Stocking up on wards and superstitions


The most hopeful thing I’ve read recently was this 2013 article in The Atlantic by Julie Beck. The story focused on a study in The Journal of Experimental Psychology that attempted to explain why we cling to certain rituals to get rid of bad luck. In the end, to change your fate, the study showed you had to physically “push” away bad luck.

So that’s my new goal because the past week has been bloody awful. I didn’t walk under a ladder, acquire a tails-up penny or break any mirrors, and I didn’t do anything to karmically bring a plague upon my house. Yet bad luck has definitely dropped by for a visit and I had the misfortune of answering the door.

First, M was in a car accident, a bad one. Some distracted idiot crashed into the back of his Prius at about 45 mph. The other driver hit so hard that his airbag blew. The impact also pushed M’s car into a third vehicle. After inspecting the damage, the insurance company informed us that M’s car was a total loss. This blows for many reasons, not the least of which was that we just bought the damn thing in March. M also spent $500 on new tires earlier this month. Now we have to either figure out a way to afford a new vehicle or remain a single-car household for a while.

M didn’t walk away scot-free from the crash either. For the past week, he’s been on a course of painkillers, muscle relaxants and cold packs for the minor whiplash he sustained. That said, his injuries could’ve been a lot worse, considering the condition of his car.

A couple days later, my glasses broke. Now, anyone who’s ever peered through my specs knows that I’m nearly blind. While I do own a backup pair, I can’t stand them. The lenses don’t seem to focus right, even after having them processed twice, which makes it difficult to read. Good thing I don’t need to read for a living… oh wait, I do! Wearing them for too long also gives me a headache.

Then, we received word from Chase that one of our credit card numbers had been stolen. The bastard thief used it to charge up a variety of items, none of which would indicate he/she was simply in dire need of necessessities. Of course, in the modern era, credit accounts are tied to online accounts as well as physical cards so now we have to update a bunch of auto-bill sources once the new cards arrive. (They haven’t yet.)

On Friday, we hired a guy to come over and do the annual maintenance on our home’s HVAC system. This process, we were told, would cost about $90. Once the guy was done with his inspection and repairs, we had to write a check for $1,300. Oh, and he discovered major issues with the system that the home inspector should have caught before we purchased the house, issues that need to be addressed in the next year or so. Cost for those repairs? About $20,000. There goes any plans for updated appliances, solar panels, home decorating, vacations, etc.

Amidst all this ill fortune, we’re terribly worried about a dear friend who is very sick. My job continues to be both stressful and trying. And Summer, my least favorite time of year, the season of heat, bugs, humidity and migraine-induced misery, has unofficially arrived.

Time to burn sage, light candles, toss salt and knock wood. Anything to make our luck change for the better.


  1. Oh wow! Must be in the water, or something….in March I was diagnosed with lung cancer….fortunately the tumor was small and well contained. We thought. I was recovering from hiatal hernia surgery so work on the tumor was delayed until last week. But wait! there’s more. On mother’s day I took a face plant when my flip-flop caught in the back door. And planted me on the kitchen floor. Seven stitches in my forehead…two black eyes, one hairline fracture in my left hand and a couple of bruised knees later, after I had pretty much recovered from that little event I went to the hospital to have surgery to remove the tumor and a third of my left lung. I woke up in recovery only to be informed that a preliminary exam and biopsy of a lymph gland meant no surgery…instead going for radiation and chemo. Heavy sigh. Actually, I’m a bit relieved…the surgery after effects sounded pretty nasty. And just now I got a text from my youngest daughter, going through a very rough patch as well!! What the HELL??? Yeah…get out the damn sage and everything else you can think of. However, after 86 years on the planet I know one thing for dead certain. It’ll change. And I am hoping for the better!! For all of us! So can I borrow some of that sage, too?

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