i'm not sure this is what you're looking for, but there are a few ways
to solve this:
1. use a text input field, e.g.
form.text_field :model, :date_wanted
and the user inputs a date e.g. 01/14/2009, rails will convert the
input into the proper datetime (if your db field is of type:
tip: you can use some js to have a calendar popup when the field is
entered to allow users to click on a date.
2. if you want to use a select menu, you don't have to worry about
parsing the values in the controller--they'll be magically parsed by
AR upon save. just have the options' values be real date names. e.g.
March or 03, etc. AR also handles times, so if you input 12 AM, it
will convert it to 0:00:00, etc.
the advantage to your initial attempt at using a select menu is that
it helps almost ensure properly input data, and screen readers can
handle them clearly.