Friday, April 13, 2007

Are You Superstitious?

Happy Friday the 13th! With a date like today's, it made me wonder how many of you out there are superstitious?

When I was very young, I decided that the number 13 would be my favorite or "lucky" number. I adopted it as my number, specifically because I thought it was silly that people were afraid or superstitious of it. I don't think any numbers are "magical" and definitely don't believe in numerology. It's just the number I use when I need one that's easy to remember - like for my email address.

Did you know, fear of the number 13 is termed triskaidekaphobia? Due to this fear, some tall buildings, especially hotels, have resorted to skipping the thirteen floor, either by numbering it "14" or by designating the floor as "12a" or something similar. Similarly, some streets do not contain a house number 13. Isn't that silly? The late comedian Mitch Hedberg had a joke about this: "Some hotels don't have a thirteenth floor for superstitious reasons...but you guys on the fourteenth floor...we all know what floor you're really on... try it, jump out the window, you will die sooner..."

I don't really have or believe in any other superstitions either, like walking under a ladder, broken mirrors, black cats, etc. The most I've ever caught myself doing is wishing on a falling star, or tossing a pinch of spilled salt over my shoulder. Isn't it funny, how we do those things almost without thinking - without realizing how silly and pointless they are? Is it a cultural thing? What do you think? Drop me a comment and let me know what your favorite number is or if you have any superstitions you can't seem to shake.

I, personally, take comfort in knowing that God is in control, and we don't need to perform goofy little rituals to ensure good fortune or to make things right in our world.


Elizabeth C. said...

Great post! That Mitch Hedberg quote was hilarious!

I'm not superstitious either, but do catch myself doing the little rituals. You know, like making a wish before blowing out the birthday candles. I think, in my case, it is more of a cultural thing. I don't put any stock in birthday wishes or any other superstition! It's just something fun to do, although silly and pointless, as you said.

I agree with you about taking comfort in knowing that God is in control. Very well said!

(And, btw, happy Friday the 13th to you too!) ; )

D.L. White said...

Blowing out birthday candles - good example Elizabeth! I didn't even think of that one. ;)

The Trousered Ape said...

favorite number is 7. i think it is for several reasons.

1. it is the day i was born,
2. it is a prime number - i like prime numbers,
3. it is an odd number - i like odd numbers too,
4. in the bible is represents perfection, so it reminds me that i am not.

the only rituals that i have probably revolve around the NFL season when a Packer game is on. i have certain things i have to wear for the game like my brett favre watch (it's the only time i ever wear it), my favorite packer's hat (or my cheesehead), and my foam packers brick to throw at the tv when they do something stupid. :)


D.L. White said...

I always knew you were an "odd" fellow. :P Ah...sports superstitions - that's a whole other category! :P

Neena said...

I am not a superstitious person, but at school yesterday we had so many more people getting in trouble. We had students in our office constantly all day long. So I was thinking about it being Friday the 13th.

Elizabeth C. said...

Hey Shawn, I think your sweet wife should post a photo of you in your "cheesehead"! What do you think? ; )

Jesica said...

If thinking that my day will be crummy if I don't start it with a big cup of java, makes me superstitious, then I am. :)

I'm not superstitious at all, but I do think I have a little tick of some sort...I count in 4s all of the time in my head. If I'm nervous, I play a song on my teeth in 4/4 time.

When I tap, it's always in 4s, and if I miss one, I gotta go back and figure out where in the tempo/beat I missed it and fix it.

Now you know...I'm a wierd bird. But, please don't ever call me wierd to my fact...I was tortured with that as a kid, and can't stand it to this day...oops! I just identified another "tick".:)

I think your next post should be "What are your Wierd Personal Ticks?" :)

D.L. White said...

Ah...we're going to uncover everyone's neurosis with this blog, aren't we? :P hee hee Thanks for sharing Jes!

Laura said...

I've heard of avid sports fans, players even, who wear the same smelly socks for weeks on end to ensure their team will continue on a winning streak. That's just gross.

If your question is do we think these things work or have any power, then I say "no"! I don't believe in any power of superstitions, only the power of my prayers to the Father through Jesus Christ.

I think that in man's finite wisdom, sometimes we try to justify what we see as "chance" because it's easier than giving God control of everything and submitting to his authority in every aspect of our lives. If we were to acknowledge His hand in everything in the life of the believer, it doesn't leave much up to coincidence.

astraughnomer said...

wow, these were fun to read!! :) i'm not superstitious, but i do the typical things like elizabeth mentioned (wishing on shooting stars, yay!). i used to do "tick-ish" number-type things in my head like jesica was talking about (and still do to some extent) but everytime i try to explain it to someone, they just give me an odd look. so i won't try to explain. :) yeah, i'm a wierdo i guess. hey, matt has to begin chewing a piece of gum right before takeoff everytime he flies, so i'm married to a wierdo too! don't make fun of him for it...he'll know i'm telling things about him in the blogosphere... :)

D.L. White said...

Laura and Amber - thanks for your comments! :D

Anonymous said...

I have to say that I'm not superstitious at all. In fact, I will purposely go against a developing pattern if I start to notice one. (Say, for example, I was always putting my right shoe on first - I'd have to start putting my left on first as soon as I noticed that). In short, I'm not superstitious, just cantankerous. - Chad

The Trousered Ape said...

Chad - wouldn't that be a form of superstition though? Always trying to do things that weren't superstitious? :)



D.L. White said...

Ah...avoiding a pattern IS the pattern! :P