Spooky Numbers

In the spirit of true confessions, I would like to discuss superstition and my personal battle against it.  If nothing thus far has convinced you of my neurotic tendencies, this here post’ll do the trick.

The earliest number neuroticism I can remember is the day I found eight four leaf clovers in my front yard.  From that day to this my favorite number has been 8, and this is what inspires my current discussion: August 8th is fast approaching.  Why is this significant?  It is 8-8-08.  That will have to be the luckiest day I am ever going to have in my entire life!  (Although 8-8-88 came and went and did not seem to have impacted my reality much.  And it had an extra 8!)  Should I hock all my possessions to buy a plane ticket to Vegas?  Should I spend the rent money on lottery tickets?  Should I cross the street without looking both ways? In short, how am I going to mark this embarrassingly momentous occasion?

As with most things in life, the situation was at its worst when I was a teenager.  At this time I had a digital clock beside my bed, and I could only function when the time ended with an even number.  7:13?  Doesn’t matter if the bus will be here in two minutes.  Gotta wait until it changes to 7:14.  11:57 at night?  Gotta stare at the clock until the last number I see before I fall asleep is 11:58.

I am over my clock issues except for one thing.  Years ago this superstitious part of my brain decided that, since my father owned a Porsche 914 when I was a kid, forever after when I see 9:14 on a clock, I am supposed to remember to be grateful for everything in my life.  For a while I would be mad if I looked and saw 9:15, having missed my chance.  Or if it were 9:12 and I had to sit there and wait like an idiot for the magic number.  Then, fortunately, something clicked and I realized that any time is a good time to be grateful, numbskull!  

It was a bit weird, too, in 2004 when my first niece was born on September 14 (9-14).  Will there be a special connection between us?  Perhaps there would have if I hadn’t moved across the continent.  (Perhaps on 8-8-08 I am supposed to hock everything to buy a plane ticket to go see HER!  Ah… it is all coming together!)

I do not know how I came to be under the spell of numbers.  Maybe it is because words I can make say whatever I want them to say, just by painting a bit of color here and shaving a corner off there, but numbers, they are who they are and no amount of manipulating is going to make a false sentence true.

I also don’t know how I came to have such extreme prejudice against odd numbers.  With other things I enjoy the freaky and the weird, but a number has to be smooth and even.  I was so worried that something would be horribly wrong with my son because he was going to be born in an odd year when everything else in my life, graduation, marriage, the births of myself, my kids, my husband, my sister and her kids, everything was in an even year.  Little dude was going to, literally, be the odd man out.  But, turns out, he’s just as wonderful as the rest!  And the continued lack of catastrophe (knock on wood!) associated with odd numbers is not inspiring any more confidence in them, poor little things.

Does everyone have a secret number paranoia?  Am I genuinely an oddball, and if so, how does one convert to an evenball?  And what, for the love of all things numerically tidy, am I supposed to do in a few weeks when the calendar announces that the fateful day of 8’s has arrived?  And even worse, should I be planning something special for the minute (two separate minutes, actually!) on that day when the clock shows 9:14?

All I know for sure is, the next time you happen to see 9:14 on your digital clock, take just a moment to be grateful that you don’t live in my head!

5 Comments

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5 responses to “Spooky Numbers

  1. sexyjones

    What about the number 23?
    Just like 9:14…9+14=23.

    Have you ever watched that movie “The Number 23” with Jim Carrey? It is all about the 23 enigma, which is very real. If you aren’t careful that number can consume your entire life. Without even thinking about it, you can reduce every single thing in your life down to that number…23.

    I wrote a blog about it and when I stopped to look at the time it was 1:23 p.m. In this blog I noted that the last real blog I wrote on MySpace was on April 23rd. The next post on there was a link to my blog on wordpress and that was on June 23rd.

    If you seriously deal with number paranoia, please look no further into this. I’m not obsessed with it but I do realize that in my bedroom I have 2 blinds with 3 lines going down each…it’s the same in my living room. Also, it is believed that the world will end in 2012…20+1+2=23. Or that I have two lamps in my room and one is a double lamp…2 lamps, 3 bulbs (I just thought of that one). Oh…and I sleep with two pillows and my fiance sleeps with 3 (ha…just thought of that one too).

    The more you think about it, the more you see it. You just have to be smart enough to not let it control you to the point where you purposely look for it…because you will definitely find it.

  2. Joy

    This is so interesting. I haven’t thought of this to the extent that you have but I do think of numbers and clocks all the time. 940 is one for me because it’s the number of my house growing up. Like you, I hate it when I look at the clock and it says 941 and I’ve missed it. I don’t know “what” is though. 313 is my grandma. I have a few of them but this post has given me a lot to think about. I don’t think your nutty or loony. I think it’s a neat thing to think about.

  3. Joy- I’m glad to know you have a few “favorite” numbers too!

    Sexyjones- my teenage daughter recently recorded that movie on DVR and we planned to watch it soon… is that synchronicity?

    I think Robert Anton Wilson wrote a lot about the number 23, didn’t he? It’s been awhile since I’ve read his stuff, but I think I recall that. Have you ever read any of his work?

    I actually feel reassured when I find connections such as the ones you mentioned from your house… it is like the universe winking at me. The movie isn’t going to wreck that for me, is it?

  4. sexyjones

    The movie just shows how people become obsessed with the number. I think you will enjoy it just as much as I did.

  5. I don’t have a thing about numbers, but I do have phobias. It seems to me that phobias can be really funny or really frustrating, depending on how you deal with them. 🙂

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