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Teen Superstition...

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 Hey, everyone, I am writing a book with a character who has all these bizarre superstitions about how things work--what constitutes an omen and so forth. I've made up some of her beliefs to further the story, but I'd like to add some real superstitions.

I've done a lot research on superstitions, but much of what I've found is either generic or dates from several decades ago. I think I'm at the point where I need to go anecdotal. I'm specifically looking for off-the-wall superstitions or beliefs held by teens or tweens. So, what strange beliefs have your kids shared with you?

I'll give you an example of the sort of thing I'm looking for--my ten year old explained to me the other day how I can use a zooble to tell if there's a thunderstorm is coming. You put it one the window sill and it shakes if there's a storm on the way.

Thanks for the help.
#1 - July 06, 2012, 11:25 AM

 A favorite when mine were tweens - if you wear your pajamas backward when there's snow in the forecast you get a snow day. I'd do it right now if I thought the thermometer would fall below 95!
#2 - July 06, 2012, 12:33 PM

cindybb

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My kids do the pajama and snow storm thing too!

And my 15 year old daughter makes wishes every day at 11:11.
There are times she waits watching the clock for it to happen.

#3 - July 06, 2012, 01:17 PM

jeffman

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When I was in high school, we did something else at 11:11. :)
#4 - July 06, 2012, 01:59 PM

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Yes, we definitely thought it was "good luck" when the clock is all the same (3:33, 11:11, etc)

Also, you had to hold your breath while driving through tunnels or passing graveyards or walking past certain houses, or it was "bad luck"

And touch the ceiling of the car if you run a yellow light

(come to think of it a lot of mine are vehicle-based - I guess from growing up in los angeles! ;-)
#5 - July 06, 2012, 02:09 PM
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Okay, Jeff, you're going to have to at least give us a hint!
#6 - July 06, 2012, 02:10 PM
The Farwalker Trilogy
The Humming of Numbers
Reality Leak

www.jonisensel.com

Yes, they still do the make a wish thing when the time on the clock is all the same number.

When the clasp of your necklace twists around to the front you make a wish before shifting it to the back again.

Also, you make a wish when you've lost an eyelash and it's on your cheek. You place the eyelash on the tip of your finger and blow it away when you wish.

I remember raising our feet when we went over railroad tracks as a teen. There was some superstition involved in that but I can't even remember what it was. Maybe someone else did this and will remember "the rest of the story." :)

We also used to twist the stems off apples and say the alphabet with each twist. We'd rotate the apple and say a letter with each rotation. Whatever letter the stem broke off on, that would be the first letter of your future husband's last name. What a productive use of our time that one was!

And, of course, we did the one where we crammed everyone at the slumber party into the bathroom, turned out the lights and said "Bloody Mary" 3 times so the real Bloody Mary would appear in the mirror. And we all ran out screaming every time. No, I cannot tell you what Bloody Mary looks like but I was convinced someone in the group actually saw her because there had to have been a reason the first person started screaming, right? LOL

Oh, and if your and your boyfriend's (even if he wasn't really your boyfriend) song came on the radio, he would call you before the song stopped playing. If you were out in public when you heard the song, you would run into him. It didn't work if you played the song intentionally from a tape or record. It only worked if the song randomly came on the radio. You couldn't call and request it either. There were RULES to the magic! Ahhhh, good times . . .



#7 - July 06, 2012, 02:50 PM

You don't wear your pajamas backwards to get a snow day.  You wear them inside out.  :)
#8 - July 06, 2012, 02:55 PM
Stephanie Theban aka Leeth

http://storiesreademwritem.blogspot.com

jeffman

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Joni: Have you ever watched That 70s Show?
#9 - July 06, 2012, 03:42 PM

420?
#10 - July 06, 2012, 03:59 PM
Stephanie Theban aka Leeth

http://storiesreademwritem.blogspot.com

jeffman

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Stephanie, I'm shocked. SHOCKED! to read such a idea. I don't even know what it means. Seriously . . .
#11 - July 06, 2012, 04:07 PM

A) I have teens who explain things to the old lady.
B) I graduated from high school in 1976, when the stock response when someone said "Hi" in the hallway was "not yet."

Oddly, I was one of the three teens in America that weren't getting high, but that doesn't mean that I was unaware of what was going on.  Anyone remember ludes?
#12 - July 06, 2012, 04:11 PM
Stephanie Theban aka Leeth

http://storiesreademwritem.blogspot.com

Liz
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We held our feet up going over a bridge, it had something to do with the bridge not collapsing in the water.  (as if holding your feet up would actually lighten the load, but when there was a load of teens in a car we all did it.)   Or perhaps the car would not go off the bridge into the river.  All I remember is it was so your feet would not get wet.  (I think half of the time we held up the ceiling of the car and half the time we didn't - focus was mainly on the feet)

We held our breath past a cemetery also, I believe that was to prevent the dead from sucking the life from you. 

Spilling salt, you had to throw it over your shoulder. (I honestly don't remember if it is supposed to be right or left) and I don't know what bad luck that was supposed to bring.

There is the writing down of your name and your boyfriend's name (or want to be boyfriends names) and crossing out the letters that are alike to see if you were destined to be enemies, friends, lovers, or married.  I remembered that you would write entire names, nicknames, anything until you could find a way to get the result you wanted.  You definitely did not want enemies to come up friends was sort of okay, but you desperately wanted the last two.
#13 - July 06, 2012, 04:12 PM
You must do the things you think you cannot do.  Eleanor Roosevelt

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When I was twelve if I came  across a tree stump, I would stand on it, turn three times, and make a wish.  My older sister told me to do this. I always believed her.

To this day I have to put my left sock or shoe on first, but that is probably not a superstition....just a wee OCD.
#14 - July 06, 2012, 06:57 PM

scribblegirl just had a great idea!  I saw my brother last week and he told me he used to tell me all sorts of #$% and "you believed it."  He's 7 years older. (we're 53 and 60 now).

Your characters could have any superstition you want them to have if some older sibling or other older kid they believed told them it was true.
#15 - July 07, 2012, 05:36 AM
Stephanie Theban aka Leeth

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Wow, I remember so many of these! Although when I grew up, the lifting your feet over train tracks was supposed to keep you from getting pregnant...which made no sense to a shy girl like me, but I did it anyway...lifting my feet, I mean. It seemed to be working for my racy best friend.  :)

We also had a good luck or something thing when the digital clock was 10:08, because that was the time when the numbers had the maximum possible amount of those digital lines that made up the numbers. But maybe that was a drinking game.....
#16 - July 07, 2012, 07:21 AM

jeffman

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I remember ludes but never had the opportunity. They had an almost mythical quality, like Janis Joplin or Atlantis, if that makes any sense.
#17 - July 07, 2012, 09:50 AM

lisray

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It's great reading these and seeing how many I did too growing up--especially twisting the apple stem one. I had forgotten that. My 16 year old daughter just did the make-a-wish-at-11:11 one--I had never heard of that. My husband has it so ingrained in him that bad things really will happen if you don't get a "Bless you" after a sneeze, he'll bless himself. (Which is odd considering he's not a bit religious.) There's not stepping on cracks of course. We tried to yell the whole time going through a tunnel for luck. Lots of jump rope games and hand slap games tied into the alphabet and all trying to determine who your true love would be. :hahaha
#18 - July 07, 2012, 09:54 AM

scribblegirl just had a great idea!  I saw my brother last week and he told me he used to tell me all sorts of #$% and "you believed it."  He's 7 years older. (we're 53 and 60 now).

Your characters could have any superstition you want them to have if some older sibling or other older kid they believed told them it was true.

I'm a much nicer person than this would lead you to believe -- but I clearly remember being punished for convincing my youngest sibling that fuzzy caterpillars could be eaten like Tootsie Rolls if you pulled off the fuzz first.

So yeah, you could make up any sort of odd sibling-instigated behavior.
#19 - July 07, 2012, 02:36 PM

cindybb

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Yes to holding the breath past cemeteries, lifting feet up and the apple stem twisting.
Did anyone else look for burnt out headlights on oncoming cars, saying Pediddle and getting a kiss for it?

Cindy
#20 - July 07, 2012, 04:46 PM

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PEDIDDLE!  YES, TOTALLY!

Though I don't remember the kissing. I think we did the same kind of thing as "punch buggy'....
#21 - July 07, 2012, 04:47 PM

Liz
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Oh, sore arms from punching when you saw a VW Beetle!  For Good Luck. :clover1: 

Has this been revived since the new Beetles are out?
#22 - July 08, 2012, 09:41 AM
You must do the things you think you cannot do.  Eleanor Roosevelt

http://www.lizstrawwrites.com/

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We would pop each other in the arm when we saw a yellow VW beetle and yell, "Slug bug!" 
#23 - July 08, 2012, 11:27 AM

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Ah we said POPEYE! and hit each other when we saw a burnt out headlight. PUNCHBUGGY! at a VW.  If you say something at the same time as somebody else you both say JINX and whoever says it first has jinxed the other person, so they can't talk unless you say their name three times. 

The alternate to JINX the classic is "Pinch Punch You Owe Me a Coke", which my sister still does to me btw and she is in her 40's. SISTERS ARE SO IRRITATING.  :ranting:
#24 - July 08, 2012, 02:42 PM
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I had 5 sisters , and they can be very irritating!  I will always be a baby sister in their eyes.
#25 - July 08, 2012, 03:48 PM

cindybb

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Slug bug/punch buggy lives on, with new additions
Cruiser Bruiser
Ram Bam......

It's a good thing I haven't run off the road yet as I get hit from all sides  :)
#26 - July 08, 2012, 07:43 PM

Thanks for all of these. I am familiar with some of them, but not all. I had completely forgotten about twisting the apple stem--I remember doing that as a teen.

Actually, the MC of my story has a best friend who is a self-proclaimed expert on the subject and supplies her with all sorts of weird beliefs. I have made up a few that further the storyline in fun ways, but I wanted to sprinkle in some that my readers would recognize. There are things listed here that will fit nicely into my story, so thank you.

I am also having some fun with charms--lucky charms, and charms to ward off evil. (The friend is convinced that the MC's new house is haunted.) So if your kids have come up with any off-beat charms, I'd love to hear about them. :clover1:

Thanks again.
#27 - July 09, 2012, 10:33 AM

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Quote
Did anyone else look for burnt out headlights on oncoming cars, saying Pediddle and getting a kiss for it?
For us it was One-Eye Willie.

Yes to Slug Bug, too.
#28 - July 09, 2012, 02:44 PM

Liz
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Whenever someone said the same thing we had to count to five (sometimes ten) and say you owe me a Coke first or you would be the one jinxed.
#29 - July 09, 2012, 05:22 PM
You must do the things you think you cannot do.  Eleanor Roosevelt

http://www.lizstrawwrites.com/

Lizstraw,

Jinks, you owe me a coke.

Please insert another quarter, coke machine is out of order
#30 - July 09, 2012, 05:25 PM
Stephanie Theban aka Leeth

http://storiesreademwritem.blogspot.com

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