Writer's Note: The views and opinions expressed here are not representative of the publication.
I could've been born on any day of the year, but instead, I was born on the one calendar day that rarely shows up to the party.
I was born on Feb. 29, 1988. Today is the 24th anniversary of that day, but it's only the sixth birthday I've ever experienced. What gives, world?
My friend and IBTimes comrade Julia Greenberg wrote a terrific piece this morning on the Leap Day phenomenon, and about those people like myself who were born on this rare calendar day. Here are three of my favorite facts from her piece:
- The chance of being born on Leap Day is 1 in 1,461. I like my odds.
- For centuries, astrologers believed that children born on Leap Day (also known as Leapers) have unusual talents, unique personalities and even special powers. For the first time in my life, I agree with astrologers.
- Without Leap Days, the calendar would be off by 24 days within 100 years. This is silly. Instead of Leap Days, every 100 years, December should just be a six-day month. We could cut to the chase and start the month on Christmas.
Beyond Ms. Greenberg's fascinating factoids, there's so much more to Leap Day. Here are three things about Leap Day babies that you didn't know:
- The chance of being born on Leap Day, and being extremely good-looking, is 100%. Again, I like my odds.
- Leapers and lepers have an unusually strong bond. Because nobody understands us.
- Ancient civilizations believed it was good luck if a person born on a Leap Day mugs and robs you. It's true! I'm constantly mugged by other Leaplings, and I typically experience some good fortune afterwards.
Being born on a Leap Day comes with some great perks, but unfortunately, this day doesn't come around very often. On the years that I don't have a real birthday, my superpowers are heavily subdued, which makes me depressed.
On those non-Leap Years, I prefer to celebrate my fake birthday, or firthday, on Feb. 28, but ultimately, it doesn't make a difference. Whether I celebrate it on Feb. 28, or March 1, or May 11, I'm still celebrating a day that's not my actual day of birth. It's like celebrating Halloween in April, or Kwanzaa in August. It just doesn't feel right, no matter how you much you try to dress it up.
So, three out of every four years, my birthday is a point of awkwardness. It's especially evident on Facebook. A few examples from last year:
- Facebook is lying to me.. it is not your birthday. I know.
- Because I love you I'll ignore the fact that it's not your birthday, you 5 1/2 year-old liar It was almost sweet...
- Happy not birthday!!! Not Thanks?
I don't take any of it personally, but on those non-Olympic years, there's not a whole lot to look forward to.
But finally, the day's here. I have one shot at this every 1,460 days, so I better make it count.
In case you haven't already seen it, the top of the page has an account of my day's events. Please enjoy, and check back as I update throughout the day. As for tonight, I plan on hanging out with my friends from the leper colony and maybe even mugging a few of them for good luck.