I want to begin here by saying that I was a person of science. But that would not be entirely true. The only thing I did in my science classes were pass notes, talk, draw caricatures of my earnest teachers and eat behind their backs. At the first chance I got, I opted out of learning more of it and turned to Economics and Commerce. 

But yes, Big Bang did happen, all of us evolved from apes (I mean, how else would you explain some people), dinosaurs were cruelly killed somehow and everything in the human body is measured by percentages of elements and nothing else. 
There was a time when I would invite Black Cats to cross my path, I think they ran the other way when I crossed their's. There was a time I scoffed and smirked at anyone crossing their hearts, throwing salt over their shoulder, running away from ladders, shielding themselves from eclipses or warding off the "evil eye". 

That was a time when I didn't have as much vested in the world. 

Recently as we, a group of moms stood talking, one of them scoffed at another about warding off the evil eye off their son. The scoffer said, 'Don't believe in that crap. That's not the way the world works.' 

I am a closeted superstitious soul. 

I can't risk it anymore. There was a time I invited Karma to come calling. Or spilled salt at life, broke mirrors that didn't tell me that I was the fairest and whatever else old wives fancied. That was before. Before kids. Before meeting the love of my life. 

What if something happened to them because of that silly cat, or of not crossing my fingers?

'That's not the way the world works.' Perhaps. Let me also tell you how else the world does not work. 

Good things doesn't always happen to good people. We have no qualms with it happening to bad people. But bad bad things happen to good people. A lot. You never see a news piece about some freak accident where the reporter comes back and says, 'Oh don't feel too bad. This guy was an a$$hole'. 

Luck doesn't always turn for the hardworking. Sometimes Murphy or God or something out there just sets out to get you. 

Drunks still drive. Sometimes they text while they are at it. 

Wrong place, wrong time aligns more often than not. 

Prayers go unanswered. 

Cancers don't always go after the smokers, alcoholics, substance abusers or perpetual tanners. 

The safest place is not always your home or your school or a hospital or even your place of worship. 

Technology does not always enable. Those machines that are taken for granted decide to revolt when you least expect it like landing gear when you want to land a Boeing. 

Irony is commonplace. 

Some times some things in life can't be explained.  

While everyone is doing everything the sciences tell you and still see that not everything is perfect, they create something imperfect to believe in. Its beauty is in its imperfection. You never have to explain it with calculated reason or rhyme. It just is. And just like our sciences and medical know-all, it works until it doesn't. 

Yes, I will burn salt and ancho chilies to ward off the evil eye off my girls. Yes, I will cross my fingers when BK sets out to do something stupid. I will knock that wood till it breaks in two, I won't place any consecutive 6s around me. On Fridays that are also the 13th day of the month, I will put my family under house arrest. 

I think part of being a partner in love, a mother, a child to wonderful parents, a sister or a friend is to constantly appreciate how blessed we get with every passing day. To treasure that constantly. To greedily want more. To ensure that nothing rocks that world but celebrations. 

And to anyone who wants to mock and scoff, please pick on those beliefs that are harmful to people, to their souls. Things like having a female child is ill luck. 

So in the mean while, dear Black Cat, stay out of my neighborhood. 

Please tell me that I am not alone. In the comments, please tell me what superstition have you sold out for?

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01/17/2014 6:47am

So the underlying question then is, do you think these fears might pass on to your kids? ... things happen yes, but isn't it better that we acknowledge that they do than hope some invisible person, knocks on wood, "hurting" creepy black cats would actually avert them from happening?
and this very dubious statistic of bad bad things happening to good people a lot is a one-sided argument. it seems like that cos its always the good ppl complaining about it. cos now why would the bad ppl complain about something bad happening to them, if they know very clearly that a possible result of their bad deed is something really bad!!! (so there are a lot of bads in that sentence, but i hope it makes sense!)
Actually very few ppl have the guts to say out loud when something bad happens to an individual that deserved it. and if they do, they get reprimanded for being unkind and so on so forth! i think the only ppl who can and do get away with saying that someone/ people deserved what came to them (like a hurricane, earthquake, fire etc) are religious fanatic leaders (church priests/ evangelists, mullahs, rabbis etc)... anyway i think i've already written too much ;)
love all that you write by the way, and read whenever you post!
although as a parting shot may i add, i remember a good friend of mine from college being bulldozed by the principal and his cronies to sign some document that would compromise her friends that had participated with her at a certain performance at a certain hotel... she had flatly refused to give them anything! she was (and is) amazingly brave in my opinion... and that day, she taught me that in the event of being in a bad situation, no matter how bad, if you have ppl to count on you'll always get through it. After she refused, and walked out of the office with this serious face, i remember her seeing us, smiling, telling the rest of us all about what just happened, and we all had a real good laugh! but then i'll let you decide if that friend of mine was then knocking on wood, thinking if a black cat had ever crossed her path for her to get into trouble etc, and then knocking on more wood, avoiding all cats and praying dilligently to all gods possible to avoid getting into trouble like that again!
loads of love :)

Jen K
01/17/2014 10:20am

Oh JK! I so needed that dose of walk down memory's thorny and glorious path. *sniff* Such great times!

You make great points and have begun the churning of the wheels in my head again. Passing it on to our kids - hmmmm. Interestingly enough, the two most unsuperstitious people that I know are my parents. Once seeing me "warding off the evil eye" off little A, my mom shook her head and said, 'If it were only that simple or that easy". My dad just asked if this was why he sent me to school.

I picked my own vices. I think there is too much pressure today on each generation. The old generation of creating a hand-me-down-worthy legacy. The new generation of being better than the previous and each trying to avoid being judged by the other. My parents’ are their own people, set in a time that was different to mine. I am my own person and hence the closeted nature of certain beliefs and murderous tendencies towards black cats. ;) And if anything, I just hope my girls grow up knowing that they can be whoever they want to be (from the list that I have provided them, ofcourse) ;)

Now the good and the bad. You have a good point there. I guess what I meant was things like Sandy Hook shooting that took away 20 6 year olds or that 5 year old in Tamil Nadu, India that was beaten nearly to death by his own parents. And yes, the hurricanes and other wrath by nature. These are the kind of bad that I dread most. The kind that can’t be explained or avoided. It happened when it shouldn't have. :’(
I will continue to side step ladders, cross my fingers and fervently pray that it steers clear from me and mine.

Sigh! It is a double edged sword I am wielding here, no?

You say the most sweetest things. Brave? By no means, I assure you. I did write my own ‘story’ that day at that disgrace-of-a-clergy’s office and signed it with some signature that read Gincy Poppins George! That was the extend of my thug attitude. I remember him asking me over and over ‘wheech boyz come with you to hotel’? What a nightmare! A nightmare that assured me who my friends were.
Much Love JK. I can't wait to hang out with you guys again someday. XO


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