Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Superstitiously speaking

Desk Neighbor's mom was working in the home of an elderly woman recently, helping her with chores, when she began to whistle while she worked. Suddenly, the women whose home it was started getting upset and burst out, "if you do not stop whistling in my home, you will make me lose my money."

Desk Neighbor asked me if I knew why the woman said that, because the lady was Jewish like me, but I had never heard of such a superstition. So I looked online, and sure enough on a Moscow traveler's guide page one of the superstitions was as follows... "Do not whistle inside or you will whistle away your money."

It also said that "if someone gives good wishes, or you talk about your good fortune, you must spit three times over your left shoulder and knock on wood to keep your good fortune." So I began to wonder what Desk Neighbor would do if he said something like, "have a nice night Danielle," and I started spitting over my shoulder and knocking on the wall over my computer.

I think he would try to have me committed.

He also told me that his friend says a fork falling on floor means an uninvited guest will come. A fork and a spoon means a couple will show up. I had never heard of that one either, so I did a search and found a site that confirmed the existence of that and a whole bunch of other superstitions.

The site even mentioned one that I've seen my mom do... "To predict the sex of a baby: Suspend a wedding band held by a piece of thread over the palm of the pregnant girl. If the ring swings in an oval or circular motion the baby will be a girl. If the ring swings in a straight line the baby will be a boy." But my mom would use a needle and thread, instead of a ring, and not just for just pregnant woman. I don't remember what she predicted I will have. I'll have to have her do it again on Thursday when I see her for Yom Kippur.

The following is a sampling of superstitions taken from that site...
  • Seeing an ambulance is very unlucky unless you pinch your nose or hold your breath until you see a black or a brown dog. (Good thing my dog is brown)
  • A knife as a gift from a lover means that the love will soon end. (Who gives a knife as a gift to a lover? That relationship has got some issues already)
  • An acorn at the window will keep lightning out (Hmmm, and how does that work?)
  • If a black cat walks towards you, it brings good fortune, but if it walks away, it takes the good luck with it.(I feel bad for people with black cats as pets)
  • If 3 people are photographed together, the one in the middle will die first. (Darn, that's the skinny spot!)
  • A swan's feather, sewed into the husband's pillow, will ensure fidelity. (That's all it takes? Who knew?)
  • Dropping an umbrella on the floor means that there will be a murder in the house. (It is raining in NJ, so there will be many murders)
  • To cure a cough: take a hair from the coughing person's head, put it between two slices of buttered bread, feed it to a dog, and say, "Eat well you hound, may you be sick and I be sound." (Ummm, I'll keep that in mind for next time I'm sick)
  • A yawn is a sign that danger is near. (Oh no, I just yawned... Watch out!)

    Seriously, who would believe this crap? Knock. Knock. Knock. And why do some people say "knock on wood" and tap on their head? Is their head made of wood? I never got that, although I have probably done it. Anyway, I'm off to rest an acorn on my window sill, hang a horseshoe above my door, and sprinkle salt on my doorstep. Do you have any unusual superstitions?
    posted by Danielle @ 12:07 AM |

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