Age: 31 and 63
Occupation: Housewives; former Teacher
Residence: Katy, Texas and Kingwood, Texas
Date of Performance/Collection: March 11, 2012
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Debbie; Spanish
Debbie Cook and Linda Richter
March 11, 2012
Folklore Type: Folk Belief
Informant Bio: Debbie is my cousin and Linda is her mother and my aunt. Debbie grew up in Kingwood her whole life. She was a teacher for elementary and middle school, but will soon be a stay at home mom. Linda was a stay at home mom. They both are incredibly sarcastic and humorous. Debbie just had a baby.
Context: I had flown home for Spring Break the evening before we drove almost an hour to my Aunt Linda and Uncle Frank’s to see Carey, Debbie, and their new baby Ashley. As Ashley was amusing herself with some suspended toys, I asked Debbie what some of the things she got told when she was pregnant were.
D: Everybody at work; older women, in the elevator, strangers, would tell us all this stupid stuff. They said she was going to be a girl cause I was craving sweets instead of the savory. Girls ride high; boys ride low. There’s supposedly a test with a ring and a string and if it turns a certain way it determines the sex.
A. L: Women lose a part of their brain for every child they have.
Informant Analysis: They both saw the different beliefs as kind of stupid and untrue. People were just trying to be a part of what was going on.
Analysis: I think the part about people trying to be a part of Debbie’s pregnancy and interacting is probably true. The things that were said had a lot to do with figuring out the sex of the baby, and women losing their sanity while pregnant. Pregnancy is really hard. Debbie was especially sick. I think women like having the connection of giving birth with each other, and talking about those sayings or those experiences is a way to welcome a new member to the crazy mommy club.
Los Angeles, California
University of Southern California
ANTH 333m Spring 2012