Say that three times fast!
It means an irrational fear of Friday the 13th and it’s a recognized phobia. Some people refuse to drive, go to work, eat in a restaurant, plan a wedding for that date…the list goes on.
Anecdotally, I’ll confirm a significant number of Bostonians must suffer from it. As I drove my DH to work this morning, traffic was eerily scant. My DH used to work for a major airline and they always scheduled major IT project implementations for that date because it’s a slow travel day. And a recent study in the UK reports that even though fewer people drive on Friday the 13th, the chances of being in an accident requiring a hospital visit go up 52% on that date as compared to others.
There are some theories on why this date is considered unlucky. The most popularized one is the Friday the 13th massacre of the Knights Templar in 1307. Some scholars postulate that 13 is derided because it is the number of the lunar months in a year (a “feminine” calendar as opposed to the 12 month “masculine” solar calendar). Some societies believe if 13 people sit down to dine together, one of them will be dead within a year.
Hogwash, my inner skeptic complains. And yet, I’ll confess it’s ok with me that many highrises have no 13th floor (Our building, for example, conveniently stops at the 12th. When we lived on the 12the floor of a 27 storey building in Seattle, the level above ours was labeled 14!). I’m cool with the fact that there are no row 13s in airplanes. Silly, I know, but there it is.
However, I can’t think of anything I’ll put off today simply because of the date. How about you? Do you have any superstitions about today? Will you change how you live your life because of them?