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June 13, 2014


My wife and I first kissed on the thirteenth of June. Friday the Thirteenth of June if you must know. We subsequently married on the same date – June the 13th. My father’s birthday was the 13th of October and our house number growing up was No. 13.

I suppose we’re to be classed as triskaidekaphiliacs. All my life (or as long as I can remember) I’ve always had a certain exaggerated contempt for popular superstitions. I used to almost go out of my way to walk under ladders. I wouldn’t actually go so far as to smash mirrors – but that’s only because mirrors are both useful and expensive and I hate having to sweep up broken glass.

The worry of course is that over-deliberate and overly rejection defiance of a superstition only reinforces the same superstitious grammar. Once you defy triskaidekaphobic folly to the point of endorsing triskaidekaphilia, are you not just a subtle victim of the same numerological obsession.

It is hard to dispense completely with a notion of good luck. The very defiance of luck imposes its own rhythms and rhythms once established create a sense of structure and confidence. Now structure and confidence are not really the same thing as luck, but they inhabit the same mood music. There is, or ought to be, a subtle but decisive difference between performing a ritual because you think the cosmos will reward you for its performance and performing a ritual because it gives you a sense of personal control. In practice, however, something a bit more primal and expiatory always seems to creep back in.

Although, there is the more practical reality that when it comes to booking tables and events for romantic anniversaries – superstition serves us well. The triskaidekaphobics are clearing a place for we few we happy few triskaidekaphiliacs to spread our legs.


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