Be the Boy honors a family superstition:
Generally I'm not one for superstitions until someone puts a pair of shoes on the table.... On my father's side of my family shoes on a table are like comets to the ancient Romans, a sign of certain doom to come. This was instilled in me as a child when the mere contact of a shoe with the tablecloth was enough to make my great grandmother start praying in Italian and wake Uncle Tony from his nap. It seems odd that shoes would come anywhere near a tabletop but surprisingly it happened at least a few times a year. No one ever explained why this was bad luck, it just was understood that it was very bad.
This past Saturday Nora ... bought shoes and wanted to try them on again and ask what I thought. I told her they looked great and went back to watching TV when I see that she has left the shoes on the table. In my head I see my late great grandmother praying, my aunts gasping in horror and my father drinking a beer (this last one has no bearing on the shoes, just how I see him).
My grandmother had many superstitions, some of which I never knew about, so I am sure I am breaking them every day. Here are some I remember: Don't put a hat on the bed; if you sew something on a live person, said person must have a piece of thread between their teeth; don't open an umbrella in the house; don't walk under a ladder.
My cousin recently informed me that our grandma had one iron-clad superstition which she never shared with me: your slippers must be pointed out from the bed, not toward the bed. I know I'm crazy, but now I follow this religiously.