8/8/8 · 8 August 2008

People seem to think that certain dates have special meaning or magic. Lots of people want to get married or have their kids on New Year’s Day or Valentine’s Day. Or at least those wed or born on those dates seem more likely to get their stories in the newspapers. Then there are those special days like August 8, 2008. Dates like 1/1/1, 2/2/2, 3/3/3, and so on are even more special than other magical dates like New Year’s Day or Valentine’s Day because they only come around once a century. Who would not want to get married or have a child on one of those twelve special days each century? Especially when those special dates (magical or not) are so easy to remember.

I wonder if people who plan to get married on special days like August 8, 2008 believe that they will be especially blessed because of the date. I wonder if they believe that there is some mystical power in the repeated numbers. I wonder how often it works out that they really were blessed because of the date on which they were married. I supposed that if a couple really believes that they will have a wonderful marriage because of when they were married, that belief will help them create the wonderful marriage. For them, the magical date can help them. Even if it is only in their own minds.

Having a child on one of those special days is obviously more a matter of chance than careful planning. Unless surgery is involved, who can predict with certainty what day a child will be born? Even knowing the date of conception does not guarantee the date of birth. So, I suppose that those born on those special days are a bit lucky. Perhaps they do get an extra dose of magic in their bodies because of the day on which they were born. Perhaps they are just a bit more special than the rest of us born on normal days. At least they have birthdays that are easy for others to remember. That could mean extra presents. That is lucky.

Personally, I would wish for a wedding anniversary or special person’s birthday to fall on a repeating digit date so that I could remember it. What husband could not remember that his anniversary was on 8/8/8? He would not need to remember just one number but just one digit. Even I could do that. The problem might come when he was trying to figure out which number repeated. After all, eventually, there would be twelve to choose from. Guessing wrong and getting the day and month wrong could prove disastrous for those who could not even remember one number.

As unique as August 8, 2008 and those other special days in each century might be, I tend to believe that the event that occurs is what makes a day special. I recently attended my sister’s wedding. It was not on August 8, 2008, but it was a special day. It was her wedding day. The date did not make it special, the event made the date special. I know that for all the members in my family, the dates of our weddings, the dates of our children’s births, and of course the dates of our spouses’ birthdays are special dates because of what happened on those dates and not because of the special powers of the associated numbers.

I could not let the special day of triple numbers pass by without some commentary as silly as it might be. While 8/8/8 comes by only once a century, August 8, 2008 only comes by once. Period. And so it is with each day. They pass by one at a time never to be had again except in memory. Each day is special because of the events that happen in it. As magical as it would be to have an anniversary or birthday on a repeated number date, the magic is really in the event and the remembrance of it. I may not always remember the exact dates of special events but I will always remember the special events. Whether they were on easy to remember dates or not.

© 2008 Michael T. Miyoshi

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