Wednesday, 4 August 2010
So the news is mostly good. I am on an interview shortlist. The date for that interview is Friday the 13th. But that is OK because I am not superstitious. Not very. Although I did once land a good job because I was wearing my ‘lucky top’ (my boss later drunkenly confessed that its v-neck helped swing his decision).
I’ll take walking under a ladder over walking through a puddle. I like black cats - although I’m still not sure if they’re good or bad luck. I smashed a mirror once and won a fondue set the following week in a ‘guess the weight of the cheese competition’ at Caterite supermarket.
I delete chain emails that order you to forward them to ten friends if you want any luck in your life, and only feel slightly uneasy in the process. I salute solitary magpies, disguising it so passers-by will think I’m combing my hair like the Fonz. And if I’m reading a book on the tube, I don’t like closing it on the 13th chapter or on a page number ending in ‘13’, so will skim through to a ‘safer’ page to leave my bookmark. Weird.
I suppose there is a fine line between being superstitious, doing things religiously and being obsessive compulsive. One minute you’re not standing on a crack to avoid breaking your mother’s back, the next you’re taking pictures of your cooker on your camera phone every morning to reassure yourself later that you have definitely turned it off.
I know someone who used to have to spin her knickers over her head three times if she accidentally put them on inside out. I’m lucky in that I can go for whole days without realising my knickers are on inside out. Or my top, for that matter.
As a child I had odd routines. I could not go to the toilet if I had not checked in the washbasket and behind the shower curtain first. This was a routine born of fear - I was convinced ET was hiding there. It became as routine as washing my hands afterwards. Spielberg has a lot to answer for. I should probably not share that in the interview.
These days I just obsess over my GHD hair straighteners and religiously check whether I have turned them off. I remember sweating through a deadline day in Canary Wharf convinced I had left them on in my locked bedroom in Elephant and Castle, 40 minutes away. I had to make my excuses and leave and travel home, expecting to find my flatmates dead and the house reduced to smouldering rubble. The distant sirens were all heading to my cul-de-sac, I thought. When I got back, the straighteners were ice cold and unplugged on the floor.
Stupid hair straighteners. Stupid Friday the 13th.