Bad luck comes in threes, because you said so

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By Stella A. Estremera

Spider’s web

Saturday, April 26, 2014


YOU’VE been through one of those days, haven’t you? When nothing seems to be going right. Me, several times in the past.

With grim determination to imbibe knowledge I’ve been reading and listening and learning, and learning well. Thus, I’ve managed to keep my temper in a leash, sometimes I have even forgotten I have one, except when an unexpected trigger sets them off, and then Poof! Everything good about the day disappears.

Generally, I’m more aware now of the triggers and how it feels once equanimity is lost; unlike before when I’d burst out in abandon and then blame everything to the trigger, while I rant and rage.

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Having finally reined in temper and tantrum and impatience, I realized, they are the ones that are to blame for bad vibes and no one else.

Think… didn’t the day when nothing seemed to go right start with you not in the best of moods? Easily, you’d say no. It was this and that, most likely your kasambahay who was so stupid and couldn’t get your instructions right that set off your temper and so everything else went wrong. Question: What if you didn’t lose your temper? As my college friend’s mom would say in her driest tone whenever college friend would rile and whine against the kasambahay: “Eh kung bright yan, hindi sana yan naging katulong, manager na sana yan ngayon ng bangko!”

Uh, right. Ergo, the greater stupidity belongs to you for rising to the bait.

Friday started out well as every day is deliberately started with a focus on something nice. Good vibes, good vibes! But then, my pet peeve blindsided me on my way to work. What’s that? Stupid taxi drivers. Sorry, but taxi drivers can be as infuriating as kasambahays, promise!

They love to argue their point, insist on what they know, like what they know of Jacinto Street, or ignorance of it.

Jacinto Street is where our office is. There is also a Jacinto Extension, and that is an entirely different street not even connected to Jacinto Street. Don’t ask me why because that is just how Davao City is. You’re lucky that Malvar Extension has long been remained Gov. Duterte Street or you’d be wondering why it’s an extension of Malvar that is a street across a wide avenue running perpendicular and not even connected. I’m blabbering.

Anyway, it’s about that word Extension and taxi drivers insistence that when you say Jacinto, you mean Jacinto Extension. I say no. When you say Jacinto, you mean Jacinto Street, and that you say Jacinto Extension when you mean Jacinto Extension. That’s how it is. In the same way that when you say San Pedro, not one single taxi driver will ever insist on taking you to San Pedro Extension because you have to say San Pedro Extension to be brought there. Same with Bolton and Bolton Extension. But no, Jacinto Extension is a street taxi drivers love to argue about.

Thus, even before reaching the office, I was already all riled up. I tried to calm down (inhale, exhale, start to count to a million) but work was crying out loud to be done and so I rushed, not in full control of myself and tripped another trigger. By the time I arrived home, everything was going wrong.

I did what my friend would often urge me to do when he sees me simmering or whimpering in frustration: took a nap. I woke up refreshed an on an even keel.

Thus, comes the reflection on bad luck coming in threes.

We’ve been told that bad luck comes in threes and without doubting it, we believed it, and so indeed, bad luck do come in threes, we say! It’s from experience, we argue.

But think… what if you didn’t wait for the second and third bad luck and just shrugged off the first?

Here’s how I analyze it. Bad luck hits, and you say, oh darn, now I’m gonna get two more!

Second hits, and you say, oh dear, another one’s coming. True enough, a third one comes. That’s the only time when you heave a sigh of relief, and say: Thank God, that’s the last. True enough, nothing follows.

Maybe you willed it. Maybe the first was just sheer bad luck, you were not in your best mood and so you stumbled. But it was your anticipation of the second and the third and your belief that there will be no more fourth that actually brought the second and third and didn’t have a fourth. Maybe? I say, definitely.

Ask, and ye shall be given… saestremera@yahoo.com

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on April 27, 2014.

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