Friday the Thirteenth

I seem to have gotten through another Friday the 13th without any disasters happening. No anvils fell on me, no mothers’ backs got broken, no seven-day patterns of much of anything, except in the laundry/stain category. The last Friday the 13th, a month ago, sucked, but I think it had less to do with bad luck and more to do with the alignment of the planets.

Superstitious people are funny. I can’t relate, but I’m amused by people who believe if they send out that email to 10 of their friends, including the person who sent it to them, that they’ll get a call with some good news. And if they don’t, somebody gets a lump.

I hate to break it to them, but if you sit and think long enough about it, you can come up with something bad happening to you almost every minute of every day. Ranging from your decision to sell crack that has you the victim of an unfortunate home invasion, to you’re out of tea bags.

For years, our dinner table conversation consisted of us going around the table and telling three good things that happened to us and one bad thing. Rarely was there a night when someone couldn’t find one bad thing. On the other hand, some days my three good things were: My elbow scab didn’t bleed, the car started, and Ray’s wife hasn’t found out yet about him and Julia Roberts yet on Law & Order.

I think as humans we’re just prone to badness. Especially since we now think that anything short of making the American Idol finals is rotten luck. But our outlook defines us. So I choose to have a positive outlook and refuse to believe that anything bad is going to happen to me, even on Friday the 13th, and nine times out of 10, it doesn’t.

I inherited my mother’s foggy, laid-back attitude about life and I believe that when something bad happens, if you could just put the coffee on and find some cheese in the refrigerator, everything will be fine.

My mother didn’t believe in bad luck. We knew people who did, however. They were mostly from one of the “old” countries. My friend Barb’s ΫiaΫia brought a priest in after Barb and I accidentally broke a mirror from her chemistry set in the kitchen. No more baklava for me, the redheaded devil child.

And my mom used to play cards with a woman who, before the cards were dealt, would stand up, walk around her chair twice clockwise, sit down, and throw a pinch of salt over her left shoulder.

That same lady probably spawned the nut case who makes up these email warnings that you’ll have bad luck if you don’t respond, good luck if you will. I’m not sure I’d know good luck if it came at me like a brick of winning lottery tickets.

It’s estimated that 17 to 21 million Americans are afraid of Friday the 13th. According to Wikipedia, some people just stay in bed. Because of that, however, there are actually fewer accidents, fires and thefts on Fridays that fall on the 13th of the month, probably because of all the people paralyzed with fear, in their beds, afraid to eat, drink or smoke.

They can stay there for all I care. More room for me and my sunny disposition.

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