Like everyone else at the end of last school year, I was looking forward to summer. But not just because of the two months off from school. I was, in fact, looking forward to one particular day. July 8, 2009.
Some years back, I realized that on that day, I would be able to see “12:34:56” at the top of my watch and “7-8- 9” at the bottom. Being a bit of a number pattern freak, I couldn’t wait.
The truth is, I love a good date. I was probably one of the few people who was looking forward to August 8, 2008 so I could run around screaming, “Eight! Eight! Eight!” at the top of my lungs. I was also one of the few people who got incredibly agitated when NBC advertised the Olympics opening ceremony date as “8-08-08,” when clearly “08- 08-08” would have looked much better.
And yet somehow in my excitement for 7-8-9, I forgot my most basic rules. I did not set any alarms, did not do a countdown on my whiteboard and did not write myself any Post-It notes.
If you can guess what happened, please don’t laugh.
On that day, I just happened to ask someone what the date was.
“July 8,” she said.
My heart stopped. It was July 8. July 8, 2009.
“Wait, what time is it?” I asked.
“It’s just past one.”
I could not believe it. After all those years of waiting, I had missed it—not just the p.m., but the a.m. too.
I decided to do what any sane person would do and tried to readjust the time on my watch, just so I could see what it would have looked like. All I wanted was that taste of the experience.
But apparently that was too much to ask for, since I could not figure out how to manually adjust my watch, which I’m pretty sure sets the time automatically.
Yes, it was just a bunch of numbers, but those numbers meant a lot to me. And we all look forward to important dates. For me, it was July 8. For others, it’s that movie we want to see, that concert we want to go to, that friend we’re going to see, and we’re always counting down.
But even after all that waiting, what we get is not always what we want. Our eleventh birthdays go by without those letters from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and we must instead settle for Los Altos High School. Maybe the problem is that we spend too much time looking ahead that we forget about those moments we’re living right now.
And anyway, I’m sure there’s probably a cool pattern for 09- 25-2009, even if I’m not quite sure what it is.