Once our Mother had moved to Iowa, she had many strange requests and customs that my sister Abby and I found puzzling. Once winter hit, she began talking about how she would need some black eyed peas to cook. Of course, I made the fatal mistake of questioning her motives. She did not disappoint and produced her usual yell fest, beginning with why would it be any of my business. She continued on by screaming that if she wanted some black eyed peas, then she should damned well be able to have them.
Off to the store we went to get the much needed specialty item. I continued to question why she needed them since I had never, ever seen her eat them. This was a new little fetish of hers, one of many to come.
After much interrogating, she finally said
Well, any idiot knows that you must eat them on New Year’s Day for prosperity and luck!
I wondered for about the one millionth time in my life where she got off talking to me like that. Although I did think it would be wonderful if she actually had good luck for once in her life and prosperity, I knew that even if she ate a barrel of them, it was doubtful her luck would change.
We returned to her home and she began whining about how much she hated the taste of black eyed peas and why couldn’t they have chosen something she liked to eat for good luck and prosperity? I could not believe it! My response to her was if they tasted so horrible, then don’t eat them. She was aghast at the thought. How dare I tell her not to eat something that could bring her good fortune!
Once again, any logic or common sense had left the station long ago!