I'm generally a rational thinker - a silly trait in a fantasy author, admittedly. But I've got this hate-hate relationship with the number 7. And here we are, on Post #77. So I figured I'd make fun of myself while posting fluff.
Superstitions are funny beasts. I know they pop up because of coincidence and hyper-attention: X happens a few times when Y number comes up, we start noticing X more when Y correlates (while ignoring X when N or Z are in play), and the next thing you know, superstition abounds.
It's not just numbers. It can be boots, too. My dad didn't take his boots off for months in Vietnam because every time he did, they came under mortar fire. He didn't mention how many times they came under fire when he had his boots on - I imagine it was plenty of times. But it didn't register, because it didn't fit the superstition.
A friend of mine nearly got burned at the stake by a clerk at a Christian college commissary because his junk food purchase totalled $6.66. He was too amused by it to buy a pack of gum, but we've all had plenty experiences of folks who won't let that total stand. They'll reach for the nearest small item like they're forever marked by Satan if their total doesn't change instantly.
I had a customer recently who called to change her phone number because we'd given her unlucky digits. She paid $36 for her superstition.
I haven't gone so far as to buy an extra item or pay to have a number changed, but I've been known to avoid leaving comments on blogs if I'll be the 7th commenter. And I won't listen to a particular song by Xandria because the constant mention of my least favorite number gets on my nerves. Pathetic, but true.
The funny thing is, 21 and I get along just fine. Go figure.
Since I don't have anything particularly insightful to add, I'll just leave you with the appropriate awful hair band song: