Today is 11/12/13 -- a date that will live in fame for a day and then become as forgettable as the Oct. 11 of 2012. Today's date most certainly will fade in the spotlight of next year's 12/13/14, which is the last of these kind of sequential dates in most of our lifetimes because there is no 13th month. (Thanks, Obama.) Younger kids can look forward to Jan. 2, 2103.
Society's interest in this calendar numerology probably is fed by the media, which currently is fed by David's Bridal, a bridal retailer based in the Philadelphia suburb of Conshohocken, Pa., that has shops in Vernon Hills, Schaumburg, Lombard and Aurora. David's Bridal blanketed the world with a news release suggesting people are choosing to get married today because of the 11/12/13 date. The company apparently registers 1.5 million brides a year and says people want to tie the knot on "particularly iconic dates" with sequential or repeated numbers.
"When 7/7/07 happened and all of a sudden we had an estimated 66,000 weddings on one day, it caught our attention," says Brian Beitler, executive vice president of David's Bridal, in a news release that has been quoted in publications from USA Today to the Daily Mail in London. Beitler says 2,265 weddings are anticipated nationwide today, compared to only 371 on the second Tuesday of last November. We probably will see a slight increase in weddings at our suburban courthouses today.
I suppose a 7/7/7 or an 11/12/13 is easy to remember, but is low memorization skill really something to build your marriage around? My wife and I got married on a date that means absolutely nothing to numerologists, but we remember it fondly every year.
One group at 11-12-13humanraceday.com sees something good in today's date, declaring it Human Race Day and asking people to participate in an "Act of Kindness Day." Plenty of other groups forecast doom.
When June 6, 2006, rolled around, I wrote a column letting a priest from the Catholic Archdiocese debunk the notion that evil would reign on 6/6/6. The annoying nit-picker in me can't help but note how we fudge the numbers to meet our needs. If today is 11/12/13, wasn't 6/6/6 really 06/06/06? Shouldn't all the 666 evil nonsense have ended on June 6 in the year 6, when people didn't even know it was 6/6/6?
People who really want to celebrate the sequential nature of Nov. 12 are a few centuries late, as the time to get freaky with that date really happened on 11/12 in the year 1314.
I was born on a Friday the 13th and still don't buy the argument that dates can be lucky or evil. They are just numbers, and numbers belong to the mathematicians. Those guys probably haven't geeked out about the numerical significance of a date since Galileo tossed back a few during the great pi celebration of 3/14/1592.
I don't remember what I did on 10/11/12 or 12/12/12 or 6/6/6 or even on my last birthday. But I remember what I was doing shortly after midnight on May 6, 1978. Some college friends and I were either coming home or preparing to go out when we walked by the room of a fraternity brother. Joe had his camera connected to a timer and mounted on a tripod, the lights positioned just so. A calendar showing the date of 5-6-78 was perched behind a digital clock.
"This moment will never happen again," Joe proclaimed, explaining how he'd snap a photo of himself in the scene the instant the clock turned to 12:34 on 5-6-78.
"You know that you could just set up this photo in any year, in any month, on any day, at any time and it would look the same," noted a chorus of killjoys.
Joe did take the photo but he never shared it with us. Had Facebook existed then, he might have posted the first of many "selfies" showing people posing with the numerical phenomenon, possibly while wearing yoga pants and making duck faces.
You can pose with your digital clock in front of a calendar at 9:10 today to give you that 9/10/11/12/13 run. But if you really want to make an impression, wait until 12:34 a.m. on May 6, 78910.