Superstitions


In December, J brought a calendar home from work for 2022 and hung it up. My mother glared at it and I knew what she was thinking “It’s bad luck to hang the next year’s calendar before the year begins unless it has December of the previous year” and this one did not. I don’t totally understand the superstition of the calendar except that it has something to do with the passage of time… I tried Googling it to see what exactly the superstition was, but Google did not give me an answer.

With the offensive calendar in place and no December 2021 in it, I did what any reasonable and rational adult would do…I turned it towards the wall so that it couldn’t be seen. The thing is, I’m not superstitious. Hanging a calendar early is not going to make 2022 more difficult than it should be or pass more quickly or slowly. Anyway with the calendar hung wrong (which supposedly negates the bad luck hanging it early brings), I went about my day and when J came home he saw it and asked “Why is the calendar closed and upside down and backwards?” Because it’s bad luck to hang a calendar early, I told him with a straight face. J didn’t say anything, but the look he gave me was way more communicative than any words he could have uttered.

The thing is, J has superstitions he believes and follows, one of them drives me absolutely nuts (we’ll get to that). As a believer in some superstitions, he should understand or accept my mother’s belief that hanging a calendar early is bad luck. I find this is not the case, we are comfortable only with the superstitions they grew up with. When we are introduced to a new one, there’s a better than average chance that we will think “that’s dumb” regardless of the fact that we have our own superstitions not that much different.

J’s big one is about opening and closing knives. Basically, if you open a pocket knife, you must close that pocket knife even if you aren’t using it and it’s bad luck if someone else closes it. This annoys me. If I use his pocket knife, he almost always opens it for me and I hate handing back an open knife, it just seems dangerous to me. He opens it to be “helpful” but this means he is A) handing me an open knife (yikes) and B) I have to return the knife open (double yikes… I am clumsy and imaginative, I can see bad things happening here). My father had this same superstition and it annoyed me with him too.

I am not going to talk about New Year’s Resolutions this year, because let’s face it, they are empty promises to ourselves most of the time. I did not make any this year. I didn’t make any last year either, because I know I will not follow through with them, so why bother. However, I was discussing this with my nephew and he informed me, he heard it was bad luck to not make any resolutions, because it means you want nothing to change in the new year. For the briefest moment, I had a moment of wonder… I didn’t make any resolutions last year and my publishing scheduled ended up super wonky and I didn’t get half the stuff completed that I wanted to complete could the two be connected? They aren’t, but for a moment I wondered. I know though that the publishing woes of 2021 were because everyone is suffering Pandemic Fatigue: the constant worry about getting sick and the mental health toll of a flurry of immediate and long term changes to our way of life.

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