Thursday, October 12, 2006

Show of hands, who's paraskavedekatriaphobic?

I'm not sure I could even pronounce it without a couple of rehearsals. But I am, slightly. (Triskaidekaphobia is fear of the number 13, which I don't have; paraskavedekatriaphobia is specifically fear of Friday the 13th. Thank you, Wikipedia. And who comes UP with these pseudo-Greek terms, I'd like to know?!)

My fear of this particular day stems from a few purely anecdotal occurrences, and I know it. Nonetheless, they were life-changing occurrences, which is probably why they stand out and give me a sense of leery discomfort about the day.

My mother was the second oldest in a family of six, all girls. I know all my aunties, except Aunt Bonnie. She was the fourth child, and widely considered to be the beauty of the family. In November 1964, a month after her seventeenth birthday, Aunt Bonnie was struck by a drunk driver a few blocks away from her home. Her lovely face and body were severely mutilated in the crash, and she lingered for some time in the hospital, broken and in pain. She died on a Friday the 13th.

Ah, my best friend in high school. He was cute, he was sensitive, he was funny and artistic, and I had the most terrible heart-rending crush on him which I tried to keep discreet, because I wasn't sure if it was requited. (In retrospect, I was probably about as discreet as a fifty-man band parading naked down Main Street at noon, playing the highest-decibel selections from the Nine Inch Nails catalog, but waddyawant, it was high school.) In September, near the beginning of our junior year, he called me up and said he had something really important to say to me, made me swear I would never tell -- you can probably see where this is going, but at the time I certainly didn't. It felt like a physical punch to the stomach, and I cried for days without being able to tell anyone why. He chose to come out to me on Friday the 13th.

There are other incidents, of course, most of them minor. They could have happened on any day of the year, I suppose, and there are plenty of other really distressing things that have happened on days with no particular lucky or unlucky significance. I don't place any particular significance on astrological signs, compatibility, or lucky/unlucky days based on horoscopes. I know it's just silly to be superstitious about a Friday the 13th, especially in October.

That said, if you need me I'll be cowering under the bed.

5 comments:

natural attrill said...

Huzzah! 2 U 2 !
Penny.

Soozcat said...

Sorry, couldn't contain myself. Just pleased to see your new store was up and running.

tlc illustration said...

Hope you survived your day without incident! I actually did spend it under the covers (not hovering particularly) - but with a mild case of food poisoning. Fun times! Now it will be EXTRA fun to try to make up for a full day missed and still meet my deadline on Monday!

Soozcat said...

Oh, poor Tara! Food poisoning is miserable, and a deadline on top of it is just nasty. I hope you're feeling a bit better today.

natural attrill said...

Hi Soozcat, your comment made me laugh, didnt really know what you meant, hence my reply!
Penny.