Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Salt Over the Shoulder

I watched it plummet in slow motion, end over end, until the tiny hand-held mirror I've dropped hundreds of times without consequence collided with the tile and shattered into six different pieces.


Four days into 2012, and I've already managed to acquire a curse. Not a good way to start a bitter cold morning, replete with wet hair and stomach ache.

I harbored thoughts about the darned mirror all day long. Wondering when the bad luck would kick in, I held my breath the entire 12 minutes I spent driving to work. I'm not a complete moron, so of course, I took a few breaths--when it seemed absolutely necessary to do so. I did not, however, cut it close on a left hand turn, I didn't not run the tail end of four different yellow lights, and I did not speed up to deny a lane change for the jerk beside me who cut off two other cars before he zoomed to the space beside me and decided to cut off me as well.


I treaded lightly. I pried wide my weary eyes. And I gave a few extra "hellos" to strangers, hoping the good karma might counteract the bad energy inevitably coming my way.

When I finally made it home, I couldn't take it anymore; I decided to investigate.

I googled "seven years of bad luck AND broken mirror" and a whole host sites offered their wisdom. In just a few clicks, I learned that the Romans were responsible for this silly little myth. First, because they invented mirrors. Second, because they believed that mirrors represented one's soul, and if one's soul broke into pieces on the floor, then of course that couldn't be a very good thing. Third, apparently they also believed that life renewed every seven years. If a careless soul managed to live seven years past the tragic accident, well, he would be free from his past, and hopefully in his reborn future, he'd be a bit more careful.

As I read further, I learned that tossing salt over my shoulder helps, as does spinning counter-clockwise. Salt tossing apparently eliminates all bad luck and spinning the wrong way after engaging some other form of bad luck generates confusion for the evil spirits. On a few sites, I also learned that blackening glass chards with fire, storing them and burying them a year later--at night--will help reduce my curse by six years.

I decided to take my chances with spins and salt. Me + fire + stored chards of glass seems to hold more potential for danger than turning around, tossing some salt and apologizing to the universe for my careless finger fumble.

I shook a handful of grains into my palm while I sauteed mushrooms. Then I wound up for the melodramatic flick of flakes. Just after the moment of release, J wrestled with the lock on the door and I promptly spun counter clockwise, prancing across the kitchen to open it.

Then--I declared the curse over. Don't get me wrong, I love the Romans, but I don't believe it takes seven years for me to renew. I renew myself each and every night when I see my husband, share a meal, sit down, contemplate my day and vow to be better.

As I swept up the salt though, I decided it doesn't hurt to have a backup plan.

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