My answers to the questions I just posted.
1. Do you knock on wood, or use something similar (like cross your fingers), for good luck? I do knock on wood, and I cross my fingers. I’ll even say “knock on wood” when I do said knocking. Why? I dunno, because I don’t see the harm in it, and who knows, it might ward off evil spirits as it’s meant to do.
2. Does Friday the 13th have any significant meaning for you? Not really I mean when I was younger, I bought the hype that it was a day of bad luck, but I’ve just had too many good days on Friday the 13th for it to be true. And I sat down one day (it didn’t take me long) and realized that if Friday the 13th was truly a horrible day like everyone said it was, then the whole world would come crashing to a halt every Friday the 13th, because everyone would have such rotten luck and nothing would get done. It just didn’t make sense.
3. What do you do with spilled salt, aside from cleaning it up? I throw it over both shoulders. I know it’s only supposed to be one… but I can never remember which one. I guess it should be the left (sinister), but just to be safe, I toss it over both. I know that the history is that if you spill something as precious as salt that meant the devil was looking over your shoulder. Well, salt isn’t precious anymore, but why take that chance? ^_^
4. When you move into a new house, what’s the first thing you bring through the door? When it was just me, myself, and I, I brought my broom in first. A brand spanking new broom because one should not bring an old broom from house to house — it’s bad luck. ^_^ Brooms carry all of the luck of the house with them. So of course I’ll bring the broom in first. Now that it’s me and the hubs, I bring my purse and some food in with me, for financial success. Considering how things are going, I shoulda stuck with the broom. >_<
5. Do you now, or have you ever, had a good luck charm? If so, what is it? I used to have a good luck necklace that I made myself with all kinds of stuff on it — beads, a good luck penny, charms, just… stuff that was for luck. In a fit of altruism, I gave it to an acquaintance of mine who was going through a rough patch. Looking back, that’s about the time things went a little haywire for me, right after I gave my necklace away. *sigh* I hope she’s enjoying the luck I lost. But you know what? It worked out in the end because things turned out okay on my end (knock on wood).
6. Is there any one thing that you refuse to do because it is “bad luck”? If so, what is it? As mentioned above, I don’t carry old brooms from one house to another. I just won’t do it. Don’t ask me too. It never turns out well. I get squicky about shoes on the table too, but not as bad. And, generally when I’m relating a story about someone, I won’t use their name, this isn’t to “protect the innocent” in the traditional sense, but it’s more to not call the universe’s attention to them. I don’t know what’s out there, so why take chances?
7. There’s a ladder leaning against the wall and the only way to get to where you want to go is under it, what do you do? I walk under it. Of course, I’ll check to see if I can fit so it doesn’t come crashing down on me, but yeah, under I go. I’ve researched the whys and wherefores of this superstition, and none of it ever made sense to me. Though I suppose I can understand it a little bit because I came to a ruined building once out in the middle of a field I was taking a shortcut through, and I got the heebie-jeebies when I tried walking through the doorway. I was quite certain that if I did, I’d be transported to another time and dimension. I suppose that’s the same reasoning. Note: I did walk through the doorway, and am still here… or am I? ^_^
8. When you move out of an old house, do you leave anything behind, aside from memories? I leave coins behind, usually in a cupboard or a closet where the cleaning crew might miss them but the next occupant will eventually find them (maybe). I don’t know where I picked up this habit but it’s supposed to bring good luck to the next person behind you and good karma to you. Plus, it’s just a small, but nice thing to do — even if it’s the cleaning crew that finds it. ^_^
9. Does February 29th hold any significance for you? Would you believe I often forget it’s Leap Year? February 29th comes and goes and I’m usually none the wiser. When I was a kid, like under 13, Leap Year was fascinating for me, but even before I hit my teenage years, I just… forgot about Leap Year, when it came, and it lost all of its significance. I don’t even know why.
10. It’s the first day of the New Year, is there anything special that you should do? The first day of the new year sets the scene for the rest of the year. So if I take it easy and rest, then the rest of the year will be restful. If I stress out about things, then the rest of the year will be stressful. And so on. There’s no particular thing I should do, I just need to be overall one way or another. Of course, New Year is a social construct, the Western New Year is different than the Eastern New Year, which is different than the Pagan New Year, so this is all in the mind. That being said, the mind is a powerful entity and how we think shapes our lives. If I believe that my New Year’s Day will define the rest of my New Year, then hey, why not?
11. What do you do with the “wishbone” of the bird you just cooked and/or ate? (if you’re a meat eater) I used to let it dry and keep it for good luck. If it came out intact that is. That’s why they’re supposed to be good luck. They don’t always come out intact. But then I stopped for no real reason. Got too many of them I suppose (I eat a lot of chicken).
12. Do you believe in omens, good and bad? Or do you think that they are self-fulfilling prophecies? I think it depends. There are people who look for omens in very little thing, and their own, personal, mood will define the omen as good or bad. But sometimes I think that there are “signs” that things are going wrong and people just ignore them. Do I think that the powers that be will send signs from the heavens telling me how to live my everyday life? Nah… not really. But… I dunno. Maybe. Sometimes, when I look back on things that happened before my life when downhill, or even when my life started turning around, I can see certain things that happened. Like the one time a crow landed on the light pole and stared at me for a long time when I was sitting at a bus stop back in Virginia. Lone crows are harbingers of bad times ahead, but I didn’t believe it. I was doing pretty good at the time. I even took a picture of it with my cell phone (before smart phones) to prove that it wasn’t a bad omen. Yeah, my life when to shit pretty soon after that.
13. Would you ever open your umbrella inside the house? Yes, and I often do to dry them out. This is another of those superstitions that I’ve never gotten. Umbrellas are a fairly recent invention in the grand scheme of things, so I guess that someone had to make a superstition for them. My guess is that they made this one so that people didn’t poke each other’s eyes out. Or so that guests didn’t leave their open umbrellas cluttering up the place.
14. If you see a penny on the ground, what do you do? When I was a younger person, I’d pick it up. It’s money after all, and if you get enough pennies, you have a dollar. Those pennies and dollars add up after a while, you know. And that’s lucky enough for me. My twin refused to pick them up if they were head’s down, but I didn’t care. I mean, it used to be “See a pin and pick it up and all the day you’ll have good luck.” because straight pins were rare and if you found one, you were a lucky person. Pennies are becoming rare too, but not very valuable. ^_^
15. In your mind, are black cats any different than other cats? Nah, they’re just cats with black fur. No more, no less.
16. What, if anything, do you do when passing a cemetery? I tell “dad jokes” — How many people are dead in there? All of them! Ha! Why did they build a fence around the cemetery? Because people were dying to get in! Boo! I have no superstitions regarding cemeteries. They’re simply places where cities collect the dead. The spirits of the dead have no connection to where their bodies are buried, in my opinion. If they were gonna hang around, it would be wherever they lived and/or where they died. They don’t care where their buried. It’s not important to the dead — only the living.
17. Do you believe in premonitions? Have you ever experienced one? I believe in the possibility of premonitions. I can’t say for certain that I’ve experienced any because I always hope for the best and expect the worst. But I do have the uncanny ability to call Douglas just as he’s pulling into our driveway. It’s weird.
18. Your mirror broke! What do you do? Aside from sweep up the glass? Not much really other than clean up the glass. I avoid mirrors for the most part — not because I have a problem with the person staring back at me, but because I watched too many thrillers as a kid and I always expect something to appear in the mirror behind me. Mirrors creep me out. I’d probably smash a mirror without even thinking twice about it.
19. Do you avoid whistling indoors? I do not. But I hadn’t heard of this superstition until I was reading a manga about ten years ago. I didn’t know it was a thing. I do have a friend of mine who’s from The South who does avoid whistling indoors, so I suppose it’s here in the States too. The manga said that if you whistle indoors, burglars will come. My friend simply said it was bad luck. I also saw this on a British television show — I don’t remember which one — so I guess it’s across the pond too.
20. A bird has flown into your home! What does it mean? It means the dogs have left the screen door open again (we have one of those mesh ones with the magnets). It will also mean chaos until I can get it out. Other than that, I wouldn’t put any significant meaning to a bird flying into my house — unless it’s a crow or raven. Then I might be concerned. They are bringers of bad news after all.
21. Do you avoid setting new shoes on the kitchen/dining room table? I do, and I don’t really know why other than I was taught at a very early age that it’s bad luck. I also avoid putting my purse on the ground for the same reason. I honestly can’t tell you the logic behind it other than it’s vaguely “bad luck”.
22. Your palm itches for no apparent reason, does this mean anything to you? It means money is coming my way! Yippee! Of course, sources are pretty vagues as to how much money is heading my way, could be a quarter, could be a windfall, but hey, I’ll take whatever I can get at this point. Ha! Do I actually believe money is coming my way? Eh, maybe, maybe not. I don’t sit around and wait for it to fall into my lap, or my nearest rich relative to die (not that I have one). It’s just fun to say, “My palm itches, money is coming my way. Yay!” Let me have my fun.
23. Someone has just sneezed near you, what, if anything, do you say to them? Gesundheit – Which means “good health to you” or something like that. I have no idea where I picked this up but I’ve said it since I was a small child. Just like I’ve always said danke or danke schön in place of “thank you” since I was a child. I think my mom said it. I probably picked up every bit of my smattering of German from her. Anyway, being an Atheist, my mom would have never said, “Bless you” when someone sneezed, but it’s polite to say something, so she went with Gesundheit. And I rolled with that as well.
24. You happen to be in a field of clover and find a four-leaf clover, what do you do? I’d probably pick it, take a picture of it, and put it on a counter in my house then promptly forget about it. ^_^ The joy of finding a four leaf clover would be short-lived because it’s like finding, I dunno, a wheat penny. Rare but not significantly so.
25. It’s the last day of the Old Year, what should be done before midnight? Just as New Year’s day sets the tone for the rest of the year, New Year’s eve should set the tone for New Year’s day. If I want a peaceful next day, then I should get everything I want done finished by midnight. Don’t want to clean tomorrow? Clean today — one should have a clean house on New Year’s Day anyway (it’s good luck) ^_^ Don’t want to cook tomorrow? Cook today. And so forth. And it should be done by midnight because that is just how it works. Right?
And that’s it. I’m not quite as superstitious as I was when I was a teenager, but I still carry a few odds and ends with me. Logically, I know that there’s no real reason why I should knock on wood or buy a new broom whenever I move, but seriously, I don’t see the harm in doing either, so why stop? And both might be accomplishing their goal. You never know.