Monday, October 19, 2009

Mexican Superstition

A couple of months back I was going about my business at work when one of the housekeepers came up to me with a safety pin stuck out toward my face and urgently started talking to me and asking questions. She only speaks Spanish and I was only getting 3/4 of what she was trying to tell me, but I got the gist of it.

She was trying to ask me if I was wearing my "security." She kept saying "Security! Security Lindy, You need!" I stared at her blankly and she just kept repeating it over and over so I asked why I needed "security" and she went off about how I needed to protect my baby-in-utero against things like the evil eye, the full moon and people that might put spells on me. All I could think was "OOOHHH, yeah, you know, THAT kind of protection! Oh yeeeaaahhhh I get it, WHEW, for a second I thought it was something. . . else. RIIIGGHHHHHHTT." When I think of needing protection for myself and my belly-child I think of things like making sure I'm not kidnapped so someone can steal my baby or hold me for ransom, so this was. . . unexpected.

Through my Spanish and both of us miming and waving our hands about she showed me that the safety pin she was waving in my face was just the security she was referring to. She told me that I needed to at all times of the day wear a safety pin on my pants in front of my belly -OR- to place the safety pin in my underpants if I couldn't pin it anywhere.

A safety pin in my underpants.

She went on to tell me that I also needed to find a tiny key to hang from my safety pin security system and wear them both at all times. Who knew? They didn't mention this method in "What to Expect When Expecting," and my Mom sure never told me any of this. Ok, kidding, I knew she was delving into the superstitious witches and spells side of the Mexican culture and I went about the conversation with an open face.

She ended up giving me the safety pin that she had on her and actually pinned it on the front of my pants just in case I wasn't understanding what to do. She's a cool lady right? I think so. A while later her English speaking cousin (the other housekeeper) came down and filled in all the gaps for me and translated all of the questions that I could think to ask. It surprises me how open and honest they are about this entire subject. They went on to tell me about a mean lady in their family who's always starting trouble by casting bad spells on other family members and about the time that one of their brothers was supposedly killed by a particular nasty spell placed upon him.

Mary the English speaker claimed that she herself was headed for the grave from a terrible sickness afflicted on her from an Owl outside her bedroom one night, but was saved when her cousin took her here to a lady who had the vision of Jesus show up in one of her tortillas and let Mary touch it. (Jesus, not Mary, they're not catholic) She said after she touched it that she began vomiting up a black sticky substance over and over (ridding herself of the bad-magic she assumed) and immediately began to feel better and start back on the road to good health.

These ladies are my friends and until this conversation I had no clue that they were believers in all of this stuff, they're just every day people you know? When I told Mary I was surprised at all of this and didn't know she was an occult believer she kinda laughed and smiled and said "Oh, no not us, we're not really into it, we don't practice, we're Christians, it's just that some stuff has happened to us and our family over the years, no not us, but there ARE people who really do believe in it. "

Huh? Lol I think I deserve an academy award for the skill I posses in keeping a strait face through all of this. They're my friends though and I'm not about to flip out with "WHAT DO YOU MEAN you don't believe??! You said you puked TAR after seeing JESUS in a TORTILLA!! And right now I'm wearing a safety pin under my shirt!"

Nah, like I said they're my friends and I find it all quite interesting, so bring it on. I wear my safety pin when I'm sporting pants and regularly pull up my shirt to show them that I'm wearing my security. I DON'T put it in my undies when I'm wearing a dress, but they don't have to know that. It makes my friends feel better and for me it's kind of a silly secret that I carry around just for the hell of it. This may not be my thing but it IS for other people and who am I to judge and say who is right. And besides, you can never have too much security. (except when it comes to putting sharp objects in my underpants)


hyk_521 said...

I really hope you dont have a blond, blue eyed baby.

My daughter, also mexican dad, is just that and we cant leave the house without someone touching her. on the leg, hand, head, face or whereever they can grab. They dont want her to get "ojo" but all i can think is i dont want her to get sick from all these people touching her with dirty hands. i mean who knows what they have been doing and who knows if they wash their hands after using the restroom or even if they are healthy themselves. Germs spread sickness.

One good thing about it though is my daughter now HATES strangers touching her and I have hope that if someone ever tried to take her she'd put up one hell of a fight and probably scream bloody murder. LOL. Still the thought doesnt keep me from keeping an eye on her at all times. Kids can be snatched at any time.

Sgt said...

I'm thinking a safety pin in your underpants is not so safe at all.

Not for anyone involved in its possible journeys.

Unless of course your looking for a new piercing but can't get up the courage to have it done.

Suki said...

Superstitions are seriously interesting. I personally believe all this faith-healing stuff comes from auto-suggestion but it's fascinating how the mind processes it!

Leslie Limon said...

LMAO!!! I'm laughing so hard I don't know if I'll be able to type. I heard that "safety pin" superstition during every one of my pregnancies.

I know something that your friends failed to mention. IF you are the superstitious kind of person, you are supposed to wear the safety pin on the inside of your wasteband. But ONLY when there is an eclipse. Its supposed to protect the baby from being born "eclipsado" or eclipsed. (Ask your hubby about this one.) A lot of people believe that if a pregnant woman lives through an eclipse without "protection", her baby will be born with some sort of defect or deformity.

Your friends really have your best interest at heart. But some of the superstitions are just TOO funny.

Gringa-n-Mexico said...

hyk_521 - I've heard from other whities that she'll be touched a lot - AND that she could get the "evil eye" (mala oja) like you mentioned if I don't. Yeessh.

Sgt - Not even I'M going for that one. I like my shit intact. PLUS setting myself up for infection just isn't on the list. Good lord.

Suki - I couldn't agree more! They're my friends and I can tell they're not lying about the things they've been through - but you can't REALLY start puking black tar after seeing a Jesus Tortilla so I guess it's in the mind somewhere. It's amazing what we can come up with through the power of suggestion or belieft.

Leslie - LOL the gals here are hard-core every-day-wear-ers. :P And you're right, they do have my best interest in mind :) that's why I'm wearing it even as I type. :) What we do for friends. :P

Sunshine said... i was sooo pregos' when the eclipse came...and i SOOO didnt do anything that everyone else was doing...they kept telling me not to go outside that day or night! I explained to the hubs....look you gotta tell your family that i dont believe in that they will leave me alone. So our babes was born..and he's just fine! No weirdo eclipso baby...very normal...thank you!
Take what you want and leave the rest...:)
Oh the things we go through...

a Proverbs wife said...

ok, this is going to sound wierd but...

that sort of thing is true. and it does exist. if you believe in it.

hubs family is mainly catholic and all latino *haha*, and before them i had never heard of the voodoos and santerias and all that stuff. my hubby and his brother ABHOR the stuff but his aunts know everything there is to know about it, and in certain hispanic cultures that stuff is HUGE to do.

i don't believe in it's power, but i've seen some hispanic folk in his family as well as hispanic friends i've met through him really go through difficulties in their lives that they attributed to this sort of thing. and had i not been Christian, i would have believed every word they said. because some of the stories were actually VERY convincing.

i am stern when i say it won't affect me even if it is true, which it is *a whole nother post about this later--you gave me a blog idea, thanks!* and i don't engage in the practices, but the occult definitely is a very real thing.

if you don't believe in it though, you should be ok without your safety pin security system. :)

JJ said...

Flipping hilarious that you are actually doing it. But I would, too, I mean, once you've been told that, it will probably help. Can't hurt..

Gringa-n-Mexico said...

Sunshine - :) So did they all expect him to come out with two heads? Lol I wonder if you proved your point by him being fine - or - are they still expecting him to go goofy at some point. :P He seems dandy to me :)

Proverb - Their stories ARE very convincing yes? And, I do believe heavily in the power of the mind and how it can effect us - just look at the placebo effect! You just never know. :)

JJ - This way my friends won't worry (or bother me and look at me cross-eyed all day like a crazy-lady) so I figure it's worth it. :P

CRYBABY972 said...

I have an X wife and mother who I have seen put pic of people, who they were mad at or need them to do something for them, in a jar with things like red ants or egg shells. I have never believed in this but when I found my wife i am married to now thing have been going wrong for me. We get along fine its my employment and evrything else, evergy thing seem to be going wrong for me. I dont do drugs and have an degree and I have been arrested , utliantys cut off for no reason, cant find work, and other issuse. Me and my wife split up for a while becuase of some girl who I never met said she was sleeping with me, but when we sperated my life went from bad to great. Got so many job offeres it was unbeliveable and everything started to go my way If that makes any since but I finally provide to my wife that I was loyal to her and got back together. that day I lost my job and got into a wreck.I never belived this stuff but cant denie it any more. Need help to do something about this thing happening to me and my family.

Anonymous said...

you are all some racists jerks! who cares if its not what you believe in?! I'm Mexican and I'm not completely sure if all those superstitions are true but so what!!?? It gives my family comfort in knowing I care enough about THEM to just go with it. I hate when people poke fun at other peoples beliefs. YOU ALL SUCK!

And the girl who said her baby wasn't mutated by the moon when he was born, just wait, by you saying all that bitter shit about ur hubby's family is called KARMA! I'm sure you can believe in that! It's gonna come back to you, you gave your own kid a jinx! YOU DUMB BEAVER!

Anonymous said...

Thats not something to make light of I am a gringa in mexico being trained by a curandera to become her honorary replacement when she dies, and I dutifully wear not only the pin in my panties but a silver bola charm to avert mal ojo and my kids are dark except for the first shes blond and people touch her all the time but she wears an ojo de venado to avert the ojo, as all my kids do, and as a green eyed gringa I've been accused of giving people mal ojo just by looking at people, I and if you find mexican superstitions and customs soo hilarious why live in mexico? You'll encounter it forever down here.