TODAY is Friday the 13th. I googled it the other day only to discover the fear of it is a real thing called ‘friggatriskaidekaphobia’.
All over the world there are people fearful at the mere mention of today and others staying in bed to avoid it altogether.
As a child I was superstitious. Not only would I not walk under a ladder or had to throw salt over my shoulder if I spilled some, but I added a few of my own.
One, which literally tied me in knots, was the superstition that if I put my right sock on before my left I was increasing the chances of us getting an unannounced test in school. Unfortunately, these tests still happened, so I adjusted my superstition, believing if I put the right sock on while standing up I’d be test free.
This belief in superstition continued throughout childhood and while it was easy to avoid a ladder and spilling salt, magpies were the bane of my life.
Those birds were everywhere as I was growing up, sitting on walls all alone bringing me nothing but sorrow. Driving to swimming competitions through the Phoenix Park, which was a Mecca for them, my friend and I would lie down on the back seat avoiding any chance of ‘one for sorrow’ which might scupper our hopes of swimming well.
Thankfully, I’m now free of all superstitions. I no longer believe Friday 13th to be an unlucky day, but a part of me wonders is there such a thing as a day which is destined to be unlucky?
Take one day recently when from the moment I got up things went awry.
Breakfast went according to plan but then I attempted to get dressed only to discover both of my favoured tops were bedecked with food I’d eaten the last time I’d worn them, and by food I mean chocolate.
Settling on a clean jumper, I managed to put it on backwards twice. Making my way to the shops I discovered my debit card was missing, again. Having searched all the usual haunts including the supermarket, I gave up and ordered another, the second in a few months.
Not wishing to hear my family comment on my carelessness I told no one. However, later that day, yer man pulled a curled-over debit card from the tumble dryer filter, which it’s safe to say would never again fit into an ATM.
However, bad and all as that day was, it was a day yer man had when we lived in Australia which has made me ask if destiny plays a part.
We’d been shopping the previous night and on waking we discovered his wallet was missing. He searched the apartment forensically as I looked on, but no luck.
Not ready to admit defeat, we returned to the supermarket. It hadn’t been handed in so we spent 20 minutes searching prickly bushes close to where we’d parked, he looking like the FBI while I halfheartedly parted a few branches.
Reluctantly, he accepted it was gone.
I suggested a walk on the beach to cheer him up. We cast off our shoes and walked the entire beach which slowly worked its magic. However, as we drew close to our shoe resting place, I could only make out one pair waiting for us.
Surely not? Alas it was true, my shoes were lying where I’d left them, but yer man’s new runners were nowhere to be found. He’d been robbed... again.
Walking back to the car, yer man hobbling along in his bare feet, I fought to control the urge to laugh hysterically. Who could believe anyone could be so unlucky on one day?
But now that I remember it, it was a Friday, I just can’t remember the date!