Don’t put your shoes on the Table

--Informant Info--
Nationality: Danish
Age: 54
Occupation: NA
Residence: California
Date of Performance/Collection: 3 - 25 - 2020
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s):

Main Piece:

The following is transcribed from a conversation between the informant and the interviewer.

Interviewer: So i’ve always thought it was bad to put my shoes on the table, but you think there’s another reason not to, right?

Informant: haha I mean I don’t know if I actually believe it but my mom always told me that if my shoes touched any table, it would be 10 years of bad luck. It scarred me for life since I’m pretty superstitious… but i still used the same tactic to get my kids to behave haha

Informant: and how did that work out for you?

Interviewer: It actually worked like a charm haha, i told my kids one time and then they started policing each other about it any time one of them would put their shoes on the table. 

Background:

My informant is a woman in her 50’s, originally growing up in Denmark and moving to the United states in her early 20’s. She has been a mother a majority of her life and travels with her kids at least twice a year. 

Context:

I talked to my informant over a facetime call during the 2020 coronavirus epidemic. We had planned to meet in person, however, our meeting was cancelled due to the virus. 

Thoughts

I think it;s interesting just how much folklore comes out of parents trying to scare their kids into behaving. The whole “7 years of bad luck” for breaking a mirror or walking under a ladder all have similar vibes and it makes me think that superstition arose out of children believing the surreal stories their parents would tell them as they grew up.