In two weeks time it will be a decade since the very first Mr Banana Head show. It was a joint party at home for Jade and Katie who were turning 6 and 3. It honestly feels like yesterday I decided on the name Mr Banana Head as the children were arriving and then made it up as I went along for two hours. I'll do a separate post about the ten year journey soon. For now let's talk superstitions.
With evidence they've been around for over 5,000 years they're ingrained in society. From black cats, Friday 13th, walking underneath ladders and breaking mirrors, there's a superstition for every occasion. Those are well known ones, how about the quirky and bizarre individual ones. Tennis legend Serena Williams only wears one pair of socks during a tournament. I'm hoping she washes them in-between matches, especially if she wins the title! I just checked and no she doesn't. One dirty pair the whole time, not good Serena. Charles Dickens carried a compass with him at all times and always faced north when he slept. There's lots more and they get really bizarre. How about Model Heidi Klum carrying a bag of baby teeth with her everywhere she goes? That's freaky Heidi, really freaky.
Personally I've had a few and I like to think they're quite basic and vanilla compared to the ones above. I always touch my head when saying, "Touch wood." No idea why as I'm clearly not a table or door. I also don't listen to music in cars with the volume on number 13. Not even for Kate Bush. When it comes to Mr Banana Head there's been a rich history of superstitions from the beginning. When I started out I felt extremely nervous at home before a party. I'd be on and off the toilet all morning (tmi I know) as well as feeling very emotional and anxious. The minute I arrived I was fine but the time leading up to it wasn't good.
I also felt I needed something to help ensure (in my head) that the party went well, so the habit of pre-party superstitions began. In the order they came and went here they are:
It started off with a rose quartz stone in my pocket which promotes calmness, peace and reassurance. After that there was Blue Topaz to help with creativity and Agate to help with clarity of thought. It was all about feeling calm, relaxed and in a grounded place, able to be as creative and open as possible. From there others were added until I needed to have my jacket pockets reinforced with steel to hold them all. As time went on I decided on four and had two in each pocket for every party. I felt that by having them with me the party would go well and I would be in the best place possible to perform. This carried on until I decided I didn't need them and couldn't actually use them as my jacket pockets had been wrecked by the weight!
Much kinder to jacket pockets and more personal than crystals. I had a photograph of Rach and the girls and one of my grandparents. I looked at both and kissed them before I started each party then had them in my pocket throughout. I also imagined they were all waving to me and wishing me good luck. I appreciate this may suggest I was taking some kind of hallucinatory drugs at the time but I can assure you I wasn't. I realised after a short while I didn't need anything physical to help me so moved onto......
I've always been an advocate of positive visualisations so this was a natural fit. It went something like this: I'm standing in a room inside a bubble and my Grandparents who had passed came down some stairs carrying a gold cloak between them. They placed it around me which (in theory) facilitated two things. Firstly, it helped protect me from anything negative about the party. No children running wild, no problems keeping their attention etc. Secondly it helped me put on the best show and have a positive outcome. Children and parents laughing, me coming out with hilarious ad libs etc.
Initially the visualisation lasted about 5 seconds. Cloak on, party starts. I then introduced the bubble, the stairs and eventually the Grandparents were chatting to each other as they brought out the cloak. By the end we were all talking together about the war, life and football. It eventually lasted about two minutes and took place behind my curtain to avoid any accusations of clear and obvious drug taking. When I started doing it my eyes were closed and that was it. By the end I was really living it, my arms were outstretched, I was smiling and hugging them all. I really felt I was connecting with my grandparents and it was very special.
This was until one day when I was in full flow and really going for it. My arms were swinging around and I was having a conversation out loud with Grandpa Harry. I opened my eyes to see the birthday boy's Grandparents on the stage behind me feeding their baby Grandson with a bottle of milk. They stood there open mouthed, their faces a mix of bewilderment and sheer terror. We looked at each other blankly for a few seconds until I broke the awkward silence with, "It's ok, just my pre-party meditation." Their mouths remained wide open, they didn't say a word (not that it would have been easy with an open mouth!) and I disappeared out the front in a fraction of a second.
It was at that precise moment it really dawned on me this had gotten out of hand. Oh, and the party was also a complete nightmare. The parents didn't stop talking loudly, the children were all over the place fighting each other and my Scooby Doo impression was met with silence. I thought there must be an easier way to do this and then it came to me.....
Visualisation As Part Of The Party
Pure genius. I could still do a visualisation all be it a very quick one as part of the show. The children would probably laugh as it will look funny and no one will see me flailing around behind the curtain talking to myself and think I'm taking hallucinatory drugs. Actually, flailing around talking to myself is pretty much what I do for half the party so never mind! Initially I did it behind my box in full view when the children had arrived but before the actual show started. This soon changed to the first thing I do when it officially starts. I throw open my arms, close my eyes and look up to the ceiling.
When the children start laughing, crying or shouting out, "What are you doing?" I reply, "Just doing my little meditation." Depending on their reply I carry on with the show or spend five minutes explaining the advantages of meditating. With my eyes shut I ask for a great party and that's it. This brings me up to date apart from the only superstition that's stayed throughout my ten years as Mr Banana Head...….
I've always thought (or maybe read somewhere) that red's a lucky colour. I decided right from the start that red pants would be an integral part of my party outfit. I've been a strict Calvin Klein man for over 25 years and had a couple of pairs before I started Mr Banana Head. The only problem was that I couldn't find any more for ages afterwards. This meant extreme organisation when it came to laundry.
Due to a sudden lack of concentration I've woken up a few times on party days to discover they were still in the dirty washing. This has resulted in quick washes and waiting by the microwave to retrieve them and go. Fortunately this was all way after the girls were born as it might be a bit radiation blasted down there now. About six months ago I decided that I didn't need red pants, plain black ones would be just fine. That was it, no superstitions, just me along with my eye poking finger and oversized tooth brush. I don't really count the quick visualisation as it's part of the show and would be fine not having it.
I would like to clarify that I'm not delusional. I know that enacting the various superstitions has never guaranteed to create a perfect party or do anything at all. It's just been the feeling that it will that's worked for me. Let me know your superstitions below and subscribe to be the first to hear about new sparkly posts. Next week is all about food addiction. Yum Yums and 8 Bounty bars included.
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