My informant begins by specifying: “Also, my family’s not crazy”
JK: “I don’t know if this is a Columbian thing or just my mom, but whenever there is someone that has wronged someone in my family or is really bad for someone in my family, she will write their name on a little piece of paper and put it in the freezer. That is supposed to keep that person away from you and out of your life.”
I: “Would she take them out ever?”
JK: “No. We have a bunch of people in our freezer!”
The informant grew up in Newport Beach, CA. Her mother only started writing names for the informant after the informant started college. The practice is saved for serious offenses. The informant’s mother is 56, from Columbia, and grew up in New York. The informant learned of this practice when her mother starting writing and freezing names for the informant.
This is a practice of protection, with a somewhat magic-like element. Something literal (the freezer) is used as a means of bringing about an emotional catharsis (blocking someone out of your life/ emotionally detaching) and consequence (being left alone by Person X). While the names literally get put in the freezer, the hope is that the person represented by the name will be frozen from interacting in your life. To me, this practice seems like it helps the person doing it attain an emotional state of peace rather than cause an actual result from the practice (singularly causing an actual result would be the possible magic- like element within this). It reminds me of the phrase “self-fulfilling prophecy”– if you put that person in the freezer in your mind, then they will stay out of the rest of your life, likely because your actions toward that person are reminiscent of of you putting their name in the freezer. Perhaps keeping names in the freezer is similar to holding a grudge, or it is a symbol of a betrayal of trust and therefore a reminder to not let that person back into your life!