Lucky Laundry

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“So one of the homebrew legends that my mom told me, it was quite a while ago, like when I was a kid. She told me, it was one day at night, and she asked me to fold clothes. So I was like, ‘uh I don’t want to, I’d rather play games or something’. She’s like, ‘well you know, back when I was a kid, my mom told me, ‘If you don’t fold your clothes, it’s really bad luck.’ So I was like, ‘What no! I don’t want bad luck,’ so I started folding all the clothes . But anyway, the point is like, now I fold all my laundry after I do it cause I just don’t want bad luck. So whatever clothes I don’t fold, I don’t want that day to be a bad day.”

My informant told me that he asked his grandmother whether or not she had taught his mother that folding clothes was good luck. His grandmother denied ever saying anything like it. So, it seems like his mother made up a belief in order to get her son to fold his clothes. To give the belief credibility, she told him that his grandmother had taught her that, giving the belief an artificial heritage and more weight to it. This is interesting because it is like the “friend of a friend” that is featured in many legends. Invoking someone else’s credibility can effectively remove suspicions of self-interest from claims that people make.