Tagged Rituals

Superstitions, Rituals and Bargains with God: Part 1 of 2

Superstitions Row 1


Years of sun damage have finally caught up to me and I never seem to make it out of the dermatologist’s office without some bad news.


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Using the lucky mug to influence my fortunesĀ is just one of many superstitions and rituals I’ve adopted on and off since I was a child.


When we were growing up, my sisters and I were convinced our family was cursed and attributed all childhood misfortune to it.


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After I was married, I marveled at how extraordinarily lucky (my now ex-) husband was. No matter how illegal, crazy or careless his actions,


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Most of us aren’t so lucky. For those of us born without “the lucky horseshoe”, there are superstitions, rituals and bargains with God. I started early.


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As my childhood passed, lucky talismans and superstitions came and went.


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When I was 13, I struck my first bargain with God.


We were invited up to a neighbor’s lake cabin for a day of swimming and boating. I couldn’t wait to try water skiing, but as the day approached I became worried and nervous. My sole athletic accomplishment to date had been passing Beginner Swimming at the local pool.


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As we drove home that night, I knew it was time to make the first payment of the 25,550 (approximate) lifetime rosaries promised. I started praying… and promptly fell asleep.


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I made a good effort the first week, but fell asleep every time I started praying. I told myself I’d say two rosaries a day to make up for the missed payments. I eventually re-negotiated the entire deal, telling God that giving up TV for Lent that year covered Lent plus the rosary obligation. It was delusional, but I didn’t think it was a good idea to leave a contract WITH GOD hanging without resolution. (That’s just the solid kind of businesswoman I am.)


Tomorrow: Adulthood Size Superstitions, Rituals and Bargains with God


Superstitions, Rituals and Bargains with God: Part 2 of 2

I didn’t attempt another bargain with God until 1980. At that point, I was married with a 17 month old and a newborn. I had been a light smoker for a couple of years, yet couldn’t seem to shake the habit despite having tried a number of times.


While I was pregnant, I experienced numbness down my right arm.


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I froze.


I had two babies to take care of. My mother, grandmother and cousin all had M.S. I feared I would spend motherhood in a wheelchair or bedridden. I made a deal with God on the spot.


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I was jubilant! And I never, ever, smoked another cigarette.


Years later, my daughter and I took up horseback riding. As in other sports, superstition was common and widespread. I had my own unique superstitions and rituals.


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Others’ superstitions around the barn were accepted and respected. We were one big happy neurotic family.


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It is noteworthy that our superstitions themselves were 100% within our control, convenient and…. cheap.


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Scientists say a low sense of control creates a high need for superstition. This explains why even a great like Michael Jordan wore his lucky North Carolina training shorts under his Bulls uniform during every game of his career.


John Elway, the famous Denver Broncos quarterback, sat in the same seat on team flights, drove in the same lane on the way to the airport and engaged in many other rituals and superstitions. Finally, tired of managing them all, Elway decided the only superstition he would have would be to have no superstitions at all.


After I finish organizing my coffee mugs, I’m going to give that some thought.


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