Monday, March 05, 2007

Sunday Scribblings--Superstition

Crab Shell
I can't do anything on time this week. Late for my photo meme and late for Scribblings. Well here is my entry.

It is hard not to be superstitious at times. For example, I plain forgot Sunday Scribblings yesterday. Is that bad luck? What about spilled salt, black cats, ladders, broken mirrors, etc? Did you ever have a lucky t-shirt or socks? Did you ever feel a day was doomed from the minute you woke up?
Actually today was one of the latter days. I woke up on the wrong side of the bed and worse yet so did my younger son. It is hard to have a good morning when struggling with a cranky kid. And he’s been more cranky than usual. I’m not allowed to write about my work day for confidentiality reasons, but there were moments today when I wished I had stayed in bed.
So here I am pondering superstition. Do you remember when chain mail was in vogue? I got a couple of those in my day. I always resented the threat that I’d have eternal bad luck if I didn’t send them on. But I refused to cave to superstition and I refused to pass on bad karma to people I cared about. I don’t really think it gave me bad luck but there was that brief moment when I “broke the chain” that I asked myself “What if. . . .?”
I think I had an unlucky childhood but that was none of my doing. I have had a lucky adulthood which I think I earned the hard way. Like many people, I fear that if things go too well the other shoe will drop (and what does that expression really mean anyway)? But I tell my patients to enjoy their successes without fearing retaliation from the gods (in the Roman or Greek sense). And I should listen to my own advice.
Speaking of Greeks (or is it Romans?), I do somewhat believe that hubris earns its own well-deserved reward. Plus I rarely like people who are too sure of themselves. But does anybody really get his or her just rewards? Of course, if there is an afterlife, none of us really know to testify.
One of my sons was born on Friday the 13th. Even in the insanity of labor, the thought occurred to push harder and try to have the baby before midnight but the thought was fleeting and my son is a blessing. So I guess I’ll toss that superstition. Now this is a lucky day in my book.
What about my Zodiac sign? I never read my horoscope. I think it is a load of Taurus. But my sign is Cancer. Ever since I was young, the sign seemed to fit. Moody, moon-child, sign of the crab—that’s me.
When I studied abroad in Paris, a friend treated me to having my palm read at the Parisian Marche aux Puces (flea market). The woman told me I’d have a long life and have “only three children.” At the time I was struck by her definition of “only.” Well, I “only” have two that I know of, unless nature works in mysterious ways before menopause strikes for good.
When I was in medical school, I made up my own superstition. The cafeteria was unfortunately placed near the morgue in the basement. Occasionally there would be a long box covered by a blanket left in the hallway. It was pretty obvious from the shape what the box was. Why anyone would leave this in the hall is beyond me. So I made up that it was bad luck to pass a coffin on the way to lunch. Makes sense, doesn't it?
Knock on wood (and not the coffin kind), my luck in life will be good. My birthday is supposedly a good day in terms of dice rolls. I know a Chinese woman who will do my Chinese fortune if I ask. As for all those broken chain letters, it’s too late baby, as the song goes. I lost my lucky sweatshirt years ago. But other than being a bit tired, sick of winter and pining for a day off (vacation starts March 16!!!!!!!), I’m O.K. I hope you’re O.K. too.


Tarakuanyin said...

I'm a scorpio. One of my friends said to me the other day: "Scorpio. Oh, I stay away from those." I've heard that over and over again, but I don't think I'm that bad! The coffin superstition is funny. Weird, to leave one in the hall that way.

Thanks for your comment on my blog. I really appreciated it.

sognatrice said...

I really like this post, especially the cadaver superstition. You're right--that can't be a good omen for the day ;)

paris parfait said...

You're so right about that expression "waiting for the other shoe to drop." While I understand what is meant by the expression, I don't understand the significance of the shoes. And in your case, it's lucky 13 for your child!

As for hubris, I can think of a few politicians to whom that applies.

That's an interesting superstition that you made up about lunchtime and the morgue.:)

gautami tripathy said...

Interesting post. In some parts of India, if one sees a dead bodybeing taken for cremations, it is considered a good omen. For the fact that the soul has escaped and has become one with GOD.

Liza's Eyeview said...

Oh those "chain letters"...they scared me but never did any of them. Remember the ones that says if you don't pass it on, something bad will happen to you? I'm glad I'm still alive!

jenica said...

oh my goodness, who would even want to eat after passing a corpse on the way to lunch! ;-D i can't even imagine. thanks for the post.

angela said...

I never used to believe in luck, thought we made our own but I've had such a difficult 12 months that I'm forced to think that I was just plain lucky...before all this and I didn't know it.
I like the story of the cadaver...I'd like to think something like that might happen to me when I'm dead...Just imagine dead and still having adventures.