My grandmother has triskaidekaphobia

My grandmother has triskaidekaphobia. In layman’s terms, she thinks 13 is unlucky. So unlucky it has become a phobia. She is convinced that if 13 people sit down to each lunch (in this case Christmas lunch), someone will die within a year.

I think this is the third time, we have had potential to have 13 at Christmas lunch. I recall it happened once when I was young. My brother and I ate off a cardboard box in a separate room, so no one would die. As I can’t remember what Christmas that was, I can’t tell you whether anyone died in the following year.

Triskaidekaphobia, according to Wikipedia (and who needs any other source!) is a recognised phobia coined in 1911. Not 1913.

I’ve tried to find the rules of this 13 people eating lunch and dying thing. I have many questions.

If 13 sit down but not all 13 eat, does that count?

What if it’s two tables joined together?

Or someone isn’t seated? Is being seated the critical part?

This phobia of grandma’s has caused my mother quite some grief over the years. The other day she looked at me and said – ‘I would really appreciate it if you came to Christmas lunch so there won’t be 13.’

I blame my brother for having another child. Actually, maybe if he had a third one our problems would be solved.



Posted on December 17, 2012, in Life and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Take the cats? Make it fifteen, or seventeen f you trust Pickle and Gesso in company.

  2. Isobel you have made me laugh as usual. You clearly know which 2 of the 4 are the naughtiest!

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