Life as a Leap Day Baby

Life as a Leap Day Baby

Life as a Leap Day Baby

I was born on February 29th-Leap Day.
This is a really unique birth date to have and one in which I have a love-hate relationship with.
The odds of being a leap day baby are one out of 1,461. 
For the math nerds: 1,461 equals 365, or the number of days in the year, times four, plus one for the extra day in the four-year cycle.

In the U.S., there are about 200,000 of us and in the world about 5 million.
If you want to really dive into the details here is the Wiki page

The number one question I am asked, and will probably have to answer 1 million more times before I die is “So when do you celebrate your birthday?”
This is a topic of controversy among us “leapers.” I’ve been asked so many times i’m sometimes tempted to spew random dates. July 4th! Christmas! August 8th!

I personally am a “strict Februarian”. This means that on off years I celebrate my birthday on Feb 28th. I do this because I was born in February, not March. My birthstone is Amethyst, not Aquamarine! If Feb 28th falls on a weekend, i’ll try to milk a two day celebration out of it to lighten up my lack of birthday blues. 

Some people argue the idea of celebrating the 28th, saying technically I was born after Feb 28th, therefore should celebrate March 1.  I disagree with this because I wasn’t born closer to either day. I was born between them. I was also born around 3am which does put me closer to the 28th timeline.

Even though my birthday is a magical unicorn, there are a bunch of things that suck about being born on a day that only happens ever 4 years. Here are a few-

CUPCAKES: As a kid the teacher always forgot to give me my birthday cupcake on unleap years. I am owed many cupcakes.

ONLINE FORMS: Online, every website with a drop down menu will not let me input Feb 29th unless I insert my birth year first, and even then I sometimes have to put Feb 28th as my birthdate.
Often times they won’t let me enter my birthdate at all and I have to choose Feb 28th.

THE SAME QUESTION FOR LIFE: I can imagine this is how Monica Lewinsky feels when she’s asked about Bill Clinton. I have been asked a billion times when I celebrate my birthday. Then comes the joke about how i’m really five or something, and I have to pretend laugh, as if i’m actually amused and no one has ever thought of that before.

ANNOYING DR’S OFFICE RECEPTIONISTS: When calling to make Dr appointments, you know how they always ask you your birthdate? Well when I tell them there is often a long pause, then they say “Do you mean February 28th?” Do they really think I am so fucktarded that I don’t know the day I was born on? Then I have to explain when I actually celebrate it, and fake laugh for the bazzilionth time about how i’m actually five or something, again. The other 20% of them spend five minutes telling me how they have never met anyone born on leap day and want to know what I do on off years.

TURNING 21:When a leap day baby turns 21 it is always an off year. In most states bartenders will not let you drink until March 1. Luckily I was on a Carnival cruise for my 21st so no one cared, I was still able to drink Long Island iced teas till I puked on the 28th.

DOOR MEN:When I do get carded at bars, the door person will stare at my ID blankly then give me a look like “nice fake ID.” And really, if I were going to get a fake ID, would I be dumb enough to put Feb 29th as my birthdate…..?

FACEBOOK: Facebook does not send birthday notifications for Feb 29th on off years. That fun wall of Birthday messages is non existent, unless I manually change the date to Feb 28th so friends are notified.

FREE SHIT: All of the fun birthday freebie coupons that come in the mail also don’t show up on off years. I’ve started putting Feb 28th as my birthday for many rewards clubs so I can actually get and enjoy my free shit once a year.

There are also many great things about being born a leap day baby. I feel special and unique having this rare birthdate that so few share.
Every four years I get to have a birthday bash like no other. I generally celebrate all 29 days of the month.  I like to have a kid themed party every leap day birthday. When I turned 7@28 was Disney Princess year. 
Last year when I turned 8@32 I recreated my actual 8th birthday with a Simpsons theme. 

Though there are many negatives about being born on a leap day, the positives outweigh them. Being born on a leap day really suits my personality of wanting to stand out, and not wanting to fit into the box of society norms. I clearly wanted to defy the odds and be a little different even before I was born.
Though the wait to see my actual birthday on the calendar is long and tedious, I’m proud of being a leap day baby. There aren’t enough cupcakes or free frozen yogurts in the world I would trade it for!

About Renée Nicole Gray

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