Happy Birthday to MEEEEEEEE!!!!! (OK, and Ja Rule too).
As someone who has arguably the most controversial birthday (sorry Christmas and New Year babies), I’m here to answer your two most burning questions. Questions you’ve always wanted to ask but couldn’t, because you’ve never met a Leaper before.
“You’re born on February 29th?!? When do you celebrate your birthday: the 28th or the 1st?”
Growing up, and still to this day, my parents argue over this question.
My mom: “She’s born on the last day of February. When there’s no Leap Year, that’s the 28th.”
My dad: “She’s born the day after the 28th. When there’s no Leap Year, that’s the 1st.”
While both are valid arguments, I prefer to celebrate on the 28th. Maybe because it’s a day earlier, or maybe because I have a slight fear/strong preference for even numbers, who knows. But if someone wishes me a happy birthday on the 1st, it feels belated. I’m sure most Leapers have their own preferences, too. For me, though, when the 29th does finally come, it feels especially special.
“You’re born on February 29th?!? So how old are you?”
This year I will be my “9th” birthday (yes, your quick calculations are correct: 36). Sometimes this question feels prying, and while I’m not embarrassed by my age, some Leapers may not be as comfortable saying their age as I am. The look on peoples’ faces when they ask about my birthday is best described as a mixture of amazement, confusion, wonder, speechlessness, and sympathy.
Last week I ran into a pregnant work acquaintance:
Me: “When are you due again?”
Her: “March 7th but the doctor thinks it will come early.”
Me: “Ohhhh! Maybe it will be born on the 29th!”
Her: “Oh, God, I hope not!”
At the mere suggestion that her sweet darling might come on the 29th, she looked at me like I had two heads (both of whom were born on a Leap Year, btw). While her reaction caught me off guard, I can’t say it’s the first time a pregnant lady has given me the same how-dare-you look when I marveled at the possibility of another kindred spirit joining me on Leap Day.
The thing about us Leapers (yes, I recognize there are a number of different meanings for the term Leaper, however, for the purpose of this post it obviously refers to someone born on February 29th), is we have feelings too. We’re parents, children, siblings and friends. We’re contributing members of society, with ordinary jobs, just like you, just trying to make it like everyone else. Except that we won’t get a Champagne Birthday ever (you know, when you’re birthday is on the 19th and you turn 19, or you turn 7 on the 7th? We turn 28 on the 29th and 29 on the 28th. But you know, first world problems, amirite?)
We all know February 29th is statistically the least common birth date of the year. So how common is your birthday?
Are these your top questions for Leapers, too? If you have a different question I’d love to hear it in the comments!