This month is a good time of the year to think about superstitions. In our house, superstitions are alive and well. It's mostly my fault, as my husband seems to forever be asking me why we are throwing salt over our shoulders or why I gasp aloud when he puts a hat on a bed.
I never put new shoes on a table (not due to hygiene issues, though you would think that would be enough of a deterrent, but because it's bad luck). From a very early age, I was instructed never to open an umbrella in the house. Again, not because you could poke a family member's eye out, but because our household would befall a great tragedy.
When I got married, I followed the family tradition to have the wedding time set with the hands of the clock moving upward, toward the hour, instead of downward, toward the half-hour. This meant we got married at half past six instead of six o'clock. I was horrified to learn that William and Kate set their 2011 wedding at 11 a.m. on the dot, but of course, I rationalized, with all that hoopla they probably didn't get around to saying their vows until 11:30. That made me breathe a lot easier.
I swear the only kitchen disasters I've had have occurred when my lucky yellow apron is in the wash. It's stained and frayed, but I wouldn't cook for my in-laws without it. I own five pairs of Michigan Technological University husky socks, but I have learned never to wear them to games. And the reason the Detroit Tigers finally beat the Athletics Thursday night? It was because I wasn't watching. They can be 12 runs ahead without me watching, but the second I enter the room, Papa Grande will tank it in the 9th inning. I know, that might not be my fault, but it's happened way too often to just be a coincidence.
I'm also big into rituals, which differ from superstitions in that they seem to be done for some reason that makes sense to those doing them. For instance, Saturday has become "smoothie" day in our house, for no other reason than it uses up all the fruit we intended to eat during the week, plus we actually have time in the morning to find the blender and reacquaint ourselves with how to use it.
Sunday is omelet day, which again helps to use up leftover mushrooms and bell peppers, etc. that didn't make it into the week's dinners. My husband makes the omelets, which is good because I can't cook eggs to save my life. He has a favorite omelet pan that is used only for Omelet Sunday, and we sit down for a game of "Upwords" while we eat. It's a nice time to catch up on the week, and prepare for the week ahead.
There are some rituals I could live without.
When the weather changed for the worse last week, I pulled out a warmer jacket and was instantly reminded why I don't wear it more often.
"Dang," I told my husband. "I need to fix the big hole in the pocket."
"Didn't you say that last year?" he asked.
"Of course," I sighed. "It's tradition."
Jane Nordberg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.