If you’ve been looking at the calendar recently, you might have noticed that today is Friday the 13th, and even better, it’s October the 13th, arguably the spookiest month of the year. I’m not a superstitious person, but I definitely grew up in a superstitious household. A household where opening umbrellas indoors was bad luck, and, according to my grandmother, vacuuming the day of a test was a guaranteed way to get a bad grade. Since I’m not superstitious, I do these things anyway, and I am here to tell you that I ended up okay.

…Except not all the time. So if you want to hear about some great mistakes that I’ve made that were related to superstitions (or just stories in general), you’ve come to the right place!

Knock on wood

            “I’ve never broken a bone,” I said smugly to my friends one day in elementary school. Immediately, they looked horrified, and yelled at me to go knock on some wood before I really did break a bone. Obviously, this screaming freaked me out, and I ran around the room trying to find real wood (because all of our desks were plastic wood lookalikes) and practically ran into the bookcase. So I did knock on wood, with my head, giving me a headache for the rest of the day and also a jammed finger. However, I managed to come out of this situation without a broken bone!

Vacuuming the day of a test (original superstition from my grandma)

            My sister was taking a pretty important test one day, and I thought it would be a great day to vacuum my parents’ room (don’t ask, I literally thought vacuuming was the most fun chore ever as a child). As soon as I turned the vacuum on, my grandmother told me to stop because I would suck up her good luck? Or something? As a non-superstitious child even then, I did it anyway, and when my sister’s scores came back, she had actually done really well. My grandmother has since changed the superstition.

Black cat crossing your path

            I have never had a black cat cross my path. Not once. Personally, I would love a black cat to cross my path, because it would mean that I had a black cat, and I really want a black cat.

Don’t drive behind a truck carrying metal (another original from my grandma)

            Apparently, this brings bad luck. My grandma told me about this when I started driving to school, but I thought it was silly. Obviously, I found myself behind one of these trucks the first day I started driving to school. I tried to change lanes so I could turn right, but I didn’t see the car in my blind spot, and after some loud honking, road rage, and swerving back into my lane, I was transformed from a confident first time driver to a definitely not confident first time driver. Granted, this one was probably because I didn’t look for cars in my blind spot, but my grandma is still convinced that it was because I was behind a truck that was carrying a metal ladder in the trunk.

Don’t step on the cracks, or you’ll break your mother’s back

            This was pretty common in elementary school. Obviously, I didn’t want to break my mother’s back, so I decided that it was better to be safe than sorry, and just avoid the cracks in the sidewalk. Now, there were sections of my school that just didn’t have sidewalk upkeep as a priority because they were too busy trying to educate us (as it should be). So, there were a lot of cracks. Which I tried to avoid by jumping over multiple at a time. So there I was, leaping across the sidewalk, practically flying, when I forgot to look up and slammed into a fence. It left me with a scar on my knee and the idea of carefully sidestepping the cracks instead of jumping over them.

Opening an umbrella inside

Once I opened an umbrella inside and broke a very nice household decoration. Needless to say, I don’t do that anymore.

You can call these stories luck or coincidence, but clearly, I have not been seriously injured yet. So, don’t put too much stock into these superstitions. But remember that Friday the 13th is a great day to blame everything on superstition, so if you fail a test, injure yourself, or do anything weird, you know what to do.

Happy Friday the 13th!