Friday, July 13, 2007

I Have Triskaidekaphobia!

I don't really have a fear of Friday the 13th or the number 13 - but I probably should. The first time I ever had to have surgery, it was on a Friday the 13th and my divorce became final on February 13th. I was originally scheduled to go to court on February 14, but called my lawyer to reschedule because it just seemed wicked to drag my husband to court for a divorce on Valentine's Day! As it turns out, he was a no-show anyway - but don't get me started.

What is our fascination with the number 13 and other superstitions? I grew up in a very superstitious home. It didn't seem particularly abnormal at the time, but I do find myself practicing the same little rituals my mother did. I always throw salt over my left shoulder when I knock over the salt shaker. I cringe when black cats cross my path. I'll cross a street to avoid walking under a ladder and I'm always looking for wood to knock when I don't want to jinx myself by saying something out loud. I'm sure there are many more, but they're so ingrained I'm hardly aware.

I just did a little googling to get a better grip on this whole "number 13" thing and my superstitions flared. I recently talked about having dinner at Willie Dunn's with 13 friends. After reading's Urban Legends and Folklore, I feel like I may have dodged a bullet.

"It is said: If 13 people sit down to dinner together, all will die within the year. The Turks so disliked the number 13 that it was practically expunged from their vocabulary (Brewer, 1894). Many cities do not have a 13th Street or a 13th Avenue. Many buildings don't have a 13th floor. If you have 13 letters in your name, you will have the devil's luck (Jack the Ripper, Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, Theodore Bundy and Albert De Salvo all have 13 letters in their names). There are 13 witches in a coven."

My advice, as a superstitious person (there, I admitted it), is to forget about the possibility of bad luck and head to Jackson Gore this evening for a relaxing start to the weekend with the Jackson Gore Outdoor Music Series concert and a free performance by Jeff Tuohy. The grounds open at 5:30 p.m. Hope to see you there. Cheers!

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