Every week we ask everyone who hangs out around here to answer a tough question. This week:
What are you superstitious about?
Rules are simple: what are you really, truly, weird about? The dictionary offers that a superstition is “not based on reason or knowledge,” which makes the dictionary sound like a bit of an asshole. These are real fears that you need to develop. How have you lived this long without these? How can you just STAND THERE with all this fear in the world?
I’m a checker — I’ll go back home to make sure that my alarm is off, even if I’m almost all the way to work. That’s the most debilitating of my quirks, but my biggest superstition has to be a belief in lucky items. I drink out of the same coffee cup every day at work, I use the same water glass every day at home, I carry the same few “lucky” trinkets in my wallet. I cannot break these cycles because what if those are all the reasons that you and I can still get up every single day?! I’m saving lives.
I’m an incredibly superstitious person by nature. I don’t walk under ladders. I throw spilled salt over my shoulder. I have lucky underwear. But the thing I’m probably most superstitious about is my birthday. I take great pains to avoid any kind of unpleasantry on that day, even going so far as (at one point) having a friend kick out a group of interlopers from my party. The day itself is very ordered, a high mark of superstition. I get up and make bacon, then sit down to write a birthday haiku. Afterward I see my family before throwing myself full-on into party preparation. Hosting a party decidedly invites unpleasantries into one’s life, so I’m basically all but falling apart by the time the whole thing goes down. I think if a black cat crossed my path on my birthday, I would physically recoil and break down in nerves.
I’m not so much superstitious about anything as I am anxious about everything.
We form superstitions towards things we’re scared of or ignorant to, and I ain’t scared of nothing. Once, while walking through the woods at night without a flashlight, I got tangled in a giant spider web. Except the spider was actually a jawless eight-legged man with eyes like pale eggsacs who tortured his victims by describing how much more their high school peers have accomplished than them. You know what I did? Fell asleep. All that to say, I ain’t scared of nothing. However, I am scared of spiders. I have this superstition where if I haven’t seen a spider for a good amount of time, like a week, I’m convinced that the spiders know this and will promptly dispatch their most terrifying member to my bedroom window. The worst part is that they always do.
I’ve been taking a lot of certification tests this summer to be able to teach new subjects. I was told around senior year of college that blueberries were the best food to eat before a test, and now I start eating an entire collection of blueberries two days before the test. Catchphrases like “brain food,” others like “antioxidants,” and even some like “belly fat burner,” get me mentally turned on. On my Princeton Review book for the GRE I put a dedication on the front page to Violet Beauregarde.