...and no returns.
Do you have any quirky traditions that almost don't make sense anymore, but you continue to hold on?
The 'pinch punch' thing I've been doing since I was a little kid. I don't even remember who started it... but I remember doing it as early as 7 or 8 on a holiday when my family was with my aunt/uncle/cousin.
Basically, on the first day of the month, whoever remembers first is allowed to pinch and punch every person they meet... and as long as they remember to say, 'and no returns', no one is allowed to pinch/punch back. If the person forgets to say it, the victim can then pinch/punch back five times in retaliation.
Definitely sounds like a kid tradition, right? Little sociopaths, every last one :)
...and I am including myself in that definition. You do have to teach kids not to beat up on others, that there are social rules they must follow, sharing, patience, all that good stuff that ensures our society doesn't descend into anarchy.
...okay, it was probably my cousin who started it.
But back to my original question... why keep this tradition when I am no longer a kid? I don't even live in the same city as my family... and I'm not going to run up to random strangers in the street and pinch/punch them (again, good stuff, no anarchy, etc, etc).
This tradition lapsed in our family for many years, and I was the one to bring it back. Though now we do it via e-mail or texting.
(my mom won this morning, emailing me at 6:54am PST, then called on the phone an hour later to gloat)
Traditions often remind us of our warm, fuzzy childhood memories when everything was safe and exciting. The old rose-coloured-glasses of the past where we forget the daily tensions and petty fights of reality.
I re-started the tradition about seven years ago when I moved from British Columbia to Alberta.
Our family (including aunts/uncles/cousins/grandparents) has always been pretty close. even after my sister got married (she's the oldest of the cousins), everyone would still all get together for every single cousin's birthday.
And after I moved, I missed out. I only saw my parents a couple times a year and my extended family I only saw at Christmas.
Re-starting the first day of the month tradition was partially a way to re-connect, enjoy the goofy memories of childhood, but it was also a way to ensure I would contact them every month. Like sending a 'Thinking of you' card in the mail (or an e-card online), sometimes it's nice to lightly remind someone that you still exist without the big conversation to *catch-up*.
I think since humans develop their world-views through their experiences and memories, that having those tiny glimpses of warm, fuzzy traditions is an awesome thing to include, so they always seem to slip into my characters. Like best friends will often have certain phrases or words they use together that touch back to shared experiences, siblings and other family members will also have those secret habits or traditions that make them smile, or will defuse a tension-riddled moment. Simon & Hector (Project #2) have a couple... as do other characters in my stories.
Do you have any traditions like that? What about your characters?