My Grandmother’s high rise in Hallandale did not have a 13th floor. Well, it did, but if one were to take the elevator buttons at face value it would seem otherwise. When choosing your destination floor the buttons went thus: 11, 12, 14, 15 etc. Even as a kid I wondered how it was that those people who lived on the 14th floor of this luxury building didn’t understand that they were actually on the 13th. Nevertheless, for purposes of soothing superstitions, there was no 13th floor.
Friday the 13th is so widely considered a day to be feared that the powers that (used to) be in Hollywood have created an entire franchise of movies of the same name which depict pretty much the most terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days ever. Of note: there have been more than a dozen movies, not one of them called “Friday the 14th.”
A quick Google search of “the number 13 superstition” yielded about 20,500,00 results in under a second and led me to this list which, if we are being honest, holds some merit. Still curious, I then asked about the number 14 (which, as explained above, is often actually the 13th, smart people notwithstanding) and the results were mostly a mishmash of information, most leading back to the number 13! Those 14s get no respect.
Funnily enough, when I put on my optimist’s hat and searched for “when is 13 considered lucky” I was met with a few (somewhat convoluted) explanations as to how, in Chinese, 13 translates to “definitely vibrant”…however, most results were, once again, focused on the negative, superstitious and terribleness of the number 13.
Why all the talk of 13, you ask? Tomorrow marks 13 years since my smack down against breast cancer. Thirteen years ago on the Thursday before Thanksgiving I walked into the operating room, cracking jokes (did I ever tell you about the time my surgeon told me I had great tissue but I thought he said I had great tits?!?) and, as they filled my veins with whatever it is they fill my veins with, announced with a smile, “let’s do this!”
Anyone who was around for this fun phase of my life will tell you that I am sort of my best self when the shit hits the fan. I don’t cry or freak out or feel sorry for myself or panic, rather I pull on my big girl panties and just do it. Don’t let this lead you to believe that there is not an eventual cry-fest, freak out, self pity or panic…I just wait – usually about a year – to let it happen.
Every November 18th I feel a little off kilter. I know I am supposed to focus on being grateful, what with Thanksgiving and my health and my blessed life and all, and, while I do feel grateful, I’ve also been known to be a little, um, moody (and by moody I mean I might start to randomly cry in the produce department of Market Basket…not that that ever happened or anything).
The fact that this is the 13th anniversary and that the number 13 is not generally associated with things other than those that are terrible, horrible, no good or very bad I cannot help but be a little paranoid. And, while I could well say that it is the 14th anniversary, skipping numbers isn’t an option here.
To be fair, I have heard that 13 is considered lucky in Judaism. Mr. Google kinda supports that, but let’s just say the data is a bit inconsistent. Case in point: remember my Grandmother’s building – you know, the one with “no” 13th floor – yeah, well that building probably housed about zero Christmas trees if you know what I mean. Just sayin’.
As you know from my blog a few days ago, I’ve had a bit of a funky week. I have officially grown weary of November, no matter the date. But, and this is a big but: I am thrilled to be celebrating my 13th year of cancer just being a part of my history. And I am forever grateful to my doctors, family and friends who allow me to note this anniversary every.single.year.
❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
Ladies: Have your yearly mammogram. No excuses. I will even accompany you if you don’t want to go alone. And then we can have wine.
Gentlemen: If you have a mother, a wife, a sister, an aunt, a daughter or a friend with lady parts, make sure they have their mammograms. Trust me…you need the women in your life.
Everyone in Between: If you have boobs, have a mammogram.
 Seriously, Hollywood? Yuk.