Friday the 13th

Growing up, my maternal grandparents were enormously superstitious people. My grandmother refused to live anywhere decorated in green and my grandfather was positively addicted to reading his horoscope. But there were a huge number of superstitions I was to learn only on moving to England in my late teens – lucky charms, black cats, walking under ladders and Friday the 13th.

One year, I decided I was going to put the whole Friday the 13th thing behind me. I decided it was going to be not just a good day, but a truly excellent one. I cannot remember what happened, just that it was thoroughly enjoyable. Was I fortunate nothing untoward happened? Perhaps. But nothing untoward happened most days, so why would Friday the 13th be any different?

Despite the success of my experiment, the power of mindset and the importance of harnessing it slipped away from my grasp and wasn’t something I understood till decades later. But I’ve never feared a Friday the 13th since, indeed I often smile at the thought that it’ll be a good day.

There’s a Friday the 13th this week – so, aside from looking forward to it, I went for a look see at what else of note happened in history …

On September 13th in 1916, the English author Roald Dahl was born. I didn’t read his work until my late 30s when a colleague – struck dumb by my admission – rushed out to the local bookstore and returned with a copy of Matilda for me. With hindsight, I suspect his primary concern was my young daughter would be deprived the joy of reading Roald Dahl. His action turned that situation round, for we then purchased and read many more together.

So join me in celebrating the birth of Roald Dahl this Friday, rather than worry what Friday the 13th might bring.

How do you feel about superstitions? Do you disregard them, have a technique to handle them, or can they be a blight on your day?

Β© Debra Carey, 2019

6 thoughts on “Friday the 13th

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  1. I suppose I observe them, the most common one for me is to never open an umbrella in the house; which is somewhat tricky because that’s how I like to dry them out afterwards πŸ™‚ (In our current place, I can now do so on our screened-in porch — I don’t think that counts). My dad believed that writing anything in red pen was bad luck — his invention probably.

    Friday the 13th never bothered me for some reason. Roald Dahl is a good enough reason for me to celebrate the day this Friday. Many years ago I read his autobiography, “Boy.” But I’ve forgotten nearly all of it. I should really read it again. – Marty

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  2. Ah yes, I’d forgotten about the open umbrella in the house one Marty πŸ™‚ I recently caught myself putting a pair of shoes on the table and wondering if I should remove them not because shoes don’t belong on dining tables but in case of bad luck. Oddly, Boy is one Roald Dahl I’ve not read. Another for my overloaded TBR list methinks!

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  3. I’ve never worried about Friday the 13th, but perhaps I’m jinxing myself for saying so right here? Nah. It’s a good day if only because it reminds me of Roald Dahl. You’re not supposed to put your shoes on a table? That’s news to me. What if you put them on a chest of drawers? Is that bad, too?

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  4. Honestly Ally, who knows? I can’t remember when I heard about the shoes on table thing. I mean it makes sense in a “we eat off dining tables so don’t put dirty shoes up there” kinda way, but that’s more about common sense that luck, surely? That said, I’m totally in love with black cats too, although maybe that makes me a witch rather than being a foreteller of bad luck? πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€

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  5. I stopped worrying about Friday 13th when I discovered where it originated – same place as the devil looking like Pan. 13 is the number of the Moon and at the heart of pagan religions. I blame Church Christianity’s attempt to suppress other faiths – or steal their symbols. Sorry if that offends anyone.

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  6. I didn’t know about the origins of Friday 13th Roland, thank you, that’s interesting. No offence taken here Roland – all valid opinions always welcome, yours especially.

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