I always used to smirk at the memory of my mum who was so superstitious she even invented her own superstitions. If me, my brother or sister ever sneezed while she was around, she would stop what she was doing and watch intently to see if we sneezed again – so she could run over and peck us on the cheek…”once a wish, twice a kiss” she’d say pleased with herself that she’d saved us from some impending fate of gloom that would’ve surrounded us should she have missed that 2nd sneeze. And as she walked away believing she’d foiled any bad fate that had been on its way to us, we’d rub the offending ‘fag breath’ kiss off our cheeks with a sleeve and an almighty “eeeewwwww muuuuuum!” I must admit I do have to hold myself back from this one with my own kids…but have you ever heard of the “once a kiss, twice a wish thing?”
Then, the obvious don’t walk under ladders – I’d do it on purpose and revel in this rebellious act when I’d got home from school, telling mum about it and then feel wickedly satisfied at the horror flashing in her eyes. And the one about smashing mirrors bringing 7 years bad luck…I remember giggling with my friends at school when I was about 12 and found mum trying to sellotape the broken bits of mybedroom mirror together which she’d dropped while cleaning. The worse thing for my mum was not knowing whether she was due the 7 years bad luck because she’d smashed it – or whether because it was my mirror, the evil black hand of doom was lying in wait for me.
However, the funniest superstition mum had (and nobody I know has heard of this one) was that red and white flowers together are very bad luck – the worse kind of luck you could ever have…apparently. An old boyfriend of mine, knowing that my mum wasn’t too keen on him (he wasn’t good enough for her baby, of course) thought he’d done a magnificent thing by buying her a huge, expensive bunch of red and white roses on her birthday. I’m surprised that the look she gave him has he presented the bouquet to her didn’t wilt the bloody things! But mum was horrified and felt sure he did it purpose. Later that day she told me “See, I told you he was no good, he bought me red and white roses on purpose because he wants me to have bad luck!” Poor boy, the only bad luck he had was getting involved with me and my nutty family.
So, as I said, I was never really zoned into my mum’s “we’re doomed” philosphy of superstition until last week…Mean Tean due to audition for a place at a presitigious dance college, woke up that morning and couldn’t walk! All of the intense training she’d been doing had played havoc with her hip and the osteo said that the severity of the injury means she won’t be dancing now until after Christmas…luckily, she can re-audition, but she was so psyched up. I told my mum when she called to ask how Mean Teen has got on and there was a silence at the end of the phone:
“What’s up mum?” I asked, wondering if the line had gone dead.
“It comes in threes, love. Be careful.” She whispered in a weird spooky voice.
“Sorry mum? What do you mean – bad luck?”
As I could do without her Private Frazer from Dad’s Army impersonation, I was a bit off with her about her ‘silly superstitions’ and cut the conversation short… Next day, Stressed Husband almost blew a fuse when he got in from work and told me that “Some, beep beeeeeeeeeeeeeep, beeeeeep!!!! ******%%$£%!!!!!” Had smashed his back window and nicked his laptop. I know, I know,’left it on the backseat?’ When I gingerly mentioned that this wasn’t a very clever thing to do, he looked very sad and said “But it really was only for two minutes.” Two minutes too long I thought. But, what do you reckon? Because he told the insurance company the truth, they said he’s not covered as he left the laptop on the backseat – so he has to pay out for a new one. Then…
The next day, My Boy got his mobile ‘jacked’ by a couple of little bastards miscreants in the local park. The police were informed, and luckily My Boy was unharmed. He’s been asked to pick out the suspects on the police’s ‘laptop of local criminals’, but My Boy, being just 13, is too scared. The last words they uttered to him as they walked away smirking, with his mobile that he’d saved up to buy, was “You tell the police mate and you just see what happens to you…” Well, would you let your son point them out to the police?
I’m hoping that My Boy’s mugging was number 3 of the bad things that mum warned me about – and that there are no other ghastly events about to befall the Writeonmum family but I’m also guessing that perhaps dear old mum she isn’t as daft as I thought so I think I’ll buy her a lovely bunch of flowers to make my peace after our last ‘phone call – just better make sure they’re not red and white, of course!