Don’t Cross Your Eyes


The informant is my Uncle. He was born in the Philippines and came to the United States when he was twelve. He went to Hollywood High School and after he attended chiropractic school. He enjoys watching basketball and is also on the verge of retiring from work. 


When I was a kid in the Philippines, all the parents in the neighborhood told me and my friends that if we crossed our eyes and someone blew into them, we would end up permanently cross-eyed for the rest of our lives. So of course us being kids we believed what we were told. I was around 5 or 6 at the time when it was first introduced to me. So for fun my friends and I would play this game where we would cross our eyes and the other person had to try and blow into our face. If you turned away in time to dodge the blow then your eyes were safe. The funny part about this though was that it was so reinforced by our parents that even as a teenager I didn’t want to risk it. The idea of being permanently cross-eyed was a nightmare for me. I didn’t stop believing till I was umm let me see..seventeen. And by that time I was already living in LA. I don’t know what I was thinking (laughs)


I am so curious as to why the parents reinforced this idea so much. Was the crossing of eyes a major issue back then in the Philippines? I asked my Uncle and he says he still has no clue why parents reinforced the idea back then. Whatever the case may be this belief is quite comical. I can only imagine what playing that game was like with a bunch of five and six-year-olds. Probably an excessive amount of spit and invading of personal space. Maybe the parents got a good laugh out of it watching from afar?