Lunchtime Poll

LTP: 3/14

It’s Monday at noon and that can only mean one thing.  Okay, it can mean lots of things.  But for our purposes, it means it’s time for another lunchtime poll.  It feels like it’s been a while since I was in charge of the LTP, so I was trying to find a really great question for all of us to noodle on today.

Instead, I went with an easy one.  ; )

Do you have superstitions you follow, even though you know they don’t make any sense?  I’m hugely superstitious, in spite of not being what anyone would call religious.  I throw salt over my shoulder, knock wood, won’t step on cracks – you name it.   What are yours?

By [E] Selena MacIntosh*

Selena MacIntosh is the owner and editor of Persephone Magazine. She also fixes it when it breaks. She is fueled by Diet Coke, coffee with a lot of cream in it, and cat hair.

37 replies on “LTP: 3/14”

I knock on wood (or my head, which I am reliably informed is nearly as hard and is therefor a good substitute). That’s basically the only superstition I know that I follow, but I also have some slightly obsessive behaviors I need to do.

I have to double check that my apartment door is locked when I leave – if I forgot I will actually come back down the hall, check it, and then leave. When talking to my family I always say “I love you” as the last thing I say in the conversation.

As I’m getting ready for bed I list out the things I need to accomplish the next day. For some reason listing them out and saying them out loud helps me get my thoughts in order and I can sleep better.

Oh and here’s another one sort of. I used to work for this couple that were very Catholic. The wife, especially. I am not religious, but this woman was the type that makes you think maybe you should be. She was exactly what I think a Christian should be, and just exuded love and faith. Anyway, when I moved she gave me a few medals and one of them was of the infant of Prague, which supposedly brings you as much money as you need (not like you win the lottery, but it keeps you doing ok). Anyway, I read that you’re supposed to put it on the fridge, so I have my little infant of Prague on the fridge.
I’ve had it for over 4 years, and while things have been tight a lot of the time, especially now, I have always managed to get by and there have been countless times where I got a little money that I wasn’t expecting, exactly when I needed it. I credit the infant.

I have so many little superstitions that I picked up from my mom. I throw salt and knock on wood. Some odder ones are I never set my purse on the floor (the money will run out), if someone hands me a pocket knife that is open, I can’t close it (i.e. I hand it back to them open to let them close it), and I’ll enter and leave someone’s house by the same door (you’re not supposed to go in one door and out another unless it’s your own home).

I also participate in Lab superstitions. For example, if I’m setting up a three day experiment, on day two I’ll restart the whole thing even if I only need to do it once, because if I don’t restart it the first one won’t work. That may make sense only in my twisted brain…

I am not very superstitious at all, although sometimes I think about superstitions that friends from other countries/cultures have mentioned and I wonder if I should follow them. I had a friend from India when I was in college and she was superstitious about not cutting air with scissors. One time I did it with a pair of her scissors and she made me cut some paper immediately after. So the other day I picked up some scissors and was just making a cutting motion with them, and I was like, maybe I should cut some paper!
I don’t remember what happens if you don’t do it though.

I picked this one up in the Peace Corps in Kazakhstan. I no longer stand in doorways. I will stand on one side or the other, but never in the doorway.

Also since I lived in the holiest place in central Asia, I went to the mausoleum frequently enough that I’m going straight to paradise after I die. Thrice is the equivalent of doing the hajj.

Other than those superstitions, I like having a Magic 8 Ball around, mostly to ask it inane things, but occasionally for the big stuff.

if you want weird shit, look for someone Ukrainians and Russians, seriously I hears the weirdest supersaturation from Russian friends. Things like: an odd flower number is for deaths and even for happy occasions (I’m not sure, maybe it’s the other way around – be careful they take it really bad if you do the other way around). also if a women sit on concrete she’ll loose her fertility.
oh and I have one more silly one (not Russian, North African again) that I don’t follow but it’s fun – when you see a bee you yell SALT WATER few times so she won’t beat you. nobody know why.

well I have few but two that I follow strongly (even though I know it’s bullshit):
1. you don’t give knifes as present. if someone buys you a knife you have to pay them (it can be a cent). otherwise a horrible violence will come on your house.
2. you only congratulate on births not pregnancies. the happy event is the arrival of a baby to the world, as long as it in vitro you only wish good luck to the pregnant, I know it doesn’t go well with the American shower thing. I am not American, and for me celebrating before birth is a horrid idea. yeah, It’s kind of weird.
both are Jewish superstitions, originate in North Africa (i’m sure about the knife one not sure about the birth one), by the way…

I also have a ton. I never pass the salt directly to someone, I have to put it on the table. I always knock on wood and use my head as a substitute if need be. I never cut the first slice of a birthday cake all the way to the bottom on my own birthday — I have to cut halfway down and then let someone else finish it off. I could go on, but I won’t.

Knocking on wood (although only in the presence of others–it’s conversational, something about saying whatever out loud), occasionally stepping over cracks, every now and then the salt, speaking the numbers every time I see a clock read 2:22/10:10/etc. But that last one, and most of the other things I do, are actually compulsive habits, not superstitions–I don’t think something *bad* will happen should I fail to do so!

There’s a hilarious moment in an early-series episode of Sports Night that makes me laugh.

Elliot: Toby Bennes has a no-hitter going in the 7th.
Dana: Put Bennes in the teaser. If he takes it to the 9th we’ll patch it in on 1.
Jeremy: We shouldn’t put it in the tease.
Dana: Why not?
Jeremy: It’s bad luck.
Dana: It’s bad luck…
Jeremy: To talk about a no-hitter.
Dana: It’s bad luck for the pitcher.
Jeremy: Yes.
Dana: We don’t work for the pitcher.
Jeremy: That puts us in a hell of a dilemma.
Dana: Actually, I’m fine.
Jeremy: About teasing the no-hitter. It was a tough call and even though I don’t agree with the decision, I have a lot of respect for you for making it.
Elliot: Bennes just lost the no-hitter.
Jeremy: Don’t blame yourself.
Dana: (sarcastic) Thank you.

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