Do you have friggatriskaphobia?

How about paraskevidekatriaphobia?

Perhaps you suffer from triskaidekaphobia?

Do you have any idea what those crazy words mean?

Well, it’s Friday the 13th. And if you suffer from any of those symptoms, today is not your day. There is some research out there that says more people stay home on days like today than other days, due to this fear of the 13th falling on a Friday. And many hotels with more than 13 floors skip the thirteenth. People don’t want to stay on the 13th floor. And people don’t like 13th Avenue. Or parking stalls that are the 13th. And of course there’s the movie franchise with the same name, which seems to often release an endless stream of gore and horror on Halloween or a Friday the 13th.

What’s really interesting, though, is that, according to some sources, there was no written evidence before the 19th century that anyone was afraid of Friday the 13th. It seems to have just popped into existence. Someone somewhere decided that so many things had happened on the 13th, and on a Friday, that there must be something to it. And thus, everyone looks back through history looking for convergences of Fridays, 13ths, and bad things.

However, the popularity of Thirteen Clubs in the late 1800’s enjoyed 13 people to gather for dinner on Friday the 13th in the 13th room of whatever establishment they were at. Nothing ever happened to any of these people.

What does any of this mean? Well, it depends on how superstitious you are. I, personally, love Friday the 13th, which is why I claimed this day to write a blog post. In fact, I’m so fascinated by this date, that in doing a bit of research, I found that people are already trying to see what will happen on future Friday the 13ths.

One of the coolest: The Asteroid 99942 Apophis (Stargate reference, anyone?) will come closer to Earth than the orbits of communication satellites on Friday, April 13th, 2029. It won’t hit us. But it’ll look really pretty. Of course, we might not be around if the world ends when the Mayans say it will at the end of the year. We’ll see.

But it all comes back to this: we all have fears, and we sometimes don’t know where they come from. I’ve been talking to people in my extended family, my friends, casual acquaintances, and they’re still skeptical of credit unions, which have been around as long as friggatriskaphobia and paraskevidekatriaphobia. People still think we’re not insured, that we aren’t a real financial institution, and we don’t offer all the services the ‘other guys’ offer. Which isn’t true. And it isn’t true that all bad things happen on Friday the 13th. You can find patterns anywhere if you look hard enough, but if you want to be smart about your money, you should at least give Verity a chance. Think about it. Pass it along. All we can do to buck the trend of people being skeptical of credit unions is to continue talking about it. Every day. All the time. Because, after three months, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else than Verity.

So, spread the word and enjoy this wonderful, sunny, chilly, Friday the 13th. I’m going to buy some lottery tickets on the way home, just in case. Who knows, it might be my lucky day.

Matthew Kingston

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