The day's not quite over, but I'm in couch-potato mode, so the possibilities of what could go wrong in the next few hours are limited. I microwaved my dinner without incident. I have enough Diet Coke to last until noon tomorrow. The batteries in my toothbrush could die, but there are replacements in the broom closet. It's unlikely that my computer or TV will explode. Blogger could get bogged down, of course, but that happens so often it doesn't seem to fit the category of bad luck.
The only thing I really have to do is let the dogs out one more time and then I can go to bed. All in all, I don't think I'm tempting fate by saying this Friday the 13th has been an okay day.
I'm not very superstitious. If a black cat crosses my path or I break a mirror, I make a mental note ot it, but I don't dwell on it for more than a minute. If someone sends me a chain letter, by snail mail or e-mail, I won't forward it, no matter what dire threats it contains. So far, to the best of my knowledge, this hasn't resulted in misfortune raining down on anyone in my family. Knock on wood.
That's about my only superstition these days, that knocking-on-wood thing. I have an irrational fear of jinxing good fortune by calling attention to it. I also have a tendency to say what I'm thinking most of the time, so I need to knock on wood fairly frequently. Once, in a metal-and-plastic, industrial environment, I stealthily knocked on a No. 2 pencil. But that was a long time ago. I can control the wood-knocking impulses now...if I have to.
Even in childhood I was skeptical of most of the superstitions I learned about, but there was one I took very seriously. The consequences of ignoring the warning would be too high, and they wouldn't be my consequences to pay. I couldn't, with a clear conscience, take any chances. For eight years, from first grade through eighth, I walked to and from school every day. And every step of the way, one thought quietly persisted in the back of my mind: "Step on a crack and you'll break your mother's back."
I was always careful, and my mother stayed safe.
So there, I've told you mine. What are your superstitions?