Thursday, October 16, 2008

Got A Bad Feeling

I'm sure all cultures have their own superstitions, but being from the South, I happen to think ours are the most fun - and even being here in WV for 25 years, I still abide by many of the Southern superstitions.

This morning, my left palm was itching like a mofo. I scratched it like a madman. In the South, we're told that if your left palm itches it means you'll be getting a bill or owe money... that money will be leaving you. No one wants that, so the cure for that is to scratch it. Conversely, if you right palm itches that means you've got money coming your way or you'll come into money (and I don't mean wearing a gold diaphragm ... get back to me when you get that one).

Anyway, you're not supposed to scratch your right palm. You don't want to discourage money from showing up, do you? It's hard to remember that one.

Also, if a black cat crosses your path, that's bad luck. But, you can put a hex on that bad luck by cussing.

I love cats, but if I see a black one, you can bet in my head, I'm thinking "G*d D**n, M****er F***er, Shit, Shit, Shit." I think the longer the string of cuss words, the more effective it is.

Of course, don't walk under a ladder! And, a broken mirror is 7 years of bad luck. Some of these things have NO CURE - so try to avoid these situations!

Some of them are silly, but I still do them - like when I twist the stem off an apple, for every twist, I say a the alphabet. Whatever letter the stem falls off on, is supposedly the first letter of the last name of the person you'll marry.

If you know my last name, you'll know I never got that far with an apple stem.

I heard so many growing up, I can't remember them all. Just the biggies: ladders, black cats, mirrors.

And if you know how stingy I am with a penny, of course I remember the money ones!

The Evil Twin likes to joke that I can pinch a penny so tight, I can turn it into copper wire. He's just jealous of my mad money saving skillz. :-)


  1. Weather:
    Aching joints indicate rain.
    When a bobwhite calls, it’s praying for rain.
    Thick, tight shucks on corn indicate bad weather.
    Killing a black snake and hanging it on a fence with its belly turned to the sun will bring rain before the next sunset.
    If it rains on Monday, it will rain 3 days that week.
    An owl hooting high on the mountain signals fair weather; the owl hooting in the lower lands signals foul weather.
    There will be as many snows in a winter as there are fogs in October.

    If a girl sleeps in a strange bed and names each bedpost a boy’s name, the post she looks to first upon waking will name the boy she’ll marry.
    A girl won’t get married if anyone sweeps under her feet.

    A dream about the dead means you’ll get a letter.
    If you sleep in a strange bed, whatever you dream will come true.

    If a cow moos after dark, someone will die.
    If a bird flies against a window pane, there will be a death in the family.
    If a dog howls before the moon rises, someone will die.

    You’ll have good luck if you:
    Find a 4-hole button.
    Always put your right sock and shoe on first.
    See a bluebird.
    Look at the new moon over your left shoulder.
    Find a red ear of corn.
    Find a pin and pick it up.
    Find a penny lying “heads-up” and put it in your right shoe.

    That should keep you busy for a while :)

  2. I totally got the gold diaphragm thing.

    Spill salt? Throw some over your left shoulder, FAST!!!!

  3. I have a black cat who's very, very nice.
    Please don't cuss at him.

    And I have NO clue about the gold diaphraghm

  4. Yeah, totally got the gold diaphram thing. Talk about putting your money where your mouth is... LOL ;)

  5. Ahhh, the south and our superstitions. I'm all about not breaking them either!

  6. "Also, if a black cat crosses your path, that's bad luck. But, you can put a hex on that bad luck by cussing."

    Dude, there are sooooooooo many drivers around here with hexes from me, now...

  7. What about opening up an umbrella inside? I always thought that was 7 years bad luck. I HATE it when my co-workers open their umbrellas up inside to dry them out. Makes me very nervous. All they need to do is hang them upside down for the day!!

  8. I still *never* step on a crack!

  9. OMG - there's so many listed here - I'm going back to bed. I don't think it is safe for me to be up and about.

  10. Ron - some of those I hadn't heard of and glad you got the joke. LOL.

    Tiff - my mom used to say the salt one, too. I had forgotten that one.

    K - I won't cuss at him. Just in my head to ward off bad luck. LOL. I'll email you about the diaphragm.

    Diva - It's almost like Southern OCD!

    Rebecca - You probably saved them from having a wreck, you good samaritan! :-)

    Anonymous - yep, we were told to never open an umbrella indoors. I would be totally freaked out at your office, too! Maybe it only applies to the umbrella owner? We can hope.

    Gigi - I used to be uptight about that one, moreso as a kid, but every so often, I catch myself stepping over instead of on, just in case, ya know?

    themom - LOL. It's a wonder I get anything done at all.

  11. In my house, you'd have to cuss a blue streak - I have two black cats!!

  12. My granny was full of those old sayings. I remember one where she used to tell me never go in the garden if you're on your period or the cucumbers would pickle on the vine. LOL!

  13. My gramma is chock full o' superstitions. All of yours, and the comments so far (except for the pickled cucumbers - she had no need to tell me that one, maybe). Plus opals are supposed to be bad luck (you only give one to someone you secretly despise).

    And yes, I get it. Eew.

    /is that you jingling?

  14. I'm all about the superstitions too...can't be too careful ;)

  15. In our family, it's ok to scratch the right hand for money, and if the left itches we gently rub it on the right hand trying to transfer the luck. Wow...when you say it like that it sounds like we're nuts...hmmm...might be onto somethin' there...

  16. kenju - I might even have to make up some new cuss words there!

    Carolyn - that's a good one. I hadn't heard that!

    db grin - I don't "do" birth control. LOL.

    Laura - what is it with that? I mean, logically, we have to realize how silly this stuff is, but I keep doing it!

    Honeywine - I'm going to try that left thing. We could all use more luck on bringing money in!

  17. In the "North" we were told we could break the hex of a black cat by turning around 3 times while saying "Howdy Mr. Black Cat!" No cussing involved. So much for so called Southern manners :)

  18. Interesting insights on southern living. I've heard all the obvious superstitions, but more from books or movies. I grew up in WA State, I can't recall ever hearing a superstition growing up, at least not one people actually believed.

  19. In NC, you must eat crowder peas (aka black eyed peas or cowpeas) on New Years for good luck.

    A penny is apparently placed into the peas, and if you fish it out in your meal, YOU get good luck for a year.

    I'm hoping that the penny was washed first, but I'm not sure.

  20. Ron has more superstitions than the Darlin family on Andy Griffith!

  21. How about if you sweep around someone with a broom, they'll never marry. Or, never step over someone who's laying in the floor -- you bring bad luck to them. My favorite is my mom's that her grandmother told her: Never sew on Sunday. If you do, the devil will make you take out every stitch with your nose! She still NEVER sews on Sunday!!
    Speak of the devil, when it rains and the sun is out, the devil is beating his wife...
    Yeah, we're full of weird ones...I love them, though!!

  22. MEL - proper Southern manners involve invoking such words as "My laws." and "I swunee." Modern Southern goes right for the jugular! LOL.

    Vinomom - you're lucky. We're rife with the superstitions in the South.

    Renn - I have eaten black eye peas (we don't add the "d" to eye) every year on New Year's, but never had a filthy penny thing introduced. Black eye peas, collards and corn bread were the NYE menu every year. Around WV, they tend to go the Corn Beef and Cabbage route and that involves a filthy coin (a quarter? I'm not sure.... I won't cook it!).

    Al - you must come visit me and stay in Blogger's Quarters. We have a local restaurant called "Mayberry's" and it features a continuous Mayberry's TV loop on DVD. Plus, the food RAWKS!

    MsPulp - with my mom, it was never trim your nails on Sunday. Bad luck! Honest to goodness, she would never trim her nails, our nails, or whatever on Sundays. These days, whenever I can pin a kid down for nail trimmings, I don't give a whit what day it is.

  23. I was never allowed to play games on Sunday, as it was a form of gambling. The thought was "The seventh day is holy. If you introduce gambling/sin, you invite the devil to dinner."

  24. Funny, I subscribe to the Celtic superstition regarding black cats as it is good luck. I have two who are continuously underfoot, so...

    I know a lot of the old superstitions but the only one I regularly practice is throwing salt over my shoulder. This is a bad thing when I have to fill the salt shakers at work!

  25. Actually, in my family the new year's tradition was cabbage and pork of some sort. So sauerkraut and sausage or cabbage rolls made of ground pork and beef were my mainstays.

    One of the best lessons I ever taught was in my ESL class when I walked in and an Arabic student had left his umbrella opened. Apparently the umbrella thing is very US centric as none of my other students (Spanish, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, South American) had heard it either! We did a fun unit in which they brought superstitions from their native cultures in. So much fun! I'll have to do a superstitions post too.