It’s My Lucky Day!

I’m a born contrarian. It’s not an affectation or a learned behavior; it’s an instinct, a reflex. I mistrust the herd, is what it boils down to. The more the cattle stampede in one direction, the likelier I am to head off at a right angle and find something else to do. My dear ol’ Ma can tell you stories about what a self-determined little crib-monkey I was before I could even verbalize my intentions.

Here’s one of the earliest contrarian moments I can recall: I believe I was in first grade, based on the classroom I was in at the time. During free time, a boy in my class tripped and fell, hurting his arm. Another boy, near me, did a baby-sized freakout about how he knew it! He knew a bad thing would happen, and it did, and now he was so scared! Something worse might happen!

Baby Kai: What the hell are you talking about? (But in child-friendly terms. I was six.)
‘Fraidy Kid (eyes big and round): It’s Friday the Thirteenth! It’s unlucky. Something bad always happens today.
Baby Kai: What? How can the day make something bad happen?
‘Fraidy Kid: I don’t know, it just does. You should be afraid, too.

Well, there were a few things wrong with that: first, I already had the kid picked out as a ninny and snitch (whole other story), so I was unimpressed with his hysterics. He would throw a hissy at the slightest provocation. Second, the story triggered my BS detector; kids may not know a lot about the world at six years old, but they do have rigid little systems of logic. They’re still in their “Why? Okay, but then, why?” phase; any parent can tell you “It just does,” doesn’t fly as an explanation for anything. Third, well, don’t tell me what to think about something or how to feel, ever. Seriously, at six years old, I already had hackles, and they got right up at the notion of this nincompoop trying to scare me with his stupid “unlucky day” story.

I did the early-seventies, primary-school version of “Whatever, dude,” and went back to my desk. But I thought about it for a while, and decided that the only way the day could be unlucky for everyone would be if everyone believed it was unlucky, and pushed their luck away. You see, I did believe in a phenomenon called “Luck”, and I imagined it floated freely through the air and swirled around us and tried to influence our days. I believed everyone got a certain amount of both good and bad, and I imagined thousands of people all deciding on the same day to only accept their bad luck; well, there’d be a lot of free-floating good luck just getting ignored that day, wouldn’t there? I decided right then that I would take advantage of the extra luck in the air, since no-one else was using it, and from then on, Friday the 13th would be super-lucky for me.

See? Absolutely iron-clad logic, albeit founded on a six-year-old’s understanding of how the world works. I’ve outgrown the superstition now, but I still tend to be extra-cheery on Friday the 13th and like to call it my “˜lucky day’, if only for the slack-jawed looks it draws from the herd. I have a special Friday the 13th t-shirt I wear, and as it happens, the day always falls on Casual Friday””see? Lucky! (Co-worker Kathy, laughing at me: “Of course you have a special Friday the 13th shirt. Only you!”) The Gloomy Gusses are usually pretty entertaining: “Ow! Papercut!” “Ah-hah! Friday the 13th!” Yes, today’s paper cut has been sponsored by the number 13! Every once in a while, I luck out with a really funny one: someone who doesn’t want to fly that day, or who took the bus because they were afraid to drive. Jackpot!

So, here’s hoping you have an extra-special, super-lucky, very entertaining Friday the 13th. Me? I’m off to buy tickets for a raffle we’re having today. I feel lucky!!

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4 Responses to It’s My Lucky Day!

  1. kaizerin says:

    Post-raffle update: “luck” proves itself a laughing matter again, as I am stiffed for the fourth year running.

    Oh well, there’s always next year!

  2. CAS says:

    I actually had a lovely Friday the 13th myself. Ironically, I also won fifty quid on a scratch card that I picked up earlier in the morning.

    It was not till well into the afternoon that I suddenly realised that it was indeed Friday the thirteenth. It just did not occur to me!

    I agree with you, Bearish! Forture favours the brave. Period.

    I wish I had, however, been gifted with this insight as early as you were. I was too scared all the time, as I was equipped with the intelleigence to play scenarios out. I was forever calculating the forty things that could go wrong if I went down that slide or climbed that tree.

    So for me, it was a hard lesson learned. There is nothing wrong with being afraid, but doing so is a choice. We can choose to do otherwise; thats usually when the good and great start to happen.

  3. CAS says:

    Ohh- and sorry you got stuffed again on the drawing!

  4. kaizerin says:

    Congrats on your windfall. Next year’s my year for sure!

    I hear you on the ‘always looking at the ways things can go wrong thing.’ I do that, too. I think I got lucky (ahem) in having the Friday the 13th concept presented by a source I already discounted. Maybe if it had been said by a respected teacher, or a classmate I liked, it would have been different. I just knew that weenie was not to be believed on anything.

    I believe the phrase you’re reaching for is “feel the fear and do it anyway.” That was a lesson that came much later; I always thought I was unbrave because I was afraid of things. It was many years on when I realized brave people do feel fear; they just go ahead and do the scary thing despite it.

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