Most couples have "their" song, and other "theirs" as well: personal and private shared items, ideas, moments, experiences, even coincidences that they misconstrue as destiny. For me and my ex, it was “I’ve Had the Time of My Life” from Dirty Dancing and the number 11.
I'm not sure what it means to have a favorite number – built-in Lotto selection? a sign the house you're considering buying is right for you? – but 11 belonged to each of us, separately and together.
Innumerable times over our two decades together, the number 11 – and even more surprisingly, 11-11 – entered our life. Maybe it was because we were attuned to it, but it seemed to come up a lot. It had power for us, especially since we both worked in the digital world, which is all about ones and zeros. Even if we were in the midst of an argument, if one of us looked at the clock and it was 11:11, the tension was broken.
Today is 11-11-11, a one-time-only occurrence that even before we split up four years ago was on our radar. Since there's no “our” anymore, instead of thinking about it as a lost shared experience, I’m going to appreciate it as the ultimate Veteran’s Day.
Veteran’s Day is today because it's the anniversary of the German signing of the Armistice that ended World War I, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. Wouldn’t it have been nice if the end of that Great War portended the end of all warfare, a rejection of tragedy and loss? Yet here we are, millions of war-caused deaths and almost a century later, with warfare a constant throughout the world.
Hmm, maybe the number 11-11 isn’t the most ideal thing to share as a couple. Next time around, I’m going to choose more wisely.