I’ve never really thought of myself as particularly superstitious. I mean, I’ve spilt salt before without taking the precaution of throwing it over my left shoulder. Even now I own a slightly broken mirror that I use to check the back of my hair. And I have come across a number of perfectly respectable black cats in my travels and not felt the compulsion to change direction or run away. On the other hand, I really do make an effort not to walk under a ladder (just good safety sense) and I have to admit that I have been known on occasion to “knock on wood” while ever-so-wittily using my own head as the wood. But for the most part I have looked at superstitions as old fashioned beliefs born in another, less enlightened era and not really something to worry about.
But in this age of internet I find all of my rational non-superstitious thoughts and beliefs are put to the test when I get the “forward-this-email-for-good-luck” messages. You all know the ones I mean. The messages that tell you if you forward it to 10 people something stupendous will happen. Forward to 5 people something merely great will happen. Forward to less than 5 people and….well if that’s the best you can do and all the friends you have in your pitiful life…then it’s possible that you might not be too smitten by the internet gods. BUT if you DON’T pass it on…..whoa unto you and your house yea verily and forever!
When I get these I initially kind of roll my eyes and chuckle to myself in a self-congratulatory tone, secure in the knowledge that I am far too intelligent and sophisticated to perpetuate this type of technological superstition while clicking the mouse to send it to the trash. But then a little while later I realize that I’ve been resting my arm on a pen and all the ink has drained out and left a giant red spot on the sleeve - is the internet jinx starting? Then the important document I distinctly remember saving under a particular name is nowhere to be found – surely that can’t be just my failing memory. So I nonchalantly click on my trash folder…no harm in just reading it one more time right? I mean someone took the time to write this and send it out in the universe – who am I to judge. And what if I am actually denying myself the possibility of something stupendous happening by selfishly trashing the magical email? I should be more open to possibilities right? And I should want to share those possibilities with all my dear friends…and marginal acquaintances in my address book.
I received one such email from one of my “friends” just yesterday. And since I am in no position, emotionally, financially, psychologically or laundarily to further tempt fate I’m forwarding it onto all of you…just in case. There are some very specific instructions and a timeline to follow. Laugh if you will, but I warn you, I too flaunted my own hubris in the face of the wireless deity and ruined a perfectly good shirt. On the bright side, there are some things here that are pretty good advice – I particularly like “don’t judge people by their relatives.” Now if you’ll exuse me, I’ve got to go buy some super-industrial-strength spot remover.
IGNORE THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK!!
Do not keep this message. The Lotus Touts must leave your hands in 6 MINUTES. Otherwise you will get a very unpleasant surprise. This is true, even if you are not superstitious, agnostic, or otherwise faith impaired.
ONE. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
TWO. Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other.
THREE. Don't believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.
FOUR. When you say, 'I love you,' mean it.
FIVE.. When you say, 'I'm sorry,' look the person in the eye..
SIX. Be engaged at least six months before you get married.
SEVEN. Believe in love at first sight.
EIGHT. Never laugh at anyone's dreams. People who don't have dreams don't have much.
NINE.... Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it's the only way to live life completely.
TEN.. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.
ELEVEN. Don't judge people by their relatives.
TWELVE. Talk slowly but think quickly.
THIRTEEN. When someone asks you a question you don't want to answer, smile and ask, 'Why do you want to know?'
FOURTEEN. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
FIFTEEN. Say 'bless you' when you hear someone sneeze.
SIXTEEN. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
SEVENTEEN. Remember the three R's: Respect for self; Respect for others; and Responsibility for all your actions.
EIGHTEEN. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
NINETEEN. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
TWENTY. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice
TWENTY- ONE. Spend some time alone.
Now, here's the FUN part! Send this to at least 5 people and your life will improve. 1-4 people: Your life will improve slightly. 5-9 people: Your life will improve to your liking. 9-14 people: You will have at least 5 surprises in the next 3 weeks 15 and above: Your life will improve drastically and everything you ever dreamed of will begin to take shape. A true friend is someone who reaches for your hand and touches your heart. Do not keep this message.