Yesterday while we were in the elevator, headed to the basement to do the laundry, E pointed out that our apartment building has no thirteenth floor. I never really thought much about it before, but just accepted it as a fact.
“That’s because no one wants to live on the thirteenth floor. In all the horror movies, that’s where people die.” I nodded solemnly.I’m not sure if he bought my explanation. There are various explanations for the missing thirteenth floor, some are innocent and others sinister.
Superstitions seem to pop up in all kinds of strange places, and situations.
It’s NHL playoff time, so I expect to see a decrease in shaving until it’s over. Sports fans and athletes are notorious for their superstitions.
One of the first gifts my in laws sent us when we moved into our apartment was a glass pomegranate, with a slice cut open to show the seeds inside. I remembered seeing one in their home, but never asked why. It turns out that is a traditional first gift when you have purchased a new home, as it is a symbol of prosperity and fertility. There are baby blue and pink beads tied to it, and I did get not so subtle hint. lol
E’s also hugely superstitious. He’ll stop a car in the road if a black cat crosses, and wait for someone else to pass first. This is a guy that does not believe in the possibility of supernatural entities, so it’s amusing to watch him paralyzed in fear over a cat. He’ll never walk under a ladder. He also believes that a particular kind of cold wind will make you sick, and I’ve seen it happen to him – there’s power to belief. It’s never happened to me.
My family has a few of its own. My dad swears we should never take a shower on Good Friday. The one year he bathed his dog on Good Friday (when no work should be done, and bathing = work), it lost all its hair. My mom always puts out oranges at New Years, to encourage good fortune. She also grows a pachira or money tree. The more points each leaf of a money tree has, the more prosperity it’s supposed to bring. When my parents go away on vacation, and my brother inevitably forgets to water it, mom always gets angry, because she needs to restore it back to health. Now hmm, actually sounds rather metaphorical.
I don’t subscribe to many, but one of my personal superstitions include wearing something new on New Year’s day, as a symbol that the year includes a fresh start. I also like to avoid talking about what I’m writing until it’s done. Irrationally, I think by talking about it, the idea might change or slip away from me. The excitement, let out and escaped forever.
Now I’m wondering what kind of superstitions my characters might believe in. Are you superstitious?