Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Who Doesn’t Like to Get a Little Scared?

Superstitions are funny things.  Today is Tuesday the 13th.  In most areas of the world, this has little to no significance.  But in some Spanish-speaking areas, this is the equivalent to Friday the 13th.  Not to be confused with the movie, but the actual day that is considered ‘bad luck.’

Most reasonable people would immediately disregard this.  I even consider Friday the 13th being more fun than feared, but being afraid of something as ethereal as a day of the week has always fascinated me.  I don’t profess to say that I am not afraid of myriad things, just this morning there was a dog in the office and I used someone else as a human shield, but I digress.  I started thinking about this topic as soon as my calendar flipped, officially as I follow strict calendar rules, to Tuesday the 13th.

In the history of the superstition around the number thirteen, it has more to do with twelve.  The number twelve is considered complete, twelve months in a year, 12 hours in the hourly cycle, 12 Cinnabons in a dozen, you get the idea.  Adding another entry, be it an hour or a day, creates an aberration.  In conjunction with that, some consider Friday to be an unlucky day, though I think this belief started long before people worked or went to school for the hours we do now, as Friday is truly the bell tolling for the end of the mundane work-week.

Blending these things together creates a superstition; an idea based on no actual fact, yet treated as fact just the same for many.  In perhaps another light, you could argue that superstition and religion are born from the same ideas.  But my focus today is on the former, so don’t let me ramble off in yet another unpredictable direction. 

I’m curious, what superstitions do any of you adhere to?  I know I have my own made up superstitions, such as the queue for various items (games, DVDs, books) and also my calendar rules.  I try not to allow myself to get the level of Monk who, if you’re familiar with the show, has a list a mile long of phobias and somehow manages to function, and solve crimes, despite this.

I wonder if some would consider superstitions a gateway to more debilitating phobias.  In some cases, from what I’ve read, I’d argue yes.  But for the most part, I think Friday, or Tuesday, the thirteenth is just another day of the week where we can all attribute something unusual to a day of the week.  Hope you are all out enjoying any strange coincidences and attributing it to the day!

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