Etiquette & superstition: sweaters with buttons

It’s finally sweater weather here in Los Angeles. 62 degrees right now. Don’t laugh. My blood is so thin it’s almost a mist.

ETIQUETTE: If you’re a man looking to snazz up your suit a bit, you might consider adding a cardigan under your jacket in place of a waistcoat. To make this look fashionable rather than frumpy, the Men’s Flair blog says you should follow the same rule as you would a waistcoat and leave the bottom button unbuttoned. There is also a bit of discussion on same blog about whether you should also leave the top button of the cardigan undone, eventually getting to the conclusion that “… some consider this a little too informal, even rakish as the ‘mock waistcoat’ effect is no longer being followed, and the cardigan is essentially playing by its own rules, or rather, the wanton extravagance of its wearer.” Ouch.

SUPERSTITION: If you knit a sweater for your beloved, they will leave you unless you knit a strand of your own hair into the garment. Putting your arms through the arms of a sweater before you put your head through the neckhole will protect you from drowning. This is really easy with a cardigan because a cardigan doesn’t even have a neckhole until you button it up. For even more luck, put your right arm through before the left arm.

If you have a sweater with an even number of buttons, sew an extra button on for good luck, but wait! Don’t sew that button on while you are wearing the sweater because that is very bad luck indeed.

Spring Buck by Rachel Denny; found via The Jealous Curator

Etiquette & superstition: swimming (successful and otherwise)

Think or thwim, as the thaying goes.

ETIQUETTE: When swimming laps in a pool lane occupied by more than one person, the manner in which the lane should be shared depends on the number of people in the lane. If there are two people in the lane, the lane is split down the middle line with each swimmer occupying one side of the lane. If there are three or (ugh) more people in the lane, the swimmers stay to the right side of the lane, proceeding in a counterclockwise manner to the observer. If one swimmer wishes to overtake another swimmer in a three-or-more situation, he should tap the foot of the swimmer about to be passed, and then pass on the left, watching of course for oncoming traffic.

SUPERSTITION: If one is not a strong swimmer, it is best to avoid swimming in West Ireland or Scotland. It is believed in those areas that each river or sea in the area requires the taking of one human life per year, and if someone attempts to save a drowning person in one of these bodies of water, he will drown instead. A couple of rivers in Germany have a similar drowning allowance, but their entitlement is limited to one person per day solely on Midsummer Eve, Midsummer Day and the day after.

If you want to find a drowned body that has not yet floated to the surface, put some mercury in the middle of a loaf of bread and float the bread in the water. The bread will stand still over the body.

Photo by Lee Edwin Coursey on Flickr
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