FEELING LUCKY – FRIDAY THE 13TH by Debra H. Goldstein
Walk under a ladder, admire the black cat that runs across my path, and not carry a lucky penny, rabbit’s foot, or charm are all things I’m going to do today. It’s Friday the 13th, probably one of the most feared and safest days when it falls. This year, 2015, the 13th day of the month falls on Friday in February, March and November.
According to Wikipedia, my main source of factual information for today’s blog, there is dispute as to when it truly became such a superstitious day. Some say the Middle Ages, others the 19th century, but all agree that it became a popularized day of fear through literature. Although it was mentioned in an earlier published biography, the 1907 book Friday the Thirteenth by Thomas W. Lawson, in which a broker uses the superstition of the day to create a Wall Street panic, was the first bestseller to dwell on the date. More modern books to capitalize on Friday the 13th include John J. Robinson’s Born in Blood: The Lost Secrets of Freemasonry (1989) and The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (2003).
Wikipedia references a study by the Ashville, North Carolina Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute as estimating seventeen to twenty-one million people in the United States are impacted by fear when the 13th falls on a Friday. These people avoid normal business activities, traveling, “or even getting out of bed.”
Not me. I have enough things happen on other days that Friday the 13th is simply one more day – good or bad. Hopefully, because of everyone else’s fears, I can get a discount on an airline ticket, be safer on the roads because people tend to drive more carefully on Friday the 13th, and not worry about a bucket of paint dropping on me when I walk under that ladder because my painter opted to stay home. I know already that I’m lucky – you’re reading this blog.
Tell me, are you afraid of Friday the 13th? Have any Friday the 13th experiences to share?