11-12-13. 11-12-13. I love it.
Apparently, a lot of other people feel the same way. Today was a day for getting married. In Chinese culture, or so I've read, today was especially lucky as the sum of 11, 12 and 13 is 9. Nine is a lucky number, and thousands of couples were supposed to marry today in the United States. Normally Tuesdays are not a big wedding day.
Our last chance for this kind of sequential day for a while is 12-13-14 - December 13, 2014. But, we have to keep in mind that not everyone writes dates the way we do in the United States - month, day, year is our style. It isn't everyone's.
I learned that the hard way when I asked my then-manager, a Canadian citizen living in the United States, to buy me some Canadian food on his next trip home. At the time, I was in love with ketchup flavored potato chips, easily available in Canada, but not (they are now, but not then) here in upstate New York. I also asked him to pick up a box of Canadian Special K cereal. At the time, American Special K factories had changed what the flakes looked and tasted like, but Canadian Special K cereal had the same look and taste that I remembered from my childhood. My boss, used to my sometimes strange requests (I'll have to relate the BBQ incident one day-or maybe not), obliged.
When I got the box of Special K, I saw, to my horror, that it had expired. The date was "8/10/06" (August 10, 2006 in U.S. notation) and it was already September.
I felt duty bound to tell my manager, who stared at me for a few seconds. Then the light bulb went on and he hastened to explain.
I learned that the Canadian 8/10/06 was our 10/8/06 (October 8, 2006) and the box was fine.
But it could have been an international incident.
So, if I told you today is 11/12/13, how would you read it?