Sunday, February 01, 2009

white rabbits x3

Did you say "white rabbits, whites rabbits, white rabbits" first thing today for luck? Or "rabbit rabbit" or any of the very many variations? I remembered to. It's a superstition that is believed to have originated in England, although no one agrees to how far back it goes.

My mom is British - she was born in Folkestone - but she doesn't remember the superstition. Her British father and her American mother lived most of their married life in Paris until my grandmother and my mother left Europe when my mother was the age of five. My grandmother was able to use the War as an excuse for them to move in with her family, although the real reason was that my grandmother was divorcing my grandfather. A big deal and quite difficult to be a single mom in the 1930s (not that it's a walk in the park, today, either). I have to hand it to my grandmother, who managed to raise my mom, work, and still maintain a positive outlook on life. She was never one to reveal her emotions in a big way, unlike the other, Italian/Sicilian members of my family, but she is definitely responsible for my work ethic and my iron-willed determination (that can sometimes be a little heavy on the iron, but, that's how it goes.)

White rabbits x3 may be British in origin, but I think my desire to incorporate it into my personal collection of superstitions probably does come from the Sicilian/Italian in me. Wives tales, folklore and superstitions seemed to part of the daily vocabulary of my father's family. Here are some of my favorites:
  • Throw salt over your shoulder if you spill it
  • Don't split a pole when walking with someone
  • No hats on the bed!
  • Knock on wood if you speak of something that might bring bad luck
  • Finding a heads up penny bring good luck
  • And of course...

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