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March 13th, 2009

Be Stress-Free this Friday March13th

Today marks the second Friday the 13th in this calendar year. Since 2009 started on a Thursday, we can expect three Fridays to fall on the 13th this year. For the first Friday the 13th, back in February, Shoeflyer reviewed the historical significance of the superstition surrounding Friday the 13th. Today, I’m featuring fun factoids about Friday the 13th:

  • Alfred Hitchcock was born on August 13th, 1899.  His 100th birthday would have fallen on Friday the 13th, 1999.  How appropriate.
  • The Olsen Twins were born on Friday the 13th, 1986. Finally, an explanation for their eerie success.
  • Next time you’re in an elevator, check out the floors.  More than 80% of high-rises skip the 13th floor, meaning that no floor is actually named “13.”  Hospitals often skip the number 13 when numbering rooms, and airports rarely name any gate #13.
  • Due to absenteeism, it is estimated that the US economy loses $800 to $900 million in business on Friday the 13th.  (That number is probably much higher today, what with the economic meltdown.)
  • Friday the 13th counselors (yes, they do exist) help people overcome their paraskavedekatriaphobia, or fear of Friday the 13th.  They have plenty of work to do:  the Stress Management and Phobia Institue estimates that as many as 21 million people suffer from an intense fear of Friday the 13th. Many such counselors theorize that people who fear Friday the 13th are more accident-prone on that day precisely because they fret about it so.  The power of the mind is truly awesome.
  • Europeans have their own ways to deal with the unluckiest number: in Florence, Italy, buildings between 12 and 14 are numbered 12 and a half.  And in France, if you happen to have invited 13 people to a dinner party, you can hire a quatorzien, or fourteener to bring your party numerical balance.  (Since the superstition surrounding the number 13 is rooted in a nasty Norse god who was the 13th guest at a dinner party, this could be the most logical protection against the number 13.)

Personally, I think the superstition surrounding Friday the 13th is silly– but I do take extra-special care of myself on Fridays that happen to fall on the 13th, just in case.  I’ll take any excuse to treat myself well.  So, I’d like to recommend a pair of new Shoeflyer shoes that will keep your feet happy and worry-free: Seychelles are a great choice, since they’re nice and comfy.  I love Shoefly’s latest Seychelles addition: Petticoat flats with adorable buttons, shown above in seafoam green.  Both this color and navy will soon be available at Shoefly.com, so keep your eyese peeled!

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