Growing up my mom told me “Never buy a man a pair of shoes because they will wear those shoes and walk out your life”.
I might have been 13 or 14 years old at the time this conversation took place. Just starting to like boys and probably wanted to get something nice for a boy I liked, hence the heads up. I believed her, why wouldn’t I. Moms are known for their advice. They give us advice primarily to protect us, especially from any mistakes they made. As I thought about her advice, I agreed that, it would be terrible to watch a man walk out of my life wearing the same shoes I loving gave him as a gift. Strange foreshadowing but something similar happened 23 years later. It would be a Bose radio, not shoes, gifted by me to my ex-husband, which he packed up along with his other belongings, after I decided it was time for him to go. You darn right I wanted that Bose radio back!! I cannot even imagine if it were a pair of shoes. I probably would have tackled him down to the ground and forcibly removed them.
There are so many superstitions we grow up with. I recently conducted a poll and asked how many people add money when gifting someone a wallet. At one point, it was a tie. Most people never heard of a such a thing. Add money? I just paid for the wallet?!?! However, some, like myself, believe it brings good luck to the recipient. You are sending positive wishes that their wallet will never be empty. I personally leave money in wallets I no longer use. I am not talking hundreds of dollars, but a quarter or at best a dollar will suffice.
When asked how many people bring a gift for the hostess when invited to a get together. 71% responded yes, while 29% said they do not. Again, this one for me goes back to mom. “Never arrive at a party empty handed”, she would say. My go to is a bottle of wine - (generally the brand I like unless I know the host family’s favorite). One cannot go wrong with a bottle of wine unless the hostess, or their partner, are recovering alcoholics (always good to check) If they are, a dessert is always a win!
Another oldie but goodie we were told as kids, it was bad luck to celebrate your birthday BEFORE your actual birthday, just in case you died before it came. It took years for me to be ok with this one. I mean, if I did celebrate my birthday before it came and then happened to die before my actual birthdate, I least I had a party!! But in full transparency, I still celebrate my birthday, and my kids, as close if not ALWAYS on or after our birthdays. I am not one to tempt fate. Plus, momma said so lol.
Another one was “never buy or assemble a baby crib until after the baby is born”. Why mom? Why? Her response “Just in case the baby doesn’t make it”. My goodness!! Sounds like a lot of doom and gloom and pending death. But yup, three kids and we never bought or assembled the cribs until after my kids were born. At the heart of it, I guess this superstition is to help in the event something does go wrong and helps reduce the trauma of having to have all the baby's items removed.
You might be thinking what year was my mother born? 1800s? Infant mortalities have significantly improved so it is ok to buy a crib? I mean, what other large baby product can our co-workers all chip in and buy? Nah, I think it is more a cultural thing. My family is from Jamaica and it is curious and entertaining to learn different superstitions from other cultures. Did you know in Russia, yellow flowers symbolize death, infidelity or separation. In Germany, it's bad luck to toast with water (Guilty as charged!).
There are so many superstitions, it is inevitable we will break one intentionally or unintentionally (how many of us really tried to see if we could break our mommas back by stepping on a crack? Me!!) So go ahead be free, put good intentions behind your gifting and hope all goes well (knock on wood).
I would love to hear about other superstitions around gifting you may know about!
P.s, the statement about putting your wallet/purse/pocketbook on the floor is another superstition that states you will be broke. Putting your wallet on the floor can be construed as careless, so I can see how that superstition might have come to be. Rest assured one will not find my bag on the floor...EVER!