A few years ago I checked into a hotel room with a friend only to have her request that we change rooms. When I asked why, she promptly informed me that, “This is room number 314, which means it should really be 313!” She didn’t follow that statement with, “Duh!” but she might as well have as it seemed perfectly clear to her that staying in such a high risk area would be tantamount to suicide.
As much as I would have liked to scoff at such a ludicrous notion, I couldn’t find the gumption because superstitions are funny, insidious things. I think we all have them without realizing it.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty sure that if I step on a crack my mother’s back will remain unscathed, and sometimes I actually pet black cats. But I do worry about jinxing myself, especially on those rare occasions when I’m actually optimistic. I cannot rock a rocking chair unless I’m sitting in it. (I don’t actually know why, but my mother told me bad things would happen and my mother wouldn’t lie.) And perhaps strangest of all, I eschew the idea of comparing hand sizes. Again, there was no explanation forthcoming from the matriarch of my family, but such an act was verboten and though I tell myself it’s silly, I cannot do it without squirming inside.
Maybe this just means that our parents and their beliefs have a huge impact on our lives. Or maybe it means we are, at heart, rather illogical creatures. But whatever the case, superstitions are still among us and when life becomes more difficult and/or unpredictable I think we tend to search for anything that can help us make sense of it. Even if it does involve such innocuous things as salt and rabbits’ feet.
So how about you? Any superstitions you still cling to? Maybe there are some looming catastrophes that the rest of us are dangerously unaware of.