Was it just girls who did the old superstitious trick of plucking the petals from daisies to see if a boy loved them or did boys do this, too?
You know the drill: You pull a daisy by the stem and pluck the petals one-by-one. As you pluck, you count — not with numbers, but by by saying, “He loves me, he loves me not, he loves me, etc.” Whatever phrase you utter when you pull the last petal from the daisy is the truth of the matter.
I’m a slow study, so it took me awhile to figure out that in order to get the “correct outcome,” I should count the petals on the flower before I pulled it. If the number of petals was odd, then he would love me! Keep that in mind, if you decide to place your faith in that superstition.
It seems that romantic young people (or desperate young people) have had superstitions since the dawn of civilization about how to find true love. For this Thursday, I pulled together some of them for you (most of them dating to earlier than the 1800s)… just in case you are in the market and need them. Please keep in mind that I don’t guarantee any of them to work.
- Count fifty white horses, and the first unmarried man that you shake hands with after counting the fiftieth is the man you will marry.
This one is pretty quaint and you could be waiting a long time unless you live in a rural area. I suggest that we update this superstition: Count 50 Mustangs! If you are in a hurry, just find one Mustang, and drive around the block fifty times. That works for me.
- If you sleep with a piece of wedding cake under your pillow, you will dream of the one you will marry. This works with mirrors under the pillow, as well. Personally, I would go with a mirror on this one (as long as it is a tiny one so it doesn’t break and give you seven years of bad luck). Wedding cake under the pillow could make a terrible mess, if you toss and turn as much as I do.
- When you go fishing, name your fish hook after your sweetheart. If a fish swallows it, your sweetheart loves you and will swallow anything you say. Ahem! Sound pretty fishy to me.
- If you swallow whole the heart of a chicken you can marry the man or woman of your choice. If you don’t choke to death trying to do it. The very thought makes me gag. If this was my only option, I would wait and take my chances.
- Write the names of several people in whom you are interested on slips of paper and place them under your pillow. Every time you wake during the night, throw one of the slips away. The last one remaining will have on it the name of the person you will marry. That’s all well and good, unless you are a sound sleeper … in which case you might want to consult Wikipedia for the countries in which polygamous marriages are legal and hope that Wikipedia is right.
- Name two nuts and pitch them into the fire; the nut that pops open first will bear the name of your future spouse. “Nut,” in this case refers to “a seed borne within a fruit having a hard shell” … just so there is no confusion.
- Twist the stem of an apple till it comes out, saying a letter of the alphabet every time you give the stem a twist. The letter that you are saying when the stem comes out will be the first letter of your future husband’s name.Of course, if the object of your heart’s desire has a name beginning with “W” (as in William) you might have to fake it a little bit to get a good outcome.
- If a girl will hang a horseshoe over her door, she can marry the first unmarried man who walks under it. If you hang the horseshoe with the ends up, it will catch good luck. Hanging it ends down will let the good luck spill over the door and stop evil from entering. Hopefully it will keep any evil suitor from entering as well!
- Steal the hatband of the man you desire and wear it as a garter. I don’t know how to update this one. Who wears hatbands or garters? And if you stole his hatband, would there ever be trust in the relationship?
- Build a fire and give it the name of the person who attracts you. If the wood catches and burns, then the person you pine for, so to speak, loves you. If it goes out … that person doesn’t have a “burning love” for you.
- A girl can find out the occupation of her future husband by counting the buttons on her dress. Instead of counting with numbers, count with this chant:
“Rich man, poor man, beggar-man, thief,
Doctor, lawyer, Indian chief.”
If it didn’t work out as planned, I suggest you add or remove buttons until you get what you want. Personally, this one doesn’t appeal to me. First of all, the rhyme leaves out too many options. Second, a young girl should be worrying more about her own options for employment.
- On Halloween night, take a comb and go to a vacant house. Look into a mirror as you comb your hair, and you will see the face of the person you will marry looking over your shoulder. Or, you might see a ghost.
- If a girl stumbles near the top of a stairway, she will marry soon, but if she stumbles near the bottom, many a day will pass before she marries. That one seems backwards to me, because if you stumble at the top of the stairs you could fall and break your neck. Oh, well. It is what it is.
If you are feeling lovesick, you can try any of these that you would like. If you have other superstitions to suggest, go ahead and leave them in comments … just in case yours will give the definitive answer on how to find true love.