Culture

It’s Friday the 13th Again: Beware of Office Holiday Parties But Bless The Spider

It is Friday the 13th. Again. It has occurred twice in 2013. Last year, in 2012, it occurred three times.  Interestingly, in 2014, it will only occur once. Whew!  But then in 2015, we will be faced with that day three times.  I don’t know about you all, but I am kind of over Friday the 13th.   Here in the United States, there is a Mega Lottery Jackpot set for $400 million today. I have to admit, if I were to win it I would be a bit afraid of winning something so grand on Friday the 13th.  I would most definitely be suspicious of what fate may bring thereafter.   By the way, in case you are wondering what it was that you saw during the wee hours of Friday the 13th up in the sky, that was the Geminid meteor shower.

I was a bit groggy this morning after having to take Nyquil to ease this bad cold I got from my latest business travels. Further, I woke up dreading the office holiday party that will be taking place later in the evening of Friday the 13th. You know someone is about to have a bad day later on; especially since everyone is arriving late to the office counting the office party as office hours. Who does that? Anyway, someone will get drunk, say or do something stupid (maybe even vulgar) and it will become the new office meme.  I suppose that is on them.  Thus, if you can avoid it, stay away from the office party today.  At least stand 20 feet away from the open bar.

As I dragged myself to make my morning  coffee I looked up at the ceiling and noticed a spider. It was just hanging out. I gave it a further look. I was too tired to drag a chair to try to kill it. No, that spider, who had just spun a lovely web, would live to see another day on my account. And why?  I grew up with the belief that it was bad luck to kill a spider. See a spider, let it live. Karma will thank you.  That was always my belief. And on Friday the 13th, I wasn’t about to go against a deeply ingrained Puerto Rican superstition.

I have looked into this spider superstition in the past realizing that I was most definitely not the only person to believe that you let a spider live.  Many superstitions note that one should never kill a spider found in a house.  The spider housemate is there to bring you good luck and good fortune.   I know that those that suffer from arachnophobia probably have a different point of view; although probably not many would go near the spider to try to kill it. So, in some ways, arachnophobes have a lot of good luck?  That’s social psychology study to get funded. Why not?  Last year, The Ig Nobel Anatomy Prize went to Frans de Waal and Jennifer Pokorny for their discovery that chimpanzees can identify other chimpanzees individually from seeing photographs of their rear ends.  I think my proposed spider luck study with those with arachnophobia would be of more value than chimpanzee’s rear end identification. Let me go get on that National Institutes of health website stat!

Anyway, spiders were very popular with both the Greeks and the Romans; with the Romans engraving spiders into amulets.  Around here, the Pueblo Nations believe that a “Spider Woman” created the Universe.  See the spider has been seen as the weaver of people’s fates, entrapping the bad and setting free the good.  Spiders have been around for a rather long, long time and there are over 36,000 types of spiders (that humans collectively know of).  They are everywhere; you just can’t escape them. Well, they may not exist in Antarctic but I wouldn’t last there too long either.

So, on this Friday the 13th, if you see a spider in your path, in your home or your clothes, take the attitude of “live, and let live.”  Good luck today, whether you play the lotto, go to the office party or manage to stay home with a good book and cup of coffee.

 

 

3 replies »

  1. I killed a spider in the house and was consumed with guilt. I panicked because it was the size of a yam. A few months later, there was an itsy-bitsy spider on my night-stand. To salve the guilt of my prior transgression, I let the critter live (which is easier to do when they’re itsy-bitsy). She wove a stunning-looking web that connected from the top of my lampshade to the base of the table (it looked like I brought in Lily Munster to so some decorating). It was a beautiful thing in which to marvel and the spider eventually died peacefully in the center of her web. My husband came in, “Will you clean that thing already?!”

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