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This post originally ran on May 20th, 2020 during the Covid-19 quarantine.

Have you ever been the Debbie Downer of the group chat? Everyone is sharing photos of their quarantine meals or funny tidbits from the shows they’re watching, and then there you come with your problems! Everyone in the chat dutifully snaps to attention, dispensing advice and condolences on your bad luck, and you feel better… until you do it again.

I am usually a happy-go-lucky person, so I hate that I have suddenly become a Negative Nancy with a never ending stream of capital-P Problems. Nagging problems that are causing me stress and putting me in a bad mood.

I think that somehow, I recently acquired bad juju.

I don’t know where I picked it up, or why it’s following me around, or if it’s just a quarantine funk, but it has started to feel too heavy. So I decided that I needed to do something about it.

Let’s dial it back.

There seems to be a curse on my apartment.

My roommate, Charlotte, broke one of my wine glasses last month. She had broken a couple before that, actually, but it’s really not a big deal—they’re made of glass! Of course they break! But because we are in quarantine, and I have nowhere else to be but in my feels, I decided to confront her about her apparent carelessness. I asked if she could just put the glasses aside for me to wash myself.

When uttering my simple request, I felt a lump in my throat and heat rising in my body. The glass that she broke was one that I had gotten at a wine festival with my parents. It was a free glass that they gave to everyone, but it held sentimental value, especially now that I have no idea when I will be able to go to another wine festival, or even see my parents, for that matter.

Anyway, I let it out, and it hung in the air between us.

In the following weeks, she broke two more glasses. Or more accurately, the glasses seemed to shatter in her presence. After the third glass, I just laughed it off. I had said my piece and somehow it had made things worse, what else was there to do but laugh? Although I found it funny, by that point Charlotte let it upset her. She was frustrated—she’s not a clumsy or careless person. She decided to pay it forward and bought me a replacement glass.

All was balanced again! Or so we thought…

Last week, I broke a plate while washing it in the sink… and this weekend I broke a wine glass.

It was sitting on the table, and then suddenly it had shattered. The wine glasses are all broken; the curse, however, is clearly not. Or maybe we have a ghost that hates glass, and the environment, and wants us to drink exclusively out of Solo cups.

The feeling that I have been saddled with bad juju is not only about the glasses, though.

It’s also about an ongoing saga with my car involving my battery. It died, naturally, because we’re in quarantine and not going anywhere. I had AAA come jump it. I drove it around for a while and came home, planning to buy a new battery the next day. Except the car didn’t start the next day. The battery, like my positive vibe, was already dead again.

I decided to wait until the weekend to deal with it. I called AAA again. The same technician came and jumped my car, again. As I was about to drive away to get a new battery, my car alarm went off. That’s right… it went off while the car was started, with me inside. The only way I could get it to stop was by taking the keys out of the ignition. When I went to put the keys back in—you guessed it!—the car would not start. Charlotte tried to jump my car, but my battery was too dead, and when the car got an ounce of juice—sing along if you know the words!—the alarm went off, again.

Accepting my failure, I came back inside and poured myself several glasses of wine, after which the aforementioned glass broke.

That was the final straw.

One way or another, I needed to take control of the situation. I did this by researching how to banish negative vibes and decided on purchasing a white, sage, and lavender candle, which I am supposed to light with a positive intention in mind. I also bought a black tourmaline rod, which is apparently a protective stone meant to block bad vibes, to keep in my car. And for good measure, I went on Urban Outfitters and bought a rose quartz, which is meant to promote inner and outer love, a Himalayan Sea Salt night lamp, and a CBD body scrub.

So whether it is bad juju, a ghost or just a whole lot of stress, I think it’s safe to say I’ve covered my bases and will work to recenter myself. Will these mystical interventions work? Too soon to tell. But I’m willing to take the risk because at best, the curse will be broken, and at worst, my house will still be cursed, but at least it will smell like a floral dreamworld.

I think it’s easy in these times to get lost in ourselves and feed the negative monsters inside of us. It’s also easy to assume that we are alone, or that we are the only ones suffering. I’m just here to let you know that it’s not just you. We’re in this together.  I’m wishing you positive vibes.

Sydney Mineer

Sydney Mineer believes in Harvey Dent. She is the #1 bull terrier spotter in Los Angeles and is fluent in both Seinfeld and Spongebob references.

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