The Cure for Paraskevidekatriaphobia

Yesterday was Friday the 13th.  For the third time this year!    I was suffering from a case of writer’s block.   Then I kept hearing all day long on the radio and TV about people that suffer from (hold on….let me go copy and paste):

Paraskevidekatriaphobia

Boom just like that!  After hearing about this for the thirteenth time, I got unblocked faster than you can say Ex-Lax!    Here are thirteen things in less than thirteen hundred words that may or may not have contributed to the way I am today.  Only those that know me, could say for sure:

  1. I was born in Omaha, Nebraska during a severe thunderstorm.  I heard the lights went out.   I’ve been fascinated by storms all my life and found safe haven in the middle of a tempest multiple times, both literally and figuratively.  Impending storms terrify me.  Once I’m in one,  things get crystal clear.
  2. Until I was two, I had curly hair like Shirley Temple.  Those were the good old days when I was wild and carefree.  Back then I still felt comfortable sunbathing topless.
  3. When I was three we moved to Raleigh from Washington State.  My mom always called it Washington state, so I was never unclear that we didn’t originally migrate from DC.  When my parents bought our first house in Raleigh, it had a full sized swimming pool.  It was like being the innkeeper at your very own Holiday Inn.  We moved to our second and last home of my childhood before I was old enough to invite friends over.
  4. I had two dogs before I turned four.  They were the only dogs I would ever have as a child.  One, a reddish spaniel named Rudy in Washington State and Muffin, a solid black puppy when I came to Raleigh.  I remember Muffin, but I don’t remember why I didn’t have Muffin when I was four or five.  I should ask my mom.  I hope this story doesn’t have a sad ending.
  5. I remember I had a doll named Miss Baird.  I’m not sure why I named her this.  She had short blond dreads long before I knew who Bob Marley was.
  6. When I was six, I met one of the Harlem Globetrotters at the airport.  I think it was the DC airport, but I’m not sure.  I remember I was eating oatmeal at the airport diner, and this tall, dark, and kind stranger sat down beside me and my mom and just starting talking to us.  He was real friendly.  Back then it wasn’t racist or politically incorrect of my mom to assume certain things so my mom said, “You must be a basketball player!”  He said he was.  He said he played for the Harlem Globetrotters.    He gave me his autograph, but what I remember most is he complimented me for making good choices and eating something as healthy as oatmeal for breakfast.  To this day, I usually eat oatmeal for breakfast; is this the reason why?
  7. When I was seven my dad built me a pair of stilts for Christmas.  I was so frustrated!!!  Then I got the hang of it on the same day.  Then I got really happy.  Because how many kids get a pair of homemade stilts for Christmas?  Plus now I could probably join the Circus one day.
  8.  I got a Polaroid Camera that year too.   A life long love affair with pictures began.  Once my own children were born, I became their personal stalking version of paparazzi.  Before my digital Canon, and 35mm Nikon, I snapped everything from cats to rocks with my Polaroid.  Until finally my parents quit buying me cartridge replacements.  Thus began my dark years, except for when I got to borrow my mom’s Kodak 110 instamatic.   My entire childhood is one big collage of fading yellow and green Instagram memories.
  9. My dad collected weird things.  I remember in our driveway we had two big metal barrels.  I don’t even know what  they were for.  Water containers ?  Fuel tanks  just in case because Jimmy Carter was President?  Anyway, one monstrosity was solid rust and was about 8 feet tall, the other was about 4 feet tall, silver, and non-rusted.  Both were about 4 feet in diameter, and they were just there.  This is one of those mysteries of childhood.  We had barrels of unknown origin and purpose in our driveway for  the longest time and then one day they’re just no longer there.  Childhood memory goes through weird time warps.  You grow up and wonder, “Hey!  I wonder whatever happened to those barrels?”
  10. When I was twelve, I remember I got a Coke-a-Cola AM radio.  It was an AM radio cleverly hidden  in an exact replica of a coke can.  I carried it with me on my way to play penny poker with the boys that lived at the top of our street.  I was just too cool for my own self.  “Hey, you wanna coke?” I’d say, and then I’d throw them a can of tunes!  I’m sure they were impressed for at least a nanosecond.
  11. Also in sixth grade I was good at foosball, I mean really really good.  My dad was in the restaurant business and he had an old foosball table from a pizza establishment that he was not using anymore.  He put it in our garage and I had foosball tournaments in the summer.  I could single-handedly take on two guys in high school any day of the week.   I still remember I’d get that ball, wedged up under the center forward, and then flick my wrist real hard as my ceramic man’s feet, which were really two feet that kicked as one,  positioned  backwards almost vertical with feet in the air,  and then like lightening I’d spin the handle and BULLSEYE!!   I’d have that ball in the goal faster than you could say “Bay City Rollers.”   The opposing goalie didn’t have a chance.  I had a word for it:  Snick It!  I’d take that ball and “snick it” into the goal over and over.  I still lust for the game whenever I see a foosball table.
  12. I never dated anyone who had a Ford Pinto in high school.   I didn’t have to spend my dating years worrying about whether or not I’d blow up, if I got rear-ended.   My now husband who was my then boyfriend had a yellow and primer painted Fiat X-19 that part of the key broke off in the ignition.  He just used a penny as the top part of the key or always parked it on a hill and let out the clutch.  I remember I thought that was so cool!  His brother drove an AMC Pacer, so together, they really rocked my block!  I knew as long as he owned that car, we’d always have at least one cent to our name.
  13. Thankfully I don’t suffer from paraskevidekatriaphobia .  In fact I’m not sure I know anyone who does reroute their day on Friday the 13th, but I’m sure there are some somewhere.  In all my years of living, I don’t recall a Friday the 13th of any significance.  My youngest son was born on Thursday the 13th, so the following year he turned one on Friday the 13th.  How could I be afraid and still throw a big party?

Life!  It’s so RANDOM!  Or is it?  (Play Twilight Theme song in your head now)

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4 thoughts on “The Cure for Paraskevidekatriaphobia

  1. Totally neat post, Liz!! I’ve always heard stories about Friday the 13th and Tuesday the 17th, but in honest truth, I can’t recall anything significant that has ever happened in my life on any of those combinations. It would be interesting to find out how those “tags” (of being lucky or unlucky) are pinned to certain days and dates. 🙂

  2. Ha, I LOVE all these random Liz-facts! =cD I totally would have been your best friend had you thrown me the Coke can radio AND had hand built stilts (! so cool) , hehe. — Know what else is not that random? You were awesome then…you’re awesome now!

  3. OMG! You don’t know how MUCH I enjoyed this post; it brings back vignettes of MY life, too.
    Reading that felt as though it was one of those creative bursts that just writes itself. Your Dad has got to see this. And Angela.

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