Triple Troubles

According to folklorists, it is an ancient superstition that good or bad things happen in threes – but I’m also guessing that it’s a modern thing too, because I hear ‘that’ saying almost every day. “These things happen in three’s, you know.”

Apparently it’s the American way to see it in three’s (but we do here too), Native Americans see it in four’s, the Chinese see it in five’s. I’m going to go with three’s, thank you very much, especially if we’re talking bad things. Claudia de Lys is an American anthropologist, and has written a whole bunch of books on folklore and superstition. She reckons that, particularly when it comes to the bad side of the three’s, psychologically we choose to believe this concept because we need to have the reassurance that the bad things will end.

I am not superstitious. I believe differently.

But that said, I have now experienced a ‘three’ of my own. It’s been a bad three, and unfortunately ‘they’ are still here – sometimes when I close my eyes at night, sometimes in my dreams – never the same players, but always the same game. They may not seem as devastating to you as they were to me, but they have definitely messed with my psych and left me emotionally retarded at present.

  • As some of you will know from previous posts, I am a dog person. But it runs deeper than just loving my own handsome mutt. My whole life I have had a passion for dogs. I’m the kind of person who will go to a party, and spend the evening with the dog. I grow attached to canines rather quickly, and considering their rather short life span, this always ends in tragedy for me. On the other hand, I am wary of some dogs, and know when to NOT be affectionate, and just back off.
    It’s rather a long story, but I’ll make it short.
    My neighbour has two dogs. One is a mixed breed, who I love dearly. The other is a German Shepherd cross Husky, and has been temperamental of late – but I have always been wary of him. They’re both male, and the temperamental one has not been neutered. He’s the younger of the two – and twice the size of the mixed breed.
    Three weeks ago, my neighbours were out, and the big dog decided to claim his role as the Alpha in their yard. I phoned my neighbour to come home, and he said he was on his way. He told me not to go near the yard. I stood at my front door, unable to see the dogs due to the fence that runs around their property, but could hear. By the time my neighbour got home, I was a sobbing wreck, my own dog standing beside me shivering. I had listened to fifteen minutes of the smaller dog yelping, the larger dog growling and attacking – and I could do nothing. Thankfully, it ended well, in a sense. The smaller dog went off to the vet, got 50 stitches, and came home. They have now been separated and my neighbour is building a fence in his yard to keep them permanently so. But that yelping, those sounds…..they echo in my ears and make my heart sore.
  • Two days after the dog disturbance, my daughter was invited to a party, pretty much on the other side of town. On our drive there, we came to a busy intersection where there just was no gap in the traffic in order for us to continue, and so we had to wait. At this intersection was a group of drunk men. (11am. This is common for where I live, and so is what happened, but it was the first time we had to see it up close.) A fight broke out right next to us. We were stuck, with nowhere to go, as one man got the other to the ground and began beating him. A phone call to the local police was met with, “Sorry, we have no vehicles now. We’ll send someone when we can.” We were trapped, and although I begged my daughter not to look – well, you know what kids are like. I was watching traffic, as well as trying to keep an eye on the other men (to make sure no one approached our car and tried to harm us), and finally there was a gap and I drove away. That incident bothered my daughter so that she slept in my bed that night – and even now, she asks at least once a day, “Mommy, do you think that man beat the other man to death? Do you think he died?” I try and reassure her with a reply like, “I’m sure the cops got there in time,” but I know differently. Reading everyday experiences in our newspapers of late tells me what the outcome was.
  • Last week, my daughter got so terribly ill – and collapsed from dehydration, despite my best efforts of making her drink fluids. It all happened so fast, but before I knew it, she was pale and seemingly lifeless in a hospital bed, on a drip. As per a previous post, I thought that was the end. It was also almost the end of me. A pleasing result now – you’d never say it happened, she’s as chirpy as a hungry baby bird. But it was awful at the time.

It was only two days ago, when playing catch up in an email with my father and re-telling events as they happened, that I realised that there were three. And that saying came back to me. And it made me wonder. Because if these things happen in three’s, then that means the bad is over….for now.

You see, this begs the question…… do I wait for the next ‘three bad’ cycle to appear……or does it mean I am in line for ‘three good things’ now?

Perhaps it’s a good thing I am not superstitious.