January 9th, 2018

Have you had trouble dating checks “2018”?

Of course, these days fewer people even write checks. Autopay has taken over, and credit cards are ubiquitous.

But I still write the odd check here and there, and in previous years I’ve often had a problem with the transition in January from one year to another.

“2018” seems ridiculously advanced, timewise. But for some reason I’ve had no trouble at all writing it without hesitation or thought. It’s as though 2017 was some sort of placeholder, an awkward prime number just waiting impatiently for smooth balanced 2018 to succeed it.

I’ve felt that 2017 is a prime, but I hadn’t checked to find out for sure till now. Sure enough, it is. And not just any prime.

13 Responses to “Have you had trouble dating checks “2018”?”

  1. AMartel Says:

    Wait until 2020 rolls around. I remember thinking how 2000 was going to be very weird. I’d be thirty and officially “old.” Would I even recognize the momentousness … what with being so aged?

  2. steve walsh Says:

    Sorry, can’t relate, don’t write checks, been a long time since I needed to do so. Now that you mention it, I don’t write, with a pen or pencil, much anymore either. I certainly don’t write the year.

  3. Ken Mitchell Says:

    I think that in all of 2017, I wrote perhaps three checks, and two of those were for Girl Scout cookies. With credit cards, why write a check? And with online banking, I don’t even write a check to pay the credit card bill.

    20 years ago, paying the monthly bills was something of a ritual of stability; gather all the bills, get the stamps, write the checks, being sure to put the correct check into each envelope. (Most companies don’t care who the check is actually written to; they’ll deposit it regardless.) Then put stamps on the envelope, and set them out for the mailman.

    Now, I check each bill against my online banking account as it comes in to confirm that the automatic payment amount is appropriate for the bill.

    At this point, I’m lucky that I still remember where my checkbook is!

  4. Griffin Says:

    Yep, last year I think I wrote three checks and one of them was to myself (long story). The one thing I don’t do though is set up automatic payments. I still make the payments manually online each month. It helps to be extremely organized which I am nothing if not.

  5. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    I too write few checks and have often had trouble adjusting to writing in the new year but as with you, not a bit of difficulty with shifting to 2018.

    And yes, “It’s as though 2017 was some sort of placeholder, an awkward prime number just waiting impatiently for smooth balanced 2018 to succeed it.” exactly!

  6. Oldflyer Says:

    AMartel, you “youngun”. Like you,however, I viewed the approach of 2000 with some doubt. I would turn 65, and actually wondered if I would see the millennium. Now, here we are.

    In many ways 2017 was a fascinating, and a frustrating year, and for the same reason, Trump. I can’t imagine that 2018 will be anything less.

  7. Frog Says:

    I personally view digital dependence with some skepticism. I surrender my privacy grudgingly, though there is of course little of it left.
    Writing checks doesn’t take long for most domestic situations, and I have the associated opportunity to reflect, “How much do I need this?” Or, wow, I’m not using all these Gigas on my cell phone, and will cut to a lower cost, lower-use plan.

    I resent the Medicare mandate for EMRs, coupled with the fact the Koskinen-Lerner IRS now has access to those EMRs (only for verification purposes, of course!). And that EMRs have reduced, not improved, medical productivity but have added significant overhead. A doc doing Medicare will now be paid less for the same service if he does not do EMR but keeps a private paper record instead.

    I also keep paper financial records. I resent my CPA filing my tax returns ( nice word that, returns!) electronically.

  8. Harpoon Says:

    I still write checks — of course, with online banking, not nearly as many as I used to. A friend says that at the turn of the year, she pre-writes the new year number on the next dozen or so checks. By the time she’s used those, the correct year number comes automatically.

  9. AesopFan Says:

    “The prime number before 2017 is 2017+(2-0-1-7), which makes it a sexy prime, …”

    There’s a math game and a pun going on here, plus a triggered memory of my calculus prof in Freshman class, who was always talking about “sexy equations” (neat, concise, exciting, meaningful — the adjective could be all of those). However, Wiki says that “sexy” here just means “sixy” as in “differing by the value of 6 (as, for example, 5 and 11) (think: sextuplet).

    Another triggered memory: “In the year 2525, If man is still alive …” (it’s on YouTube, of course). It’s the only song I remember by this duo, which isn’t surprising as they only issued 12 total, but this one was a doozy.

    Wiki: “..hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1969. It claimed the No.1 spot for six weeks. It also topped the charts in the UK.It was No. 1 on July 20, 1969, in the United States, the date of the first manned moon landing, by astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. It continued to top the charts while the Woodstock Music Festival was going on. It was nominated for a special Hugo Award that same year.”

  10. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    I agree that the number 2018 has a pleasing smooth quality, not just for mathematical reasons but also because of the nice rounded shape of those digits. I hand-wrote it for the first time the other day (not on a check – I may not write one of those for months) and was surprised at how easily it flowed off my pen. I’ve been known to struggle with the transition to a new year for embarrassingly long periods.

  11. Philip Says:

    That selection of obscure and rather useless mathematical facts about 2017 and various manipulations thereof left me feeling a little dizzy. Someone at that website is obsessed with primes.

  12. charles Says:

    In the past. Yes, I’ve always written the first one or two checks with the previous years number.

    But, this time, nope. Not a one (have written a few by now). And, I blame Trump!

    No, actually, I don’t “blame” Trump; but, I do think, for me anyway, it is because of Trump.

    I am just so thrilled that he is scarring all the foxes in the chicken coop in DC that I am daily reminded that it is another year under his administration and things are just getting better and better!

  13. Ymar Sakar Says:

    There were science fiction stories about 2018.

    by astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.

    I was looking through the old Apollo videos, the ones that had some definition instead of the ones the media were allowed to broadcast off of a projection screen.

    Buzz Aldrin’s first press conference, with Neil and the other one, after Apollo 11 I believe, was quite interesting in body language.

    Shatner sometimes said that science fiction is science and science is science fiction. Some can interpret that to mean kindle and ebook readers were science fiction but now a reality. Others can interpret it in the obverse.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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