving a different route to the game, or at home, using a different rally towel. It's all very silly but keeps us amused!

    And a final word about superstition, my daughter got married on Friday the 13th. Of course you can guess that we had many comments about that particular day being bad luck, to which we replied: "we don't believe in luck, we believe in blessings." At least it made for some interesting discussions. :)

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    1. What a wonderful way to respond to people who remarked on your daughter getting married on Friday the 13th. It was a true blessing.

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  7. Don't open an umbrella in the house. Don't walk under a ladder. Don't break a mirror. As far as Friday the 13th goes, those have actually been some of my best days!

    Pat
    Critter Alley

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    1. I'm glad you had such good luck on Friday the 13rh.

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  8. I grew up with lots and lots of superstitions. My grandma was especially this way. I have heard of a lot of the ones you mentioned. I did a post a few years back. You can go here and see all the ones I listed. http://janetsmart.blogspot.com/2008/10/superstitions-and-old-sayings.html

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    1. Hi Janet,
      That was a great post. Lots of interesting superstitions. Mom had a similar cure for warts but she had us crib a raw potato on the wary then someone else would bury it but couldn't say where it was buried.

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    2. We rubbed a raw potato on the wart.

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  9. Interesting superstitions... some I recall from older folks. I'll have to check out your link. Never heard of the knife one though.

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  10. I really enjoyed this post. It brought back my mother - though she always pretended she didn't believe in those little superstitions. She always put a dime in any purses or wallets she gave as gifts because it's bad luck to give a purse without money in it.

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