I’m writing this on Friday the 13th. My day may have started out with having to handle some technology glitches but, other than that, I had a superlative day! I was the featured personality on “Richard Skipper Celebrates”, a blog that’s really drawn in viewers who like to read about the cabaret and theater industries. Then – I got a wonderful call from my former songwriting partner, Sharon Schapow – AKA Spector. We were the “Horowitz & Spector” you can see performing on Richard’s blog. She had an idea that I’ll remain silent about for now. I promise you’ll hear about it soon! Then, as I hung up the phone, who should call but the woman who recorded some of our songs twenty-five years ago! Sharon and I hadn’t heard anything from her since shortly after the recordings were made. The fact that she called just as I got off the phone with Sharon, whom I haven’t been speak with daily as we did in our writing/performing days, knocked me out! What are the chances of that happening!
I’m sounding as though I’m saying Friday the 13th is lucky. I think it will be whatever we decide it’s going to be. I bet we can choose to make any day lucky – or unlucky,
I’ve been getting so many grimaces from people talking about today as some kind of frightening thing. I’d forgotten that my building doesn’t have a 13th Floor. Today, I looked to see if we had one. It doesn’t. Am I crazy for thinking that it’s strange for builders to call the 13th Floor, the Fourteenth Floor? It’s still the floor over the twelfth floor, whatever you call it! I never had any ill feelings about Friday the 13th. In fact when I went to camp, probably, just to be different, I decided to make the number 13 a “lucky number”. I didn’t really believe it was lucky or unlucky. This is going to sound strange, but for some reason I’ve always experienced great and unexpected things happening to me on Friday the 13ths. I think this is the case because I chose it to be lucky.
I decided I needed to write about this superstition and hopefully relieve my readers from unneeded fears about superstitions. There happen to be three Friday the 13ths this year. They are each thirteen weeks apart. I say, “So what?” Of course, I go the other direction and strive to turn the fear of a date into cheers for that particular date. Looking at the date from either direction is probably ridiculous – however, I have more fun when I expect something to be lucky than when I’m terrified that it will be unlucky. So, why not choose lucky?
When I was kid we didn’t have computers. Now we have Google and I decided to Google that date and find out where the fear about it came from. I must say, I got a kick out of the Wikipedia write up. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friday_the_13th, How can one not love the word “friggatriskaidekaphobia”, one of the titles for fear of the number 13! I was surprised to find that they found that there was no written mention of Friday the 13th being lucky or unlucky, before 1869! In numerology the number 12 represents completeness. So why would that make only the 13th suspect? What about the 23rd or 18h?
I had forgotten that The Canterbury Tales considered Friday to be unlucky. I also didn’t realize that Black Friday was the name given to all Stock Market crashes. I thought it was just for shopping days after Thanksgiving. Literally millions of people feel stressed about Friday the 13th.
I also read that the ancient Egyptians and Chinese looked at the number 13th as a “lucky” day! Maybe, like me they wanted to turn a negative into a positive. The Last Supper is also used to “prove” that the number 13 is unlucky. Judas was, supposedly, the last guest to arrive making the number of guests 13. Newspapers often can’t get it right when they try to report about who showed up for a government meeting last week! How can we assume we got the right report about a Seder that was held two thousand years ago?
- I won’t go into all the research because you can google too, but I think your choice of how to look at any date can make it a lucky number or an unlucky number. There are many people who thrive on feeling things are going to be bad! A movie that can scare people will usually do great box office. I think we like to be scared! I know we do. I grew up in Brooklyn then Steeplechase Park was famous for having the scariest rides. I wonder if animals like to be scared. Do you have a pet that begs you to scare them? Now that I’m focusing on fear, I realize that there are many companies that thrive on it. They sell products to alleviate our fear of this or that. When it comes to superstitions, I think we fall for them because they’re fun.
- The dates for the next two Friday the 13ths in 2012 are: April 13th and July 13th. If being scared isn’t fun for you – you have my permission to forget about these dates or choose to have them be lucky! It’s all our own choice.
It’s took me years to learn that I decide if days are lucky. Whatever your age, you can learn that lucky days are up to you. You can relax and enjoy future Friday the 13ths!