Sweeping Over Feet

BACKGROUND: My informant, OR, was born in the US. Her parents are both immigrants from Grenada. OR often talks about how superstitious her Caribbean family is and this piece is one example out of our long conversation about how her family’s beliefs dominate how they behave. 

CONTEXT: This piece is from a conversation with my friend to discuss the role of superstition in Caribbean culture. 

OR: This other one actually happened the other day. I was sweeping the floor of um, the living room and my mom was sitting on the couch and I accidentally swept over her feet. Like, my family believes that if you sweep over someone’s feet then they’ll never get married. So my mom got really mad at me and said that she’ll never marry —

Me: (laughs) Isn’t your mom married? Like what happened to your dad?

OR: I guess if something happened to my dad (laughs) I guess she would have no plan b.

THOUGHTS: The thing that is the most interesting to me about this superstition is the fact that despite being exempt from the superstition, OR’s mom still abided by it. With nothing to fear from the superstition, having already been married, it gives off the impression that OR’s mom is superstitious just to be superstitious. Or rather that superstition is so ingrained in Caribbean culture that the preservation of its importance is more significant than the meaning itself.