Eleven is my favorite number. Not my lucky number–I don’t have that much luck–my favorite. My fondness for the double sticks is one of those quirky personal facts that both charms and befuddles those closest to me.
This love for the primest of prime numbers manifests itself in many ways. I am delighted when an event falls on the eleventh day of a month, like my wedding anniversary or my dad’s birthday. I’m nothing short of tickled when I am or others are an age divisible by eleven. Pushing the eleventh floor button in an elevator has been known to cheer me up. When convinced of my rightness, I challenge with I’ll bet you $11; or if covetous I’ll give you $11 for that! And this July is significant–it has contained the eleventh anniversary of the day I first met Husband, and of when we shared our first breathless, scruffy kiss; and also of when I started working at my currently-employing publishing house. These days, I don’t know which is more remarkable: eleven years with the same company or eleven years with the same man.
There’s an enticing structural romance to this number. Eleven is indivisible; it will not be cowed by mathematics. Eleven stands straight and tall, like soldiers lined up for a parade. It is a team greater than the sum of its Wonder Twin parts. I like to imagine the ones standing next to each other, steadfast. Perhaps they are shoulder to shoulder, turned towards the world and the future as a united front. Or maybe they’re facing each other, engaged in a straightforward, as-equals conversation. In dangerous times, they could be back to back, like a fighting squad that looks outward to defend against attackers. Sure, double-twos can spoon together on cold nights, double-threes will lock together as only passionate lovers can, and double-eights have the advantage of two sets of eyes–but ultimately they can all be broken down to the Original Eleven.
Here’s to you, my eleven. I salute your purity, sturdiness, cooperative attitude and immutability.