Leave the Same Way you Came

L is a 53-year-old homemaker living in Winnetka, IL. L grew up mainly in the northern suburbs of Illinois, but she also lived in Germany and England for a while when she was younger. L speaks English primarily but she is learning French. L attended both the University of Southern California and the University of Wisconsin Madison for her undergraduate college education. L considers herself to be American. She does not really identify with her Welsh ancestry.

L: If my mom comes in the front door and leaves out the back door, or any other different door, she thinks it’s bad luck for either her or the homeowner. You have to leave out the same door you come in though. That’s whether she’s going into other people’s house or you’re coming in to her house. She insists that everybody enters and leaves through the same door. It’s very weird.

Me: When did she she start doing this?

L: She’s done this her whole life?

Me: Any idea where she got it from?

L: Probably her mother.

Me: Did her mother do it too?

L: I think so, but I’m not really sure. I vaguely remember her doing it.

Me: And it’s just bad luck?

L: I’m not really sure if it’s bad luck for the person entering and leaving the house, or the homeowner. Or both.

L talks about her mom and her grandmother who have/had this strange idea that one must exit through the door they entered through. They believe that if someone doesn’t do this then they will bring bad luck either to the homeowner, themselves, or both. L  does not follow this practice unless her mom forces her to and she thinks the idea that not following this will bring bad luck is malarkey. She does not like that her mom follows this belief because it is annoying when she is closer to one door but her mom tells her that they have to go out through the door she came in through.