News Column

Serendipity Rules on 12/12/12

Dec 12, 2012

Jimmy Tomlin

It's just a plain ol' Wednesday, right?

Well, perhaps. But for numerologists and the superstitious among us, Wednesday -- Dec. 12, 2012 -- might as well be "The 12th of Never Again," because it's the last time this century that a repetitive pattern such as 12/12/12 can be observed.

If you were hoping to get married on such a date, as thousands of couples across the country are reportedly doing Wednesday, you'd better hustle. You'll have to wait more than 88-plus years -- until Jan. 1, 2101 -- for your next opportunity.

Wedding-gown retailer David's Bridal, which annually conducts a national survey of brides-to-be, estimates that some 7,500 couples will tie the knot Wednesday -- a 1,446-percent increase over Dec. 12, 2011. Some of those couples undoubtedly reside in Guilford County.

While some couples have jokingly claimed they're marrying Wednesday so the absent-minded groom will be able to remember his anniversary date, others believe marrying on 12/12/12 will cause their union to be showered with blessings. Skeptics, however, scoff at the notion of a certain date influencing a couple's potential for wedded bliss.

"Although repetitive patterns like 12/12/12 are interesting, they have no more special significance than when your car's odometer hits 121,212 miles," says Wake Forest University physics professor Eric Carlson, who also teaches about skepticism, pseudoscience and the scientific method.

Nonetheless, you can expect to see news stories about babies being born Wednesday, including at least one somewhere that will make his or her arrival at the serendipitous hour of 12:12 a.m. or p.m. Let's just hope for Mom's sake the baby doesn't weigh 12 pounds, 12 ounces.

Meanwhile, 12/12/12 will certainly be memorable for one High Point girl. Joaida Trinidad, a sixth-grader at Southwest Guilford Middle School, celebrates her 12th birthday Wednesday -- yep, she's turning 12 on 12/12/12.

"She's very excited," says Joaida's mom, Bernadette Trinidad. "We've tried to play it up with her, but it hasn't really hit her until the last two weeks, when she began to realize, 'Oh, my day really is special.'"

Ironically, when Joaida was born to Joseph and Bernadette Trinidad on Dec. 12, 2000, she became the third of Joseph's family members to be born on that date. His ex-wife and his first daughter from that marriage were also born on Dec. 12.

WHAT'S IN A NUMBER?

--Wednesday, which is 12/12/12, represents the last time in this century that the month, date and year will form such a repetitive pattern. It won't happen again until Jan. 1, 2101, or 01/01/01.

--According to some biblical scholars, the number 12 in the Bible symbolizes perfection or wholeness. In Genesis, for example, there were 12 sons of Jacob who formed the 12 tribes of Israel. Jesus, of course, had 12 apostles. And 12 appears throughout Revelation, including such references as the kingdom of God's 12 gates guarded by 12 angels.

--The number 12 is also well-represented in pop culture, appearing in such movies as "12 Angry Men," "Ocean's Twelve," "Cheaper by the Dozen" and "The Dirty Dozen"; in the Shakespeare comedy "Twelfth Night"; and in the songs "The Twelfth of Never" and "The 12 Days of Christmas."



Source: (c)2012 The High Point Enterprise (High Point, N.C.). Distributed by MCT Information Services.


Story Tools