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The Marriage Wars: Spots, superstition and wierd routines
Nov 14, 2012 | 1146 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print

By DAWN BRANDVOLD-GRAY

I’
m not afraid of black cats, my favorite number is 13, and if it looks stable I’ll walk under a ladder without a thought. I like to think of myself as practicing “pro-active” superstition. I’m admitting I’m a control freak who likes to think my actions control the outcome.

Before anyone scoffs, I have yet to have a bad day when I wear my lucky necklace, a collection of three charms purchased from three different places. I don’t wear it randomly. I only don the necklace when I feel in need of its special powers. It could be argued that all the positive and confident energy I radiate when wearing it is where the power comes from.

An avid Jazz fan, I firmly believe that eating a certain meal prior to games along with a bad rendition of the national anthem will be just the added spark for a Utah victory. I used to wear the same shirt to every game, but that proved futile.

Oh, I know it’s all in fun, but when life comes at you fast it helps to pull out our own version of a security blanket. Maybe my lucky necklace is silly, but the comfort I get from feeling the silver starfish I got after a weekend with my beloved sister makes me feel nearly invincible. 

When flying, I count to 19 when the plane takes off С not that the number 19 holds any significance, but I read somewhere that the mostly like time for a crash is within the first 19 seconds after takeoff. There is probably no truth to that, but as soon as I hit 19, I sit back and enjoy the flight. 

I bet most of us have little rituals that we do “just to be on the safe side” and who cares? As children’s author Judith Viorst said “Superstition is foolish, childish, primitive and irrational Р but how much does it cost you to knock on wood?”

By MARK GRAY

T

here is a major difference between routine and superstition. My wife, for instance, invariably avoids filling up the gas tank in her SUV until the gas gauge shows red and the vehicle is running on fumes. This is not a superstition, merely a routine behavior that makes me crazy. 

Similarly, she has an extreme fear of anything remotely looking like dust, dirt, or a spot. If a single leaf blows in on the living room carpet, the entire house will receive a massive sterilization.

I joke that when she is reincarnated she will come back as a bottle of Mr. Clean.

But along with the routine she is also superstitious Р and that’s where I draw the line. I can shake my head in amazement at peculiar routines, but when it comes to superstition, I can only recommend a therapist. 

Adults admit the foolishness of childhood superstitions such as throwing salt over your shoulder or avoiding black cats. Yet many invent new superstitions for adulthood. My wife has more than a few.

Superstitions must be a tool to confront the randomness of being human. So many things are out of our control: diseases, auto accidents, employment difficulties, the weather. Stuff happens, and in many cases we did nothing to cause it and no credible way to fix it.

This powerlessness is frustrating, but I simply accept my own limitations. My wife, however, fights this chaos with actions.

She thinks she can retain control of situations, a harmless way of addressing a random world in which there are more questions than solid answers.

I’m amused by her belief that she has power.

Most husbands understand fully that we don’t have much power anyway, so all I can do is smile and pretend to understand.

 

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