(or I Know This Makes Me Sound Crazy)
I’d like to say that I wasn’t always superstitious, but that would be a lie. The first one I remember buying into was the good old “don’t step on a crack or you’ll break your mother’s back.” Thankfully I’ve since outgrown that one (sorry, Mom), but I have retained many others.
Since it’s Friday the 13th, here are a few:
The number 13 in general. I know it’s not always possible to avoid the number 13, but I do it where I can. If I’m watching a TV series, I won’t end for the day on the 13th episode; I have to watch one more before I can move along (you can’t imagine how annoyed I get by shows with 13-episode seasons). I’d rather not stay in a hotel room on the 13th floor, or one where the digits in the room number add up to 13. I try not to get out of bed at times that add up to 13 (e.g., 6:43), or where the minutes are multiples of 13 (e.g., 7:39). I know this is all excessive and stupid, but I hate the number. (Sorry T-Swift.)
Walking under ladders. When I was out with a friend just the other day, someone was blocking the sidewalk with a ladder as he repaired a sign. Rather than walk under the ladder–which admittedly was plenty tall enough to make it safe–I navigated us onto the side of the road until we were past him. I get that this one has practical applications (it’s probably for the best to avoid walking places where things could fall on your head), but even to me, this setup looked quite safe.
Caramel macchiatos. I grant that this one is entirely specific to me. The day of The Incident™, I had decided on a whim to try a caramel macchiato. For a while afterward, just the idea of drinking one made me feel nauseous and weirdly worried that the macchiato had (I know how dumb this sounds) caused what happened. To get over that irrational fear, I forced myself to order one. On the way to meet a friend that same day, I witnessed a man being beaten at a TTC station, which triggered a flashback to what had happened a few weeks before. I swore off of them for another year until a colleague accidentally brought me the wrong drink. I convinced myself that nothing bad would happen if I drank it, that I was just being silly. That night, I read that there had been a stabbing one subway stop north of my workplace. I haven’t had one since, and I feel uneasy whenever I see anyone else order one at Starbucks (you sure you want that, buddy? I don’t think you know what you’re getting into here…)
Backward or inside-out clothes. I can’t remember exactly where I read it, but I’m quite sure it was in one of Stephen King’s books. I’m trying to remember if it was a character or if maybe it was actually his wife, Tabitha, but somebody had a superstition that if you put on your shirt backward or inside-out, and then righted it and and went about your day, your day would be backward or inside-out. I remember thinking at the time that it seemed silly. A few days later, I was getting dressed for school and discovered that I’d put my shirt on inside-out. Goddammit. I had to wear something else.
What are your superstitions? Or is that maybe not a good idea to ask… I probably don’t need more. Either way, I’m curious to hear, so leave them in the comments!