My mom makes these famously Cuban authoritarian pronouncements.
When she says something, it is with an air of authority that will not tolerate any argument.
Of course, the way she says it immediately makes me question its validity, but since I was raised in a superstitious Cuban home, there is a small residue of what-if-it's-really-true? somewhere in the back of my mind.
I mention to her that I'm really wanting a great set of knives for my kitchen.
"It's Bad Luck to buy your own knives. It's better if someone gives them to you as a gift."
Of course, the knives I am coveting are astronomically priced, which leaves me in a perfect no-win situation. I want the knives. But I can't buy them for myself because it's Bad Luck and I certainly can't suggest to someone that they should spend this amount of money on knives for me, no matter how much they love me. Not to mention that new knives are a terrible gift choice for Valentine's or birthdays no matter how skilled the cook. (sigh)
NOTE: Once something is pronounced to be Bad Luck it is pretty much tarnished forever and no amount of actual rational thinking can redeem it.
What to do?
Stew about it.
Fret about it.
Spend years cutting things with sub-standard knives.
Complain about said knives every single time you have to use them, which in my house is pretty much every. single. day.
My family either got:
a) tired of me complaining.
b) tired of using the dull knives we own.
c) stumped on what to get me for Christmas. (NOTE: Christmas gifting doesn't technically fall under the Valentine or Birthday category of gifting because we give each other multiple gifts, so you wouldn't just be giving someone knives as their only gift, which is a great relief to me, but that's not important right now.)
d) all of the above.
So they got me The Knives for Christmas:
Which is a totally win-win situation because they know that now I will have Good Luck and I will not only stop complaining about my dull old knives, but I will probably be compelled to use my new knives a lot more often and my family will therefore benefit from their generous gift. Life is good.
By the way, I decided not to mention the new knives to my mom in case there was any other kind of Bad Luck Sub-clause attached to the knife gift. I would argue that I'm not superstitious anyway, but in cases like these, it's just better not to know. ;-)
So, what's cooking this Thursday in Marta's Cuban American Kitchen over at Babalú?
Frituras de Harina de Maiz (corn fritters or hush puppies).
And yes, I used the paring knife to dice up the onions nice and fine. You know I'm going to become insufferable now about the whole I'm-so-superior-with-my-rockin'-knives thing. It's just that I'm so happy about my Good Luck! ;-)