By Karen Ballum on June 07, 2012
In Laura Dave's The First Husband, the main character is a little bit superstitious. Annie is convinced that every time she watched the Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck movie Roman Holiday something bad will happen. I can understand why she believes that. Every time she's watched it something bad has happened.
"I'm not normally -- not, as a rule, at least -- a superstitious person. But there are hard and true fat that can't be ignored. The first time I saw Roman Holiday, I was seven years old and watched it during family movie night with both my parents. The following day ahty announced they were getting a divorce." Pages 1-2
This superstition is one of the first things we learn about Annie. Her parents divorce is only the first thing that happened after watching the movie. Later viewings preceded job losses, house fires and breakups. Of course, all these things would have happened even if she hadn't watched Roman Holiday but I understand why she had a negative association with the film. I've been a little superstitious myself from time to time.
As a kid I read a lot in the car. Well, I read a lot in general but reading made longer drives more bearable. One morning while we were driving we were in a car accident. We hit black ice and the car flipped into a ditch. The car was totalled but we were all fine. A few bumps and bruises and my mother needed a few stitches but we were really lucky. The car had been full of people, including my grandparents. When the accident happened I was reading. It was years before I'd pick up that book again. I didn't feel that reading the book caused the accident at all, but I was did a little superstition that if I started reading the book something bad might happen. When I finally did read the book, nothing bad happened. I'm glad but if something bad had happened I'm not sure that I would have ever picked up the book again!
Opening umbrellas indoors may be bad luck but I still do it. How else are they supposed to dry properly? I don't throw salt over my shoulder. If a black cat crosses my path I'll probably try to pet it. Yet, I can't say that I'm completely not superstitious. I don't walk under ladders, though that has less to do with superstition and more to do with my fear of knocking them over. I do knock wood for luck if I say "knock wood' and if there's wood at my disposal. I don't know how much of the things I do are truly superstitions or just habits and routines. I love hearing and reading about superstitions though and they are frequently some of my favourite parts of stories.
Are you superstitious? Is there a superstition you particularly enjoy?
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