Being Calabrese, I’m very susceptible to superstition – there’s a lot of my maternal grandmother – Marietta Perri – in me. Hockey players may have the reputation for being the most superstitious of athletes – lacing their skates a certain way, putting on their equipment in a particular order, wearing the same underwear each game – but let me tell you, they have nothing on us Southern Italians.
For example …
– I always put my car key into the ignition button-side forward. It obviously insures that the car will start.
– My shoes are always lined up in a particular order because random invites evil.
– I always wait for an odd-numbered time to get out of bed, because rising on an even-numbered time could totally wreck a day.
– And all my journal entries have odd-numbered time signatures. Some of the best times are 1:03, 5:13, 7:17, 9:59, 11:11, but the most auspicious is 3:33.
And I blame it all on my grandmother and my Roman and Greek ancestors.

With that set-up, you can understand why writing this post is scary. I worry that if I make any reference to a short and mild winter, the weather gods will summon the snowstorm from hell; or for laughs-and-giggles, conjure an arctic vortex and bury us in a deep freeze until April. And I know no prayer or offering I can make that could entreat leniency.

My grandmother could counter the curse of the malocchio – the evil eye – and her fellow immigrants came from near and far to have her minister to them. But she never taught me her secrets, so I remain captive to my unjustified beliefs and their hallucinatory consequences.