Friday, April 13, 2007

Superstitious, anyone?

Today is Friday the 13th.

Did you shudder when you read that? Look over your shoulder? Or did you merely yawn and think...yes? and your point is...?

If you didn't bat an eyelash, I salute you. I don't think I'm terribly superstitious, but I do notice when the number 13 and Friday coincide on the calendar. And I'm not the only one to take note of 13 or the lack thereof. On an airplane recently, my son noticed there was no 13th row. And how many of you have been in buildings that are missing a 13th floor? (Are they any buildings with a 13th floor?)

So I'm mulling the question, how superstitious am I? Would I book a room on the 13th floor? I think so, especially if it meant a discount! But would I mail an important proposal on Friday the 13th? Hmm. I'm less sure about that. I probably would, since I'd be anxious get it out the door, but I might look for a little extra luck throughout the day, just in case. (See a penny, pick it up....)

So, how about all you out there in cyberland? Are you superstitious or not? Do you dodge black cats? Avoid walking under ladders? (Well, duh, that makes sense!) Have a special routine that seems to align the stars in your favor?


Samantha Hunter said...

I was raised with a lot of superstitions, my mother had a bunch of them (the mirrors thing I am leery of, as I broke a mirror when I was 17 or so, and ended up marrying my lousy first husband 2 years later...that ended up being 9 years of bad luck), but most of them I ignore it more or less.
The whole 13 thing never bothered me -- I met my husband on Friday 13, and last Oct, we had our 13th anniversary on Fri 13, so I kinda feel fondly toward the day itself. God knows I've had plenty of unlucky things happen on other days of the month. So I don't pick on this one. :)


Samantha Hunter said...

eek -- I should clarify -- I met my CURRENT husband, who is a dream, on Fri 13 -- not the first lousy one. LOL


Sierra Donovan said...

Heh. I just queried three agents yesterday. I was going to date the proposals for today and wait a day to make the trip to the post office ... but I thought the agents might not "like" the number 13 on those cover letters.

On the other hand, the first 3 books I've written all have 13 chapters. So, in your face, triskadekophobia! (Uh, yeah, I had to look that one up.)


Christie Craig said...


Good post Sally. When I read your first line I thought. Oh, darn! I'm not the overly superstitious type. But I do think about it. So I guess, I’m not immune to it as much I’d like to be.

Deep down what I want to believe is we make our own luck, with all our little choices. Ahh, but there is times when not so good things happen to good people. And we all say...that was just bad luck. So I guess, I'm going to triskadekophobia in my new word dictionary.


Susan Vaughan said...

Interesting post, Sally.
I like to think I'm not superstitious but then I realize that's not completely true. I cross my fingers for luck. I knock on wood for luck.
I considered staying home all day today but since most accidents happen in the home, that's not a good idea for Friday 13.

Sally MacKenzie said...

Sounds like 13 might be your lucky number, Sam! My mom always felt that way. But it definitely looks like lots of other people don't favor 13. Triskadekophobia, Sierra? Thanks for the new word, though I doubt I'll ever be able to spell it again! (And what do you want to bet it isn't in spell check?)

Christie and Susan, I don't really think of myself as superstitious either, but... As I was writing this, I was wondering if writers might be more superstitious than your average bear. I mean, when I sit down to write a book--which I'd better get around to doing ASAP--I don't really know where my ideas come from. In fact, I'm afraid if I try to analyze the "process" too much, I won't be able to write. There's something "magic," something in addition to the hard work, the showing up at the keyboard, the determination. There's some spark...I don't know. But once I admit that there's something real in my life that I can't see, feel, taste, touch, or hear, I open my mind to all kinds of possibilities.

Laura Drewry said...

Hey Sally - great topic for today! :) I don't have normal supersitions and never remember to throw the pinch of salt over my shoulder when it get spilled (and with 3 boys, you can imagine how often things get spilled! LOL) However, as a writer, I do have some specific to writing. Actually, they're not really superstitions, but more like quirks.

For instance, I won't talk about a current wip until I'm at least 1/3 of the way into it, because I'm certain I'll jinx myself and won't be able to finish it.

I won't type my wip on the new Mac, but only on my old Dell laptop - and I have no good reason for that. :)

When I'm working on a project and have my notebook beside me (or in my truck, etc), my pen needs to have a lid. Can't stand pens without lids and I refuse to write with a pencil because I can't stand the scritching noise.

I have issues, not superstitions. LOL


JoAnn said...

Well, I sent this once and it didn't go through, but that's okay, because now I can add something:

That's so funny. I never know what DAY it is, let alone the date.

I'm a firm believer in luck, but I don't think I have any superstitions. (Except when it comes to watching baseball games with my Yankee Barbie -- who wears her little glove when my team is on the field, and holds her little Louisville slugger when they're up at bat -- but that's not a superstition, it's fan empowerment! *g*)

Oh, my husband just reminded me, I'm a firm believer in the Titantic theory -- when the captain said the ship would never sink? If you make any absolute statement, you're tempting the gods/fates to prove you wrong, just to show they're actually in charge.

And I NEVER analyze the process; it'd be too scary to realize that after 90 plus books I have no idea what I'm doing. LOL

Laura Drewry said...

Hey! I want a Yankee Barbie!! Went to put on y new Jeter shirt yesterday and found (gasp!) bleach spots on it. sigh. HOpe I didn't just jinx hi. I like your Titanic theory, JoAnn - truer words were never spoken. LOL

Sally MacKenzie said...

Oh, yeah--Laura wants a Yankee Barbie! Laura was my PASIC roomie--at least opening day was AFTER the conference. (Insert eye roll.) My dh was a Yankee fan until he moved down to D.C.

And talking about baseball players--now THERE are some superstitious boys, right? Haven't I read they won't shave...or change their shirts...if they're on a streak or in the play offs? Or am I making that up?

JoAnn said...

Yankee Barbies are fairly rare; my sweetie bought me one the week they came out. After much searching, I found one I sent one to Louise Burke, publisher of Pocket and a huge Yankee fan, right after I left the house -- I'd been saving it for her, and decided to go ahead and send it off as, I told her in the note, a parting gift.

Since I never heard anything back, now I wish I'd saved Barbie for you. (Of course, I didn't know you wanted one.) She stands on my credenza next to my autographed Mickey Mantle baseball, mug from Mickey Mantles restaurant and other team stuff, where, because of a difference in scale, she towers over my Dept 56 Yankee Stadium a bit like Godzilla over Tokyo. LOL

I, too, hope your shirt doesn't jinx them; especially since they gave the series to the Red Sox a few years ago because I dared to wear my "inside only" game cap out walking on the beach during that series when it looked as if they were a shoe-in to win. Well, at least we have all season to figure out a way to reverse your curse if it proves to be a problem. :)

Samantha Hunter said...

I think it could be, Sally, though I don't tempt fate by saying so, at least not directly. But you know, I tend to figure, it's already the 14th somewhere, and so if you were there, yesterday would have been the 13th, and so did you have a good day yesterday? ;) A bad day tomorrow? Five minutes of thinking like that makes you realize it's just too much to worry about. ;)

I like to read tarot, and I do think the spiritual associations with numbers is interesting, but I can't quite bring myself to blame the number of a day for the things that happen to me that day, I think in generally the way the universe works is far more complicated -- it would never be that predictable. ;)


Sally MacKenzie said...

LOL, Sam. Yes, I agree--and I sometimes remind myself that time is a human construct, right? Today is Friday the 13th on my calendar--but I don't know what day or even year it is on the Chinese calendar!

And, JoAnn, did you say you don't have any superstitions, ye of the "inside only" game cap?

Nancy Morse said...

Only the Knights Templar should be wary of Friday the 13th. As for other superstitions, can't say I have any. Life's too complicated as it is.

JoAnn said...

Sally, you obviously weren't paying attention. That" inside only" game cap isn't a superstition. It's FAN EMPOWERMENT. Surely you don't think all those teams out there -- such as my TN Vols and Titans and Yankees -- could win a game by themselves, solely on effort and talent, do you?

Otherwise, how would there ever be a winner, because both teams could have equal talent and be trying just as hard. No, the secret ingredient is always the fervor of the fans. Which, admittedly doesn't explain the Chicago Cubs, but, hey, there's a gotta be an exception to every rule. LOL

Laura Drewry said...

JoAnn, I'd love to see your Yankee shrine. LOL I bored poor Sally to tears at the conference with my Yankee-this and Yankee-that business. But it was fate, I tell you, that I just happened to be in NY for opening day this year. And thank God for eBay, where I found tickets.

I will admit I shuddered when I read you had the audacity to wear your inside-only game cap (gasp!) outside! Oh, for shame, JoAnn.

I hope you learned your lesson.


Nancy Morse said...

I thought the Yankees are so good because my husband sold his soul to the devil as a boy in return for a winning team. I had no idea it was because of a game cap.

Sally MacKenzie said...

Oh, right, sorry, JoAnn. Fan empowerment. Of course. Silly me! Is that why my guys shout directions to the refs during football games--football games they are watching on TV?

Hey, Laura, I meant to tell you that when I was walking to the train station Sunday morning after PASIC, I saw a couple guys dressed in Yankee uniforms with a bunch of hot dogs and some TV cameras on one of the street corners. Too bad you weren't with me. You might have recognized them.

Sally MacKenzie said...

See, Nancy--the things you learn on this blog!

JoAnn said...

Sally, yes, yelling at the TV definitely works. Especially if you don't have a team-dressed Barbie handy to yell for you.

Laura -- Damn. Ebay. WHY didn't I think of that? I sooo wanted to go to that game and would've paid bunches. Re the "inside only" cap, it's a long story regarding a bunch of Boston fans who sat on the beach in folding chairs outside our place every evening; I'll tell you sometime in a bar.

Sally, oh, wow. I wish I'd been with you! Several years ago, the Tampa romance writers flew me in from AZ to give a workshop at one of their meetings. They put me in a Holiday Inn Express and all weekend, I kept being in the elevator with these hunky young men toting bags of laundry.

It wasn't until I was waiting for the airport van to pick me up on Sunday morning, when Joe Torre walked into the breakfast area, that I realized I'd -- AAARGH!!! -- SPENT THE WEEKEND IN A HOTEL WITH MY BELOVED BOYS IN PINSTRIPES DURING SPRING TRAINING!!! (I was so concentrating on my working reason for being there, and they weren't in uniform, so it hadn't clicked.)

I swear I am not making this up, but about two seconds later, the van showed up. You've no idea how close I was to canceling my flight back home.

Sally MacKenzie said...

LOL, JoAnn--my guys would not be caught DEAD with a Barbie of any ilk. And wow on being in the hotel with all those Yankees!! I can hear Laura screaming now--and she's on the other side of the continent.

Teresa Bodwell said...

Baseball superstitions? Or traditions or whatever you want to call them.

Has anyone seen the movie Rhubarb? It's about a cat and a baseball team and . . . well, it's a lot of fun.

JoAnn said...

Sally -- Well, you see, that's why your guys have to yell. They don't have a Barbie to do it for them.

Teresa -- No, I have not seen Rhubarb. (Off to netflix as soon as I finish typing!) And I've no idea why, since the two genres of movies I will ALWAYS watch are sports movies of any kind, no matter how smaltzy, and the let's- get-together-and-make-a-band-that-will- eventually-break up-after-much-heartbreak-or-someone-will-die-tragically ones.

I am, as you may be able to tell, the sports fanatic in our family. (Am hugely bummed the stanley cup playoffs are happening during deadline hell. What was the NHL thinking???)

Teresa Bodwell said...

I'm afraid Rhubarb isn't available on DVD or video. Set your Tivo!

As for the NHL--I'm certain their poor scheduling was an oversight.

Laura Drewry said...

LOL JoAnn about the hotel/ball team. I would have brought all travel arrangements to a screeching halt until I found my man, Jeter. :) As for the NHL. . .oy!! I was up through almost 4 complete overtime periods (yes, that makes 7 periods all together) the other night cheering on my poor ol' Canucks. Thank God they won, but then Dallas kicked their butts last night. sigh. I'm sure if you wrote to them and explained the deadline hell thing, they'd accomodate you. LOL It's worth asking, anyway. :)