Psychoanalysis > Freudian Slips and Mistakes

The Meaning of a Simple Mistake
with Numbers

By J Jones

One of our readers tells us about a very simple failed act and its interpretation. We did not add anything more; we have just improved a little bit the story in order to publish it... We pass him the word:

I was going, as usual, to the advertisement office in order to pay some cash difference. I have noticed for a long time that in 99% of the cases I was only finding Mrs. T who was receiving the ads – an old woman, not at all attractive. However, a few times I had the chance to meet the owner herself, an attractive and seductive woman, that type of woman who makes you think she is an easy going one.

I am almost 40 years old, I am married and I have children, a happy family I would say, especially compared to the misery nowadays. So, formally, I would have no reason to look after other women. And still...

Of course I have never given in the impulse of making a pass at her.

But the day I went to pay that difference I was thinking to that woman (the owner) and, maybe, at a certain point, I had some illusions...

When I reached the door of the block (the office is located in an apartment) I was sure I knew by heart the interphone number. I have checked however and it was not the case. I thought it was 8 and it was actually 4!

I have quickly made some associations concerning this number, 8, and I found out it was the double of 4, that it simply leads to the idea of two, of the second, etc. I have suddenly understood the meaning of this mistake: the number 8 was actually expressing my desire of finding the owner also at the office! So, not only Mrs. T., the old woman, but also the owner, in other words, both (2) of them. It is not hard to understand why...

I have made further associations regarding the number 8 and I saw in my mind that lying 8, the infinite symbol. Lying down was making me think about sexual matters...

What I was not daring to deliberately think was actually accomplished through this apparently trivial, unimportant mistake, which we always ignore.

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