Most people that spend enough time around me know that I’m kind of superstitious. My paranoia isn’t to the extent that it disrupts my life, but manifests itself in the little things that I do every day. When I get out of bed, I always step on my right foot first. I don’t know that this is based on a superstition, so much as I was always told not to get out on the ‘wrong’ foot. I twist the stems off of my apples while reciting the alphabet, to find out the initials of my true love. This one works out well for me, seeing as Vann has eight possibilities scattered all over the alphabet.
I do not pick up pennies that are tails-side-up. If I spill salt, I will throw it over my left shoulder without even a second thought. I do not ever, ever wish someone ‘good luck’ before a show. Again, these little activities aren’t things that I think about all the time, but they are silly old wives’ tales that I observe.
A couple of days ago, there was a pair of shoes on the table in the theatre’s front office. Naturally, I took them off of the table and put them on the floor…you know…so the person who put them there wouldn’t have bad luck for the rest of the day. One of my friends/coworkers looked at me like I was insane and asked me why I moved her son’s shoes. When I told her about the No Shoes on the Table Rule she said simply ‘no, its shoes on the bed that brings bad luck. Put them back on the table.’
Well, I had never heard anything about shoes on the bed, so I left the shoes on the floor and wished her good luck. I tried to go on with my day, but I couldn’t. This was bothering me. I marched back to the office, stood right in front of her and demanded without preamble ‘what’s so unlucky about shoes on the bed?’
‘I don’t know,’ she said, ‘what’s so scary about shoes on the table?’
‘Um, mostly the fact that they’re unlucky,’ I retorted.
‘Well, seeing as they aren’t, I don’t think you have anything to worry about.’
With nothing left to say on the subject, I simply stepped over the shoes, walked away and spent the rest of the day wondering what indeed was so troublesome about shoes on the table – or the bed – that made them taboo? You know, other than the fact that somewhere, centuries ago, someone else said that it was bad luck, probably just to keep her kids from getting things dirty. Until I get a more satisfying answer, I’ll just leave my shoes on the floor where they belong.