November 13, 2009

Friday The Thirteenth

Today is Friday, the thirteenth day of November. Everyone knows that thirteen is an unlucky number, right? Did you know that any month's 13th day will fall on a Friday if the month starts on a Sunday? That's all it is.

It used to be such a mystery to me as a young person and my fellow students and I carried on the superstitious nature of this phenomenon. Because it didn't happen every month, we enjoyed the sensation of power that this unique day held to bring bad luck to anyone who wasn't careful.

Worse than stepping on a crack in the sidewalk or walking under a ladder! In a way, this superstition perpetuated a fear that was a tickler and a teaser so much so that when I got through the day without a major mishap I then knew I was lucky. There is a name for the fear of Friday the thirteenth: Paraskevidekatriaphobia. Betcha can't say that three times quickly.

I wasn't lucky enough to waltz through each and every Friday the thirteenth unscathed. The day I broke my finger playing volleyball at school was a Friday the thirteenth. The day my old clunker car died permanently was a Friday the thirteenth. The day a girl in my brother's class hit him in the head with her square wooden purse and split his head open was a Friday the thirteenth. I wasn't injured but she was when I found her and I was suspended from school for the unprovoked attack. Of course the way I looked at it was I just defending my brother.

According to experts it's the most widespread superstition in the United States today. Have you ever seen a thirteenth floor in a hotel? Some people refuse to go to work on Friday the 13th; some won't eat in restaurants; many wouldn't think of setting a wedding on the date.

How many Americans actually suffer from this condition? According to Dr. Donald Dossey, a psychotherapist specializing in the treatment of phobias, the figure may be as high as 21 million. If he's right, at least eight percent of Americans are still in the grips of a very old superstition.

I have been set free from the fears that have inhabited my life throughout my childhood. This Friday is just another weekday. I am no longer held captive by a tradition not based in fact.

So enjoy your Friday everyone. Oh, and good luck!


Shadow said...

i don't like friday the 13th. and my father very adamently didn't like it either. he died on a friday the 13th. coincidence???

Shadowthorne said...

Is it really? I haven't notice today's date until you mentioned it.

Don't believe in the unlucky properties of the number 13.

Yes, sometimes I chuckled in elevators when they put 12B instead of floor 13. If they don't want that floor, just give it to me. :)

otin said...

OK, I need to stay home now!!!

Brian Miller said...

happy friday, which also happens to be the big deal...just gonna stay home. smiles. have a great one!

smiles4u said...

I didn't realize it was Friday the 13th until I heard the news and they were saying that there are people that will not leave their homes because of it. Kinda sad that fears like this keep us from living. I remember loving to watch the friday the 13th movies as a teen. And hey I too, got suspended from school, for fighting with the person that bullied my menally handicapped brother.

Happy friday to you!

Shrinky said...

I was born at home at No. 13, and it was on a Friday! (But it wasn't on the 13th, I arrived on the 25th - Christmas Day).

Me, supersticious? Don't be daft (touch wood)..

Badass Geek said...

I'm not so much paranoid of 13 as I am not fond of odd numbers.

cinner said...

You will have to read my post, are we two peas in a pod. You gave more facts than me. and if I am with 21 million people I think I am fine. Love your post. take care , and no I can't say the word. lol

Ronda Laveen said...

Ahhh, if the month starts on a Sundayn huh? Thanks for the 411. 13 is my best friend's lucky number. 4he celebrates this day.

Margie said...

I just realized a little while ago that it was Friday the 13th.
Never had a problem with it though!

Hope you have a great day!
Such an interesting post!
Thank you for sharing.

And have a good weeeknd!


Fancy said...

All my dreams did come true on Friday the 13th. Why am I so lucky? :)

Happy Friday to you, Technobabe!

Berni said...

Not superstitious so have never let it bother me. I don't think people are quite so paranoid about it in Canada I have never heard of anyone staying home on Friday 13th.

Ina in Alaska said...

Hello dear TechnoBabe... Friday the 13th was just awesome!!! I commented late in the day just to be sure it all worked out. It did!! Took the dogs to their new groomer, played doubles tennis with my Friday Senior Citizen ladies, and drove on icy roads without incident. Hooray!!! Have a lovely weekend!! xoxo

Anonymous said...

This was a fun and informative read. Thanks so much!