Superstitions…I know they are something that many do not believe in, but when you have grown up in the family I grew up in, you would find it very difficult to not live by these superstitions. Many of us go through these phases thinking that superstitions are not important and merely made up by our ancestors. But, in the back of your mind these acts we defy will stick with us until we convince ourselves they are true.
Being at my nonna’s house or being at home taught me many different superstitions, some that you may think, how in the hell was this one formed? Or just question why it even exists. I remember the sheer panic that would come over me when I broke one of the many rules, or when my nonna would point it out. The superstitions stem mostly from my mother’s side of the family, and as strange as many may feel about them, I love it because to me they are tradition.
Here are some of the superstitions that I live by!
Do not sit at the corner of a table – this is a huge superstition that I remember and I still live by. When you do notice that you are sitting at the corner you basically start to sweat because the curse surrounding this is that you will never get married! My nonna Lucia is someone that taught me this one, and I would get confused when I would be sitting at a corner and she would say I want to switch seats with you. After sitting at the cursed corner you basically just hope that you will eventually get married and hope that by noticing the mistake you have made the curse will be cancelled out!
Do not sleep with your feet at the door – there was a time I wanted to rearrange my room. I thought wow! This would be the perfect idea! I will have my bed facing the door. One restless night I rearranged my furniture so that the end of my bed was closest to the door, which would have my feet facing the door. Well was that a mistake or was that a mistake! When my mother saw, she was panicked by this arrangement! My bedroom rearrangement meant that I was inviting death to my family. This meant that I would need to rearrange my room once again to remove this curse.
If a bird hits the window – this is a big one for the summer months. With windows being all over homes and birds flying around, birds sometimes slam into windows. Well, that’s okay if the bird hits the window, but what is not okay about this is if the bird hits the window and dies. This means that death is at your doorstep. So in the summer when we hear that big bang from a poor little bird, the first reaction is to not see if the window cracked, or if the bird is injured, but if the bird is dead.
Do not accept knives as a gift – this means that when you have a housewarming party or a wedding shower and someone gives you knives, be sure to give them money in return. If you do not and you use the knives, this person will become your enemy. In the case the person does not accept the money, be sure to never use the knives or else this curse will fall upon you. This is why I wondered why my nonna had a new set of knives from the 90s that had not even been touched once. The individual that gave her the knives refused to accept her money, therefore the knives were untouched.
Do not knock over salt – do you ever cook and knock the salt over? Well if you do you better be sure to throw it over your shoulder immediately. While working at Starbucks and making salted caramel drinks, I was never sure if sea salt constituted as the salt that would be considered in this category, but every time I knocked it over I was sure to throw it over my shoulder because I was not having bad luck come my way.
Do not put scissors or shoes on the bed – our first instinct when carrying shopping bags in to our room or cutting a tag off of clothing is to put the bags or scissors on the bed. Rethink this because when you do such a thing you are bringing bad luck to yourself. So next time you are about to put these items on your bed think twice.
Sip your drink after you make a toast and cheers with others – never, ever put your drink down before sipping it, oh and make sure that you make eye contact with everyone too. You want to ensure that directly after you are done with your clinging and clanking (while looking into everyone’s eye) you are sipping that drink before it hits the table!
Touch steel and knock on wood – was something just said to you and you thought, God forbid! Well if so, you better touch steel “tocca ferro” or knock on wood in order to prevent anything bad that you think could possibly happen. There are many times this happens to me and I have to search for something steel or wood in order to put my mind at ease.
Did you dream your tooth fell out – whatever you do, do not tell nonna you dreamt of your tooth falling out. This will cause nonna to worry for days because this means that a death is upon your family. My nonna Lucia can tell you now that there are people that have died after a loved one dreamt of a tooth falling out. Beware of this dream, because it will have you frightened as well.
The amount of superstitions I live by are out of control and no matter what, I do not think I could ever break my thought process on these. These are like traditions to me and I love tradition, so stopping the way I live seems unrealistic. I know that in the back of my mind if something does happen, I will be thinking why didn’t I follow the rules of superstitions?