Wednesday, October 16, 2013

You can run, but you can't hide from old wive's tales

"Don't stop believin"...Journey

I don't believe in Friday the 13th or that black cats are bad luck..  But you can't help the way that you

were raised and I was raised by superstitious people. My grandparents were an integral piece of the

familial puzzle and gram is a full blooded, Italian. I never knew that certain behaviors were strange

until I left the nest. I thought it was normal to be OCD about hand washing and fear bird poop to high

 heaven.  My family has a lot of idiosyncrasies, all families do.  But I really won the jackpot.  Most

families cringe when breaking a mirror and tease that they may have, "seven years of  bad luck" but

how many truly believe in the extraordinary old wive's tales. I know one thing, I knew about the evil

eye long before I started watching The Real Housewifes of New Jersey. As I got older I learned more

about the way in which viruses and colds work and I realized that going outside without a coat or

with wet hair does not pneumonia make.  It wasn't until last year that I realized my grandparents may

have lied to me about one or two things. It started when I was craving a banana one night but alas,

everyone knows eating a banana in the evening will cause a nightmare, or does it?!  At the ripe old

age of 29 I finally ate a banana at night, without fear. There are so many strange things that we

believe it's hard to differentiate fear from tradition. It's bad luck to eat anything other than pork

sauerkraut on New Years Day.  Never open an umbrella in the house and don't walk under a ladder. If

 you're going to give a wallet or purse as a gift you better at least put a penny in there. Everyone

knows it's bad luck to give those gifts without money of some sort in them. I was recently home for a

visit and my great aunt mentioned that a bird had gotten into her house, we quickly made a

 unanimous decision not to tell my gram. A bird in the house is a most certain sign of death to come.

 When the house I grew up in sat on the market a little too long another one of my great aunt's

suggested burying a statue of St. Joseph upside down in the yard. The house sold within six months.

Coincidence or a holy helping hand? Now one helping hand that I do truly believe in? St. Anthony,

patron saint of lost articles has helped me find not one but about one million things over the years.

Between me and my Gram, we keep him pretty busy. My grandpa revered his 1988 black

Thunderbird, he was convinced that every time he washed his car it rained. It truly did rain every

time he washed it, but it also rains ALOT in Pittsburgh.  As a former Jewelry salesperson I used to

silently shake my head when people would buy opals, didn't they know it was bad luck to wear an

opal if it wasn't your birth stone?!  The list goes on and I've even added to our crazy families list, "

Isn't it bad luck not to get the first piece of birthday cake on your birthday?" Just what we needed,

 one more thing to believe in...


  1. Growing up in my family, rocking a rocking chair with no one in it was a huge no-no as was leaving one of those "hand-held' mirrors face up when you were done using it.

    1. I've heard of the rocking chair before bc it "invites evil spirits into it" right? the mirror is a new one to me!

  2. Some of these are new to me, some I've heard as well! I have to bite my tongue with family sometimes when they say certain things that I know are not true and they still believe. I'd rather bite my tongue than get into an argument haha.

  3. I loved reading some of these! I don't have a lot of superstitions, but I remember when I was younger I would NEVER take the last piece of anything - bread, cake, pie, whatever - because my mom said you would end up an old maid if you did! I ended up married, so I guess I'll never know if its true or not! Haha!

  4. OMG I eat the last of everything! why did you tell me this?!?!?!

  5. Great post ...yes I know all too well the superstitions; a year or two ago my nephew came over he was 6 then or five walked in my house took his shoes off and placed them on my table (gasp) I told him take your shoes off the table Jack it's bad luck...he said without pause no it's not you're just saying that because you don't want my shoes on the table; so I said you're right now take your shoes off my table! LOL

    1. HAHA, I had never heard about that one until recently!

  6. Wow! Haven't heard a lot of those! But I've heard the St. Anthony thing works! My crazy MIL told me when I was pregnant that if I raise my hands above my head it will strangle the baby. She said a nurse at her work told her that...thirty years Mexico. WACKO!

  7. What a cool post! My grandmother had a bunch of Dos and Don'ts as well. She also had things she believed meant stuff. Hmmm...left hand itching means money coming...right hand means mail...So does that mean both is money in the mail? I actually asked her that once and I swear if looks could've killed I wouldn't be here right now! LOL

    1. Hahaha sounds like something I would have asked!