Superstition and Children’s Lit

I’ve got this thing where I always need to end a conversation by saying, “I love you”. Even if I’m calling to say, can you pick up some cat litter on the way home, I have this compulsion to ensure that every conversation ends with an endearment. And if for some reason it doesn’t, I’m afraid I’m going to die or they’re going to die and never know how I felt about them.

I was talking to a friend the other day who said she feels similarly. And my fantastic but socially weird father is the same way. So I figured it’s a Jewish superstitious thing. You see, goyishe folks generally believe that if you’re a good person, you’ll be ok, and that you only get punished by God or whatever when you do bad things. But in Jewish culture there’s an underlying sense that everyone is out to get you, and the evil eye is out to get you…so even the most secular and intellectual among us tends to be a little crazy wary.

But today, I’m reading The Blogess’ post about her neuroses, and one of the comments attributes this same compulsion to the movie Sarah, Plain and Tall. Now I think I missed the film adaptation but I know I read the book because that’s what I used to call my extremely lovely, 5’11” sister. So all this time I’ve been blaming my cultural heritage for my neuroses but it turns out it’s the darn Newbury Book Award committee that deserves my ire.

Oh, and if you want to feel OK about you, check out this nutter:


3 responses to “Superstition and Children’s Lit

  1. I’m so sucked into the Edgar Oliver video. Totally. sucked. in.

  2. Scary, no? I kept thinking, at any moment this guy is going to totally lose it. But he skates that delicate edge amazingly well.

  3. He’s so scary and so awesome. Also, let’s not get carried away here – I’m really 5′ 9″ and 3/4″

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