12-12-12: Not the only perfect day
December 12, 2012.
Today is a very special day, as not only is it a once-every-100-years kind of day, with the next 12-12-12 not slated to take place until December 12, 2112, it's also the last of 12 consecutive years with "perfect" days in them.
There will be no 13-13-13. It just doesn't happen. The next perfect day will fall on January 1, 2101 — which will mark my brother's 116th birthday.
So, unless by some miracle I live to be about 119 years old, this will be the last perfect day in my lifetime. And that's likely the case for most of us.
As a math major and a general lover of numbers, 12 is quite a number.
For such a small number, it has many numbers that it's divisible by, making it the perfect pizza-cutting solution if you're sharing evenly with two, three, four or six people — although it's not the easiest cut to make.
I remember another perfect day, a very special one for Punxsutawney, as I spent 02-02-02, Groundhog Day, at Gobbler's Knob with some of my closest college friends enjoying the finest show around.
To those of you who are high school students crushing on someone, today would be the perfect day to ask them out. If they say yes, you'll have no trouble remembering the anniversary of your young love. Although, if they say no, I suppose it would take away some of the "perfect" element of the day.
If you're looking to quit a bad habit or start a good habit, today would be quite a day to do it. Why wait until the new year? 12-12-12 will mark the beginnings of a new life!
In a very rare occurrence, today will be listed as the same day in history across the world. Some other countries list dates the way we do in the United States, with the year at the end. But a number of European nations list the year first, making today, 12-12-12, and other perfect days the only days where our date patterns agree if I'm doing my math correctly.
At 12 seconds after 12 minutes after noon — you'll have already missed midnight by this point — a just-as-rare but much briefer occurrence will take place: 12:12:12 of 12-12-12.
So many 12s, so little time.
But isn't it crazy to think that, just as the 12:12:12 will come and go in a flash, so will 12-12-12?
Before you know it, you'll be reading tomorrow morning's paper. And chances are you won't be sitting there thinking, "Where did the time go?"
But it does fly by, doesn't it?
Sure, 12-12-12 is a fun, easy-to-remember sort of day. But it's no less special — or perfect — than 12-13-12.
This day is perfect by number, perfectly aligned on the calendar, as it's a Wednesday and falls right in the middle of the week, but aside from being an easier anniversary date to remember than most, it's no more special than yesterday, tomorrow or this Sunday. In fact, I much enjoy Sundays and consider them more likely to be perfect than a Wednesday any week.
Lots of rambling and lots of 12s have led me to this point: Every day can be a "perfect" day. Today is a fun day to remember, but only because someone set up the calendar the way he or she did a long, long time ago.
Today is what you make of it, and so is tomorrow.
Let's start a revolution, making every day as perfect as the last, or even a little more perfect.
But to avoid being cliche, let's wait until tomorrow.
Enjoy your perfect day, my friends.
Zak Lantz is the editor of The Punxsutawney Spirit.