Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Fast calculator

I joined some of my co-workers for lunch the other day. Seven lamented that our next holiday is not until Memorial Day. Sweats added that the 4th of July would be next. Then she asked everyone, "We'll get a four day weekend for that right?"

"Actually, the 4th of July is in the middle of the week this year," I corrected. "That means we'll probably only have Wednesday off."

"That's awful," Seven thought. "People want to take their kids out to play and stay up for fireworks and then you have to go to work the next day."

"Yeah, that's going to be tough."

I tried to brighten the mood by saying, "Well, next year it'll be on a Thusday so then you'll have a four-day weekend."

Everyone seemed satisfied, but then I did a split-second double-check in my head and quickly realized, "oh, sorry I'm wrong, next year will be a three day weekend since the 4th will be a Friday."

The light chatter died for a moment as people's brains attempted to register the information.

"Why is that?" Sweats asked with a dazed look.

"Because it's leap year next year," I calmly stated as a matter of fact.

Sweats looked at TallTemp while Seven gave me a curious look. They all were absolutely bewildered by my awareness of such a far away date. Their faces seem to show a slight bit of confusion mixed with a hint of "you're weird" look. Apparently, my observation came out of left field. They asked each other if they knew that.

That's when Seven said, "Pandax, this is why guys are intimidated by you. You need to let them take the lead for awhile. Don't let them see this until later."

She laughed a little. I couldn't tell how much she was joking versus being serious. The women all seemed to agree that guys would be intimidated by my grasp of facts. Are they advocating I play dumb or something? I was really stunned by their reaction and suggestion. It seemed like such a simple fact to calculate.

The two men at the table just sat there trying to be as invisible as possible during this frenzy. Sweats looked at them and said, "Come on guys, don't you agree? What do you think?"

The guys wouldn't budge. They considered this a female conversation not to get involved in. They also agreed that I'm definitely an encyclopedia of facts (hmmm, I think I got called that once in elementary school too). I was kind of disappointed that no one spoke up to say that my statement made sense.

Later I was talking with Tim and recounted the whole story to him. I asked him if what I said seemed completely out of place and well... weird. Do I calculate things in my head that much faster than most people? He immediately said, "no, that's a simple thing," with a look that expressed his thought that my co-workers were lame.

"Of course, leap year is every four years. People should know that."

I was relieved to hear that I made perfect sense to him. Tim had all the same facts and logic as me. Every year, the day of the week on which a date falls moves forward by one day. (That is, if your birthday is on a Wednesday this year, next year it will fall on a Thursday.) This is always true except with the years divisible by four, like 2008. Then you have to add another day if you're date comes after February. That's why July 4th is on a Friday next year. (And then there's the rule about when the year is divisible by 100 but not by 400... .)

Not to insult anyone, like my co-workers, but would this have been a shock to you? I know I can be a bit geeky at times, but is it that bad?


Anna May Won't said...

i think it seems like a normal thing to say and agree with tim that your coworkers are lame.

there's being a know-it-all and there's just knowing a lot of stuff. i mean, you were having a conversation about dates so it makes sense that you think about whether or not next year's a leap year.

you should definitely not dumb yourself down for anyone. i feel like i know a lot of useless crap about pop culture, and if something comes up in conversation and something i know is pertinent, hell yeah i'm gonna say it.

personally i think it's cool you knew that about leap year. i always think it's cool when people know stuff i don't. your coworkers sound like the "popular" kids in high school making the smart kid feel bad. :)

zerodoll said...

yeah, it's really not that weird to know that. and even if it is, i'd deck anyone who suggested i keep my smarts to myself for fear of scaring off the boys. ok, not really, but come on!

mini said...

Nah, it's totally not abnormal knowledge. I feel like I've been doing it since I was a kid. My birthday is at the end of october, and every few years it falls on the Sunday that daylight savings time gets shifted back, so then I get "an extra hour of birthday".

I remember calculating as a kid when I would next get a 25-hour birthday by by going forward on the days of the week, taking into account leap years

Your co-workers are lame for telling you that's intimidating. I think guys would actually find that attractive.