Supposedly placing a pillow on top of your refrigerator today will bring good luck to your family for a year. My friend José emailed me with this little tidbit as a little joke saying I should try it. Of course, I wanted to investigate this oddity.
May 29th of each year is “Place a pillow on your fridge day” around the world. The origin of this minor holiday apparently is the traditional superstition that people would put a pillow or some cloth in their larder for good luck one day each year. A larder was a small, cool closet near the kitchen used only for food storage before the invention of the ice box and the electric refrigerator.
Apparently the ritual requires that the pillow be placed on top of the refrigerator on the correct day, today, or there will be no lucky result. For added effect, the pillow should actually be placed inside the refrigerator if there is enough space in the fridge to do so. Although I’m skeptical about this practice, I’ll give it a try today as a fun conversation starter.
The pillow on the fridge notion triggered a memory of my first lucky charm. My boyhood best pal John gifted a fake fur “lucky rabbit’s foot” to me on my seventh birthday. How about that for a good omen? The fuzzy token had a short length of plumber’s chain so the charm could hang from a belt loop.
A few years later, John and I placed two shiny pennies on a railroad track as a freight train approached a street crossing. The coins were deformed into ovals. We carried the smashed pennies to celebrate being “blood brothers” and for good luck. I still have my penny in a small box of mementos. I wonder if John has his.
Regardless of whether or not I carried a lucky token, good luck arrived in waves and bad luck hit like tsunamis. This was true no matter how much or how little preparation and work I did prior to doing something important. Although success and failure can depend strictly by chance, it’s tempting to credit good or bad luck with the ultimate result.
My first car’s license plates might have been lucky. There were four sevens stamped into each of them. Since there were two plates, the car wore a total of eight sevens. In many cultures, eight is a lucky number. Did I subconsciously believe the sevens would keep me safe from accidents and state patrol troopers? Despite being a lead-foot, I never crashed nor was ever pulled over for a traffic violation in that bright red Camaro.
Is luck a superstition? Maybe luck is just a state of mind. Many of us still harbor some notion of it. This must be true because we often wish other people “good luck” before they set out to do a difficult task.
I hope this little article will be an auspicious start to your day.