Friday, January 13, 2017

Good Thing I'm Not Superstitious

Thought for the day:  My surgeon is really funny; he always has me in stitches.



Sheesh. Leave it to me to schedule surgery for a Friday the 13th, huh? Good thing I'm not superstitious... and hopefully, neither is Dr. Lee.

Not a biggie. After my cataract surgery in 2001, my eyelids were pretty stretched and saggy. C'est la vie. But in the past couple of years, since I've had to do the daily drops for glaucoma, the eyelids have gotten so saggy, they're interfering with my field of vision. (sigh) So the doc said, "Fix 'em!"

My eyelids have fallen, and they can't get up!

So I'm fixing them. Today. For a while, I'll probably look like Smarticus beat me up, but once the swelling goes down, I should be able to see a lot better. But just because I'm gonna be out of it today doesn't mean I shouldn't leave you guys a post, though, right? So here's a Friday the 13th re-run. Seeya next Friday.

                      Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

                                                             



****************************

Thought for the day:  Why in the world do people think an amputated rabbit's foot will bring them luck? The way I see it, it sure didn't bring any luck to the rabbit...


[morguefile]
I'm not at all superstitious. Friday the thirteenth is just like any other day, knock on wood. But don't worry. For those of you who are superstitious, I've got my fingers crossed that you encounter nothing but good luck today.

I do NOT believe the act of washing a car will make it rain. Well, actually, maybe it will, but as everyone knows, that's due to science, not superstition... Murphy's law and all that.

I say NO to the notion that breaking a mirror will bring seven years' bad luck. True, I have a peculiar propensity for avoiding mirrors as much as possible, but that has nothing to do with a fear of breaking them. I just don't wanta give that old-gray-mare-who-ain't-what-she-used-to-be who stares back at me the satisfaction. Why let that old broad spoil an otherwise great day?

I do NOT believe garlic will keep away vampires and evil spirits; I just happen to LIKE eating it. I also enjoy eating an apple every day, and it has absolutely nothing to do with that silly old saying about keeping the doctor away. Sure, I pick up pennies when I spot them lying on the ground, but it has nothing to do with that old Find a penny, pick it up, and all the day you'll have good luck. Nothing at all. I'm simply cheap frugal.

We do NOT have any lucky horseshoes hanging in our house, but if we did, I'd be sure they were hanging properly. You know, so it looks like the letter U. And that has nothing to do with that blather about not letting the luck run out. They simply... look better... that way.

Oh, I could go on and on, like about how unlucky it's supposed to be to walk under a ladder, to rock an empty rocking chair, to open an umbrella in the house, or for a black cat to cross your path. (Like Groucho Marx said, A black cat crossing your path signifies that the animal is going somewhere.) But I won't. Instead, we're gonna concentrate on Friday the thirteenth. Ever wonder why that date makes some superstitious people fairly tremble in fear? Well, then, you've come to the right place. I'm gonna tell ya.

The following post originally appeared on May 13, 2011... a Friday the 13th, of course, and it had the original title of Friggatriskaidekaphobia, Anyone? I hope you enjoy it.
********************************

Thought for the day:  Luck is the idol of the idle.


[morguefile]
Friggatriskaidikaphobia is a freaky cool word that means fear of Friday the 13th. Since Friday is considered by some to be an unlucky day, and thirteen is feared by some as an unlucky number, it should come as no surprise that when the two converge, superstitious fears multiply accordingly. We could say that

Unlucky Friday + Unlucky Thirteen = Unluckier Friday

The word superstition means a belief or practice resulting from ignorance and fear of the unknown, a trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation. Although I have no statistics to back me up, I'll hazard a guess that there are far more superstitious males than females. I mean, really, have you ever heard of a woman refusing to change her lucky drawers or socks? No, of course not. Although I will concede that this peculiar attachment to one's dirty socks and undies and by extension, one's aversion to donning clean ones, may in fact be rooted in something entirely different than a belief in their ability to prolong a streak of good luck. For any gentlemen with a proclivity to wear said scuzzy skivvies, be forewarned: No matter how much  luck you believe those skivvies may bring you in games of chance or sport, I double dog guarantee you that wearing them will NOT lead to any semblance of luck with the ladies.

[morguefile]
Most of us are familiar with superstitions dealing with black cats, spilling salt, breaking mirrors, and walking under ladders, but have you ever wondered where those superstitions originated?

And why FRIDAYS, for goodness sake?

And why the number THIRTEEN?

Because...

WHY FRIDAY  : In ancient Rome, Friday was the designated day for executions, which certainly ended a streak of good luck for anyone whacked by the authorities, whether he was wearing his lucky bowling shirt or not. Witches' covens allegedly gather on Fridays, too, and in the Middle Ages, Friday was actually dubbed "Witches' Sabbath". The Good Friday crucifixion of Christ casts the greatest stigma on the day for Christians, but other Biblical events are also attributed to Friday: the day Eve gave Adam the apple, the day they were expelled from Eden, the day God struck the Tower of Babel, and the day Solomon's Temple was destroyed.

Some of the strange superstitions regarding Friday are:
  • Clothing made on a Friday will never fit properly.
  • Visiting a doctor on a Friday will lead to no good news.
  • Changing bedclothes on a Friday will lead to nightmares.
  • Marrying or moving on a Friday will come to a bad end.
  • Cutting your nails on a Friday will lead to sorrow.
  • Receiving bad news on a Friday will cause more wrinkles than receiving them on any other day of the week.
  • Starting a trip on a Friday will lead to misfortune.
  • Ships that set sail on a Friday are doomed to suffer bad luck.
About a hundred years ago, to disprove the superstition about ships, the Brits commissioned H.M.S. Friday. The crew was selected on a Friday, the keel was set on a Friday,  the ship was launched on a Friday, and the man chosen to captain the ship was even named Friday. The ship set sail on its maiden voyage on a Friday, too. And was never heard from again.

[morguefile]
WHY THIRTEEN: You're probably more familiar with this word: triskaidekaphobia. That's the fear of the number thirteen, and it's no secret that many buildings don't acknowledge a thirteenth floor, and many cities opt to skip Thirteenth Street. But, WHY? 

For one thing, a witch's coven has thirteen members. There are also thirteen steps leading to the gallows, and thirteen knots in a hangman's noose. The blade of a guillotine falls thirteen feet, and at her trial, Lizzie Borden spoke thirteen words. There were thirteen people at the Last Supper, and the thirteenth card in a deck of tarot cards? Death.

Apollo 13, the thirteenth mission to be launched from pad #39, (13 X 3)  was aborted after an explosion in the fuel cell of the service module, after leaving the launching pad at 13:13 CST. The date? April thirteenth.

One theory about the root of triskaidekaphobia lays it at the feet of ancient man. It claims that when man was first learning to count, he counted on ten fingers and two feet, so anything beyond twelve was considered frightening and mysterious. On the other hand, what I find mysterious is why he didn't count on his ten toes, too. It's highly possible that he refused to take off his lucky socks.

Would you believe the number thirteen was once considered lucky? For one thing, some early religions considered the thirteenth step to be the one souls take to enter the eternal glory of the afterlife. And in the prehistoric goddess-worshiping cultures, the number thirteen represented femininity, and corresponded to the number of lunar (and menstrual) cycles in a year. The Earth Mother of Laussel, an ancient carving found in France, depicts a female holding a crescent-shaped horn with, you guessed it,  thirteen notches in it. Later, when society became male-dominated and the solar calendar replaced the lunar one, twelve became the "perfect" number, replacing the "imperfect" thirteen.

So, there ya have it. Now you know a little bit about the superstitions associated with Friday the thirteenth. Me? I still prefer the TGIF approach.

How about you? Do you have any superstitions or lucky socks? (Or saggy eyelids? HA!)

[Initially, I was going to turn off the comments, but I changed my mind. If you leave a comment, thank you. Honest, I do appreciate it, but please understand if I don't respond or stop by your blog this time. (Sorry!)]

                                  Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.


50 comments:

  1. Good luck with your surgery.
    And thank you for yet another informative post, lacing with laughter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sue. The surgery went well. I LOOK pretty scary, but I can SEE. :)

      I'm glad you liked the post.

      Delete
  2. I'm glad I don't take notice if days or dates much since I retired, but I've never been superstitious anyway.
    I do have slightly saggy eyelids, inherited from both parents and the sort of jowls that make my face part of my neck now, which wasn't hard as we're a thick-necked family.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thick-necked beats thick-headed! :)

      Slightly saggy eyelids are to be expected, but mine had gotten completely out of control. Half of my pupils were obscured, and Smarticus was all the time asking me if I was awake. (I mean, sheesh, just because my eyes were below half-mast...) Now, I can see more of my eyeballs than I've seen in years!

      Delete
  3. A dear friend of mine had that surgery and the results were wonderful. Not only could she see better, but when she looked in the mirror, she looked younger. Susan, your vision of the world has always been bright, now it will become even more uplifting. Having it done on Friday the 13th shows your optimistic attitude.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love your comment. Thanks.

      There's still a lot of swelling and bruising, (RED bruises!!!) so it's too soon to tell what the final results are going to be, but I can already see better. Amazing!!!

      Delete
  4. Hi Susan - hope all goes well and you come out looking mighty pretty - despite Smarticuses kind pats! ... is it Smarticusii, like crocii, or Smarticuses like crocuses?! Well it is Friday the 13th and a few others things ... it's a good day for me .. cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I hope it WAS a good day for you, and you had a very happy birthday!

      Delete
  5. Hope the surgery goes well. Yeah, sure some weird ones out there. All a bunch of nonsense to me. lol I guess counting toes was just wrong, or too cold to take off ones socks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, dear sir.

      You're right; superstition is a bunch of nonsense to me, too, but it's fun to learn about them.

      Delete
  6. I could never consider Friday the 13th as unlucky as my lovely, yet slightly bat-crap crazy sister was born on this day 28 years ago. This is the girl who believed in Santa until she was 16 and asked recently if they could make a ham substitute (she doesn't eat pork)using cows.

    Hope all goes well with your surgery Susan. I'll be thinking of you. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HA! Who knows? Maybe your bat-crap crazy sister in onto something. Maybe beef COULD be cured into something like ham. Maybe they could call it bam?

      Delete
  7. Good luck with the surgery. I'm sure it will make a big difference for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. It's already made a huge difference. It was delightful to discover there were eyeballs hiding under those lids...

      Delete
  8. I believe lucky things happen on the 13th so you are in good shape. Best of luck and I hope you heal quickly. Take care

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. Unfortunately, my shape hasn't improved, but my eyes are doing great! :)

      Delete
  9. I have a particular fondness for black cats, which are always associated with Friday the 13th, so I feel warm and fuzzy about the day. My only superstition—and it's extreme—is with found pennies and has nothing to do with the day of the week.

    Good luck with the surgery, Susan! Wishing you a rapid recovery.

    VR Barkowski

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm, I'd be curious to hear about your penny superstition. I do something kinda silly with them. If I find them face up, I pick 'em up. If it's tail up, I turn it over and leave it there for the next person to pick up. I've been doing that forever, and I don't even know why... :)

      Delete
  10. I so enjoyed this post you always find the best stuff to write on.
    We now have two black cats, and except for them being cat. . . they are a hoot.

    Good luck with your surgery and heal fast !
    cheers, parsnip

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think ALL cats are a hoot, no matter what color they are.

      Delete
  11. A very educational (& FUNNY) post. Good luck on your surgery!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. One thing I learned as a laborer is tools dropped from a ladder fall spang on the head of whomever's under it. So that one, at least, is not just superstition. Hope you're not in too much discomfort today and all went well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed. Not standing under a ladder when someone's up there working has nothing to do with a bad superstition... it's about good sense.

      Delete
  13. Thankfully I am not superstitious... I get why people are, some odd things have happened... however; just as many good things have happened on Friday 13th too... This was a really interesting read with all the little stories of why people feel the way they do about the day and the number... xox

    I hope you feel better soon Susan, I wouldn't care about getting surgery that day, I'm not fond of surgery any day of the week... lol ...Have a great week and gets lots of rest <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Friday the 13th is just another day, and like any other day, it is whatever you make of it. :)

      Delete
  14. I hope all went well with your surgery and recuperation is quick! Make Smarticus wait on you hand and foot while you recover (we women don't get many excuses for getting our husbands to spoil us, so use this chance as much as you can).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll tell you a little secret: I HATE to be waited on hand and foot. (shhhh) I'd much rather be giving the attention than receiving it.

      Delete
  15. Hope everything has gone o.k. Take care, Susan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Keith. So far, so good. (Even if I DO look bad enough to scare a child right now...)

      Delete
  16. Oh, yikes! Hope the surgery went well, and that your recovery is going just as smoothly, too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Heather. I should look "normal" in another month or so... (but I can SEE!)

      Delete
  17. I'm hoping your surgery and healing both go very well. There's a lot to be said for being able to see!! :)

    And nope, I don't think I'm superstitious. Nothing comes to mind anyway. I used to skip sidewalk cracks when I was a kid...my mom still has a good back. Whew. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. Yeah, I'm pretty excited about being able to see again. (Without having to hold my eyebrows up as high as they'll go.)

      What a good girl. I'm very happy to hear your due diligence preserved the good health of your mother's back. :)

      Delete
  18. I wish you good luck - and in many countries 13 is a lucky number - so: forget about superstition, and get well soon! Britta

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Since I was born on the 13th, I have no choice but to think of it as a "lucky" number. :)

      Delete
  19. I hope everything went well.

    The writer in me loves Friday the 13th! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I'm doing better than the doctor expected.

      I like Friday the 13th, too. (But not the movies! HA)

      Delete
  20. Susan, somehow our emails back and forth have been deleted from my contact list and I need to write you - could you please send me an email so I have your address again. Thanks and so sorry.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hope you recover quickly. I definitely don't believe in superstitions but I would totally hang the horseshoe the right way!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks.

      Absolutely! It just doesn't look right the other way. (And, um, just in case...)

      Delete
  22. We hope your surgery went well, and that you take every opportunity to embarrass Smarticus by saying "he did this to me" when people ask about the swelling.

    I'm not superstitious. If I was, this black cat that always snuggles up in my lap would have ruined my life by now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HA! I haven't embarrassed him yet. Only myself. I don't especially want to be seen in public, but the weather's been so nice, I agreed to go out with him yesterday. Even with the dark glasses on, the bruising is still visible...

      A kitty can't destroy your life. Kitties always make life better. (More entertaining, anyway...)

      Delete
  23. I hope your surgery went well and that you heal quickly. :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. I hope everything went well with your surgery and that it was painless. Where I grew up, in Paris, Friday the 13th was a lucky day when everyone was supposed to buy a lottery ticket – they advertize a lot for that day. I did once and won about $50, which was a lot for me at the time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. All went well, but you know what they say: "No pain, no gain." I wouldn't call it pain-free, but I can't complain. I can SEE!!!

      Well, darn, I wish I would've bought a lottery ticket on Friday the 13th. Next time... :)

      Delete