Paraskevidekatriaphobia. Sounds like something my kid coughed up, but it’s actually the technical name for fear of Friday the 13th.
I know people love their superstitions, but I was born on a Friday the 13th (August, mark it on your calendar, folks) and I’ve grown up knowing the stigma attached to the day – in fact, experiencing it first hand. I’m not even kidding. If I had a dollar for every time someone said “Oh, well that explains a lot” or “Geez, you must be so unlucky” or “Wow, creepy” well, I’d have enough money to buy myself a few nice bottles of birthday champagne every year, anyways!
My mom never failed to tell me that I was born under a lucky star and that Friday the 13th was the luckiest day in the world for her because it was the day she became a mom, and truthfully, it never made me feel bad about myself – but it did totally dumbfound me that people could say things like that to a kid!
Whatever. I love my birthday – ask anyone that knows me. I celebrate it like it’s a national holiday and expect everyone else around me to, too. In fact I celebrate my half birthday in February – take that Paraskevidekatriaphobia-ites!
It’s probably because of my start to life on Friday the 13th that I grew up not having any superstitions. Why should I be afraid of black cats? I don’t walk under ladders because it’s not safe for the person standing on them, but I can spill salt and not throw it everywhere, and there’s no way I’m going to carry around a rabbit’s foot – who thought of that barbaric totem to divine luck. That foot certainly didn’t bring the rabbit who grew it any good ends! Plus, I’ve broken enough mirrors to keep me in bad luck for this life and the next!
The lucky star my mother said I was born under is a nice thought, but my mom always told me to make my own luck. She was one to find a penny and pick it up for all day long she’d have good luck – but she’d also have an extra penny.
Do people teach these superstitions to their kids any more? I keep the penny one going because it always reminds me of my mom, but otherwise? I don’t want my kids growing up with irrational fears, thinking if they cross their fingers they’ll up their chances of making something good happen or having the urge to knock on wood any time they mentions something they want to happen.
It makes me laugh when I see people doing these things out of habbit. Have you ever been speaking with someone when they actually do three knocks on their own head while saying “Knock on wood” for luck, like some oral talisman that will protect them from befalling the wrath of whatever bad may come of daring to speak their hopes and dreams aloud!
While the Friday the 13th stigma will likely stick around – and let’s face it, that namesake slasher flick series didn’t help the cause – embrace the day and make your own luck, it will always be the more successful way to enjoy good things happening to you.