When first scheduling this Blog, which would usually come out on the 15th, it became readily apparent that the 15th falls on a Sunday. Not good. So, falling back to Friday, and I'm like... Wow! That will put the Blog out on Friday the 13th ~ Oh my! Whatever shall we do?!! Can you not almost hear the panic in my thought processes when that suddenly occurred to me?! Yikes!
Oops. Wrong horror movie.
Okay, I’m kidding. But dang, I didn’t realize that this month started out on a Sunday; as that has to happen for the month to have a Friday the 13th. This is not an opportunity to be wasted. What a perfect topic for a second segment of my “Wanderings on a Friday Afternoon.” Friday the 13th, in this case!
In today’s climate of real compassion and empathy for others, it’s probably not too cool to make fun of those who truly fear this day. So I’m not. Well, not really.
After all, we’re not talking a day turning into a horror movie just because Friday happens to fall on the 13th of the month – are we?
Whether we are or aren’t, I understand the fact that such ingrained phobias still exist. They do – and just thinking about it makes for interesting wanderings on a Friday -- the 13th -- afternoon!
As illogical as it may seem to those of us who don’t buy into any of this, there are between 17 and 21 million Americans who have such phobias. For some, it’s worse than that: it’s the number 13 in general.
People with crippling fears about the number 13 can be terrified of anything associated with that number. Such as a simple pool ball.
But for those with a fear of the number 13, this is not just a pool ball – it is a #13 pool ball! The sweat beads up and the heart races.
So how did all this fear of the number 13 and Friday the 13th begin? Are the fears one and the same?
Those with an enhanced aversion to the number 13 in general have what is called Triskaidekaphobia (TRIS-kye-DEK-ə-FOH-bee-ə).
Can those afflicted with Triskaidekaphobia even say 13? If they utter it, will they turn into a pillar of salt? Or maybe garlands of garlic will rain down upon them in the middle of a meeting? No… garlic is a vampire and Dracula thing. Got it. Have to keep my monsters in the right closet. What’s going to happen to someone who thinks the Number 13 could actually jump off a building and chase them down a dark alley?
Can they perish at the thought?
Not quite. Thank goodness!
Then there’s those with a similar, but more specific phobia who could care less about the #13. That is, unless it’s:
Dr. Donald Dossey, an historian on holiday folklore and expert on the treatment of phobias, named this more specific fear of the number 13 as being Paraskevidekatriaphobia (pair-uh-SKEV-vee-day-CAT-tree-uh-FOE- bee–uh), from “Paraskevi,” meaning Friday in Greek.
Dossey would tell his patients: "When you learn to pronounce it, you're cured!" Some thought his words meant that by pronouncing Paraskevidekatriaphobia correctly on Friday the 13th , nothing bad would happen to them.
See how fear, misinterpretation, and ridiculousness go together?
Prior to Dr. Dossey’s contemporary label, the word Friggatriskaidekaphobia described the spellbinding fear regarding Friday the 13th. Frigg was the name of the Norse goddess of which our weekday Friday is named. In today’s culture, most would probably prefer the original moniker – as anything that starts with “Frigg” has to mean something’s off-kilter!
Sure, I’m mixing fun and games here with serious phobias. However, not without a purpose. My approach is that by recognizing how phobias prey upon our basic fears as human beings, we may then begin to understand why they occur – and more importantly -- how to be free of them.
Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that most phobias begin around the age of 10. At such a young age it’s hard to make sense out of irrational fears without the help of others who can expose it, balance it, and therefore undress such beliefs from their cloak of lies.
As an adult, the phobia has been there for so long that it’s taken up residence. The same undressing of such beliefs can work in that regard as well. It’s a systematic undertaking. Irrational and illogical phobias regarding the number 13 (and Friday) have roots based on misinterpretations of the oldest story ever told.
It could possibly go something like this:
Good comes before Evil. Pure before Impure.
There are the 12 days of Christmas, 12 months of the year, 12 symbols of the zodiac, and 12 Golden Rings make the number 12 reflective of all that is pure and good!
Every counterpart to number 12 is conjured to make it look even purer. Yin and yang. Shadow cannot exist without light.
Therefore -- 12 is good and 13 is evil.
An orchestrator of such would then go through whatever biblical, mythological or other religious references and manipulate teachings there to fit as being proof of the number 13 as evil. Believe me, there are a plethora of ways people do just that. I’ll just make mention of one: There were 13 attendees at the Last Supper; Judas was the 13th.
As far as Friday’s association with evil: Some believe that the Temple of Solomon was destroyed on a Friday and that Christ was crucified on a Friday (among other stories). There are mythological tales as well. No doubt you get it. Connecting-the-dots is easy if you know where you want the direction of the “proof” to go. It just skips over all logic and reasoning!
Just call it an appetizer of nonsense.
Nonsense. That brings me to Hollywood, well… kinda. But specifically, the thought of HollywoodLand came to mind! It really did... and you know I'm going to tell you just why!
Did you know that the original “HollywoodLand” sign was put up as an advertisement to draw attention to a new Hollywood Hills subdivision? The meant-to-be temporary “HollywoodLand” sign was erected on July 13th 1923 – which was on Friday the 13th.