Monday, March 13, 2006

Open an Umbrella Indoors Day, March 13th

Open an Umbrella Indoors Day

It’s interesting to think of how superstitions are passed on from generation to generation. My parents weren’t particularly superstitious. In fact the only superstitious thing that I can remember them doing was, knocking on wood when they would say something that either they wanted to happen, or didn’t want to happen in order to confuse the wood sprites.

It must have been in school that I learned all the other little saying that children pass to one another. "Step on a crack and break your mom’s back," "break a mirror and you will have seven years bad luck," and "it’s bad luck to hear an owl hooting three times, or to see three butterflies together."

When these, and other, superstitions became a part of my paradigm, opening an umbrella indoors became indistinguishable with the parental imposed faux pas of not washing my hands before I ate dinner. My mother hardly knew what to do with this little girl that would not open her Holly Hobbie umbrella to let it dry out… and in Oregon, it often needed to dry out.

So, because I am interested in these things, I think that my readers must be as well, here is a possible explanation why it is bad luck to open an umbrella indoors, as well as other umbrella superstitions that I was not aware of: (Did anyone know that if a single woman drops her umbrella, she’ll never marry?” That’s it! I’m not carrying an umbrella ever again!)

Open an umbrella indoors and bad luck will "rain" on you. But why? There are two schools of thought:

The most common stems from the days when umbrellas were used mainly as protection against the sun. To open one indoors would be to insult the local sun god (especially Ra) and invite his wrath on everyone in your household.

Another theory borrows from the idea of an umbrella as a protector against the storms of life. If you were to open one in your home, the household guardian spirits might think you felt their protection was insufficient, and then they'd leave in a huff. Once again, everyone in the house is cursed.

In truth, the superstition is probably coincidental. (Someone left his umbrella opened in the hall and had a terrible day--he told his friend to keep their umbrellas shut, and it spread.)

It isn't always bad luck to open an umbrella inside. According to some, it's only considered bad if any of the following apply:
-The umbrella was a gift.
-The umbrella is black.
-The umbrella has never been used outdoors.
-There is a sick person in the house.

Other bad luck umbrella superstitions:
-Never give an umbrella as a gift.
-Never pick up an umbrella you dropped (ask someone to do it for you).
-Never place your umbrella on a table or a bed.
-If a single woman drops her umbrella, she'll never marry. (


LL said...

Umbrellas are really high maintenance articles, huh? Maybe we should all just quit.

Th. said...


I'm disappointed in you, making funof the yourmom-free like that....

Absent-minded Secretary said...

I wondered if anyone would catch that since the bold doesn't show up too well.

And are you really disappointed, really? Is Master Fob?

Master Fob said...

I am hurt deeply that you would trivialize my sacred devotion to my lenten vow.


The bold actually showed up a lot more in my RSS feed so I did notice it, but I forgot to say anything about it yesterday.

Absent-minded Secretary said...

I hope I'm not trivializing your devotion to your Lenten vow, especially since my own attempts at Your Mom jokes are rather trivial. But, if we operate under Edgy's Theory that the purpose Lenten Vows is to bring more awareness to the fasted object, then my purpose is to bring more attention to the holiness that is Master Fob, for not making Your Mom jokes. :)

Back to Edgy, because everything must lead back to him... he also mentioned that next he would be bringing more awareness to Tylenol. But I see through that facade. I believe that he is trying to bring more awareness to his blog...

Stupid Lent.

Anonymous said...

This is stupid. Why would you believe that junk? IT'S NOT TRUE!!! GET A LIFE!!! you have better things to do than go around believing you'll never get married and have bad luck from Ra!!!(the sun god-oh wait you already knew that.)

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