As Halloween is upon us, I thought I’d let you know that I actually don’t celebrate it (unless you count the scary amount of candy I consume around this time of the year) and neither am I superstitious. However, I grew up with a highly-Catholic and extremely superstitious mom.
Although, to my mind, the superstitions were silly and sometimes exasperating (and ALWAYS unsolicited), for my mom, who grew up in the Philippines, I guess these “folk beliefs” formed a part of her upbringing/her culture and heritage. They
reflected customs, traditions and old beliefs meant to help explain the frightening unknown.
Ironically, though, there seems to be no superstition that explains the terrifying unknown of why Asian moms have no boundaries when it comes to their children…no matter how old they get.
My upbringing in industrialized America included wearing polka dots on New Year’s Eve, not vacuuming after 5 p.m. and writing with my right hand. These superstitious beliefs had to do with either inviting prosperity (and in the case of wearing polka dots, it also invited ridicule) or warding off evil spirits or beings, such as witches.
Now a grown woman, I’ve shunned my mom’s superstitions in favor of what’s factual and wise.
1. We gave a house key to my mom in case of an emergency.
2. Before my husband and I had kids, we used to take showers together.
One autumn night, these two events came together horrifically.
Mom <knocks before cracking the bathroom door>: Hello?
Me: Mom, what the heck?! I’m in the shower!
Mom: Well, can you come out? We need to talk.
Me: No! I’m in the shower!
Mom: But we need to talk.
Me: I’m in the shower with Edward!
Mom: Oh…Hi Edward.
Edward: H-hi, Mrs. Chung.
Mom: Ok, well, I’ll just wait then.
Me: NO! I’M IN THE SHOWER!!!
Mom: So take your shower. Who’s stopping you? I’ll have adobo on the table when you guys get out.
All the horror films in history can’t compare to the bloodcurdling scream heard from my shower when a tiny, old, demure Asian lady offered me chicken adobo…I didn’t think my husband could hit that high of a pitch.