Tag Archives: future spouse

Future Spouse String Initial

Context: I had a string hanging off my jacket when Informant pointed it out and told me this piece of folklore. I asked informant to repeat the lore to me so I could record it.

Informant: “I heard from my grandma that when you have a little string hanging off from your clothes, that you have to pull it off and then throw it behind your shoulder. The you find where the string landed, and it should make the shape that is the initials of your future spouse.”

Background Information: Informant did not necessarily remember when their grandma had told them this, but they knew that she had. Informant did not necessarily believe in the validity of the folklore, but enjoyed doing it and sharing it with others anyway. The informant’s grandmother, however, is apparently a very avid believer in the lore.

Thoughts: The folklore is interesting, and something I have heard before. The folklore serves as a fortune telling device, and displays the notion that things which we attach to our physical selves (clothes), can embody ourselves and our lives. The folklore is a fun game to play as well as a serious predictor of the unknowns of the future. Either way, it is a comfort to its practitioners.

Folk Belief: Leaving rice in the bowl

My informant couldn’t remember when her family first started telling her that if she left rice in her bowl, her future spouse will have ma, acne scars. The number of grains left would equal the number of scars. She remembers that one of her parents usually followed up this warning by saying, “see, your uncle used to leave lots of rice in his bowl”—the implication being that her aunt had a lot of acne scars.

My informant isn’t sure if this is an actual superstition; she has a suspicion that her parents just told her this to get her to finish her meals. The only correlation between finishing a meal and a future spouse that either of us could think of is that grains of rice stuck to the edges of a bowl and acne scars on a face have a similar spotted appearance. This saying was a way for my informant’s parents to direct her actions; her desire for a scar-free future spouse was motivating enough to get her to finish her rice.