My Real Life

May 19, 2011

Stuff We Used to Do

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 10:16 am

The other day, we were coming home from swimming lessons and we passed “The Abbey.”

In it’s day, it was just that.  An Abbey where nuns lived.

Now, it’s an office building that is called “The Abbey.”

I remember when we were teenagers, we would always beep as we passed the building for good luck.


I have no idea.

Someone once said it was so the nuns would pray for us, and I used to imagine a nun in the middle of painting some beautiful artwork and then some idiot beeping as they pass, startling her and her brushstroke going awry.

I then imagined her saying “I got a prayer for you, a$$hole!” and having to fix the error in the art.

However, passing The Abbey made me think of all the other things we did as teenagers, in the car, for luck, and how incredibly ridiculous they were.

I’m sure you all played “Punchbuggy” when you saw a Volkswagen Beetle.

I thank God my kids don’t know that game.  Otherwise, they’d be in a world of hurt on a fairly regular basis as both of my parents drive Beetles.

But, did you ever:

Pick up your feet when going over train tracks?

Scratch the ceiling of your car when going through a yellow light? (Yeah, yeah…should have slowed down, not sped up to get through the yellow, I know, I know…)

Because I did, and interestingly enough, at 39, every now and then, I reflexively start to do these things without even thinking.

Not every time, but once in awhile, I find myself lifting my feet as I cross the tracks or catching my arm as it raises to scratch the ceiling as I pass through the yellow (not with the kids in the car…of course…nope, no siree…never catch me doing that…nope…uh-huh.)

Funny how these things, which are just silly things to do as a teenager, actually scratch a groove in your brain like that on a record, and when you least expect it, the needle jumps right back into the groove.

I’d love to hear any weird superstitions you may have had as a teenager in a car, because I’m sure there are few I’ve missed!


  1. When driving on bridges that spanned water we would recite a small poem that my grandfather taught us, “Fishy, fishy, in the waddah (we’re from Maine, that’s not a mispelling, it’s a downeast accent), Not a bird and not an ottah. (otter…accent again), let us drive over you, and may you swim the whole day through” No idea where that came from.

    Comment by Melissa — May 19, 2011 @ 10:30 am | Reply

  2. I still lift my feet when going over a train track.

    How about holding your breath as you passed a cemetery.

    Comment by Michaela Potter — May 19, 2011 @ 10:49 am | Reply

  3. I agree with Michaela and still do it to this day, hold my breath as you pass a cemetary and you can’t let it out until you see a white house….why? I have no idea. And my kids father lives across the street from a cemetary in Randolph, so do I hold my breath because of the cemetary or because I might have to deal with my ex? LOL

    As for Punchbuggy, yea, I made the mistake of teaching my children. Trust me, don’t do it. I can’t tell you how many fights have been started from this game.

    What about Padiddle, a car with one head light?

    Comment by Jen — May 19, 2011 @ 11:09 am | Reply

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