Lucky # 13

There are numerous and well documented superstitions surrounding the number 13. Some theories suggest that this stems from many cultures using a 12 month lunar calendar and so anything beyond that is odd. Freddy Krueger is perhaps the most villifying symbol of what can happen with this number but the phobia goes back way before the horror film genre. The Last Supper: 12 disciples and Jesus (we won’t talk about the female kitchen help here…) But there are so many reasons the number is good. A baker’s dozen for example -that free donut or bagel that comes just from buying 12. 13 is one more than my lucky number 12. Well maybe not my lucky number but my old sports jersey number and thus my favorite one. And it is the first year of teenager-dom, that moment when everything becomes weird including your parents, the size of your nose, and the things that make you laugh or scream.

Like most anything in life, 13 has both good and bad, followers and haters, facts and fiction. I never put too much credence into superstition but I hedge my bets: no need to fly on the 13th if the 14th will get you where you need to go. Don’t walk under ladders -I am more fearful I would somehow knock the ladder over and strand someone on a rooftop than be haunted by bad luck for years but maybe that is self defense. I will pet a black cat and am not bothered by them crossing in front of me, unless I am driving and the little devil runs in front of my car -that is definitely bad luck.

On Monday, my husband and I celebrated our 13th  anniversary. The wedding seems like a long time ago, a beautiful May evening in Alexandria. Cooler than normal temperatures and clear blue skies. One reason I chose May to get married was for the peonies. They were beautiful, pale pink and white balls of floral perfection. We were surrounded by friends and family and had an amazing preacher who talked about dancing. We were married at Christ Church which claims George Washington and Robert E. Lee as there more famous parishoners. I always loved it for it’s simplicity, no stain glass and white box pews.  The pale blue ceiling makes all children under 5 think the balcony is in heaven. The wine glass pulpit is one level up, even with the balcony, so you have to turn your head upwards to hear both the gospel and the sermon. There is no center aisle. A bride walks up the left side with her father and recesses down the right with a new husband. During the service the congregation took communion and as Greg and I sat in the chancel, we watched everyone come and break bread. He leaned over to me and said this is like heaven. It was. And it was a lot better than a long boring receiving line.

There were of course the snafus behind the scenes that no one except my mother and I noticed. My mother’s car broke down the Thursday before just to add tension and logistical nightmares to the equation. The trumpet soloist “did not show up” (Or the organist forgot to book him). The organist played the wrong recessional. My maid of honor’s dress ripped getting to the church. My aunt forgot the mini-bubbles we had spent hours wrapping in tulle back at the hotel. And the one photo that every mother of the bride sends out the following Christmas, with the nuclear family and the new spouse, somehow was not taken. But it all worked out okay. My brother rescued the bubbles in time for our departure, the trumpet solo can be “faked” by an organ, and the recessional was an amazing tocatta that I get to hear as a postlude about once a year. And as far as the photo goes, we staged it over the following Thanksgiving. The men put on their tuxes and we put on our dresses and we went to the church yard. We snapped photos in the church and got the perfect one. Everyone was relaxed and happy and pretty darn impressed with how good we looked.

I imagine the 13th year will be similar to both the superstition and the actual wedding day. Meaningful with some snafus along the way. Hopefully we will be surrounded by friends and family. We will dance. And maybe I will finally plant that peonies bush I have been talking about for a baker’s dozen years.

3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by BAB on May 25, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    Just so much fun to read especially knowing your momma. Some day we will meet, I hope. I tell new parents that the never know when they are making a memory. I suspect your mother is thinking something like that as she reads your blog.


  2. Posted by Linda Berry on May 26, 2011 at 9:32 am

    Happy, happy anniversary!!!


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