Wednesday 28 Sep 2016

Happy Birthday!
Jennifer Flaten

I will not turn a year older this year. That is right I refuse to age. No matter how many sprinkle-dappled cupcakes you wave at me. No matter how many gaily wrapped, yet tasteful presents you give me, I will not turn another year older.

You can't make me. Really, you can't.

That is right I will remain the same age this year, the next, and the next until the year 2012. In 2012, and only 2012, will I turn one year older.

Hey, before you go thinking I am just another woman deluding herself that she is still 26.

You must understand I am special.

I am young, really young. In fact, I am only 9 years old, and I will remain 9 for the next three years.

Are you ready for the science behind this great magic?

I am a leap year baby. Yep, I was born on that quirky extra day in February.

Once every four years an extra day appears on the calendar. In case you didn't know, the great Julius Caesar is responsible for leap day. He added it to make the festival days balance...or some such.

The origins of leap year aren't important. What is important is that I have a pretty cool birthday.

While everyone else has to lie about their age and pretend they don't have birthdays, I really don't have one. That is, until that next leap year rolls around.

Sure, in 2012, I will turn 40, but that is not really my leap year age. According to my leap year age, I will be 10. How fantastic is that?

It is pretty damn fantastic, if I do say so myself. Being a leap year baby is snazzy. I mean it is always leads to interesting conversation when people ask about my birth date and people tend to remember my birthday.

Now, this doesn't mean I don't celebrate my birthday. Of course, I do. Why would I pass up an opportunity to have cake and get presents.

We sing happy birthday and I get presents (and cake, with ice cream) just like everyone else.

I prefer to celebrate my birthday on the 28th of February. If that happens to be on a Friday, why then I figure the whole weekend should be dedicated to celebrating my birth.

Yes, I am an only child, why do ask?

My mother, on the other hand, feels that since I wasn't in existence on February 28th I am not entitled to gifts and presents until March 1st.

I have no problem with that, this way I get my presents spread out over several days. You can't beat having multiple gift days.

That is how it goes on the non leap years. On leap year, it is a very big party indeed. I mean come on you celebrate once every four years, you have to make it count.

As far as I am concerned, the entire leap year is a happy party year. Good things are bound to happen on a year with an extra day on it.

I mean you consider it lucky when you get an extra bag of peanut M & M's from the vending machine right? Therefore, getting an extra day in the year must be super lucky.

I did notice that the next leap year is in the dreaded 2012.

Why is it dreaded? It is dreaded because some doomsayers have predicted Armageddon will occur in 2012. According to them 12/12/12 is the actual day that this event, whatever it may be, will take place.

Not sure if we should believe the aforementioned doomsayers. They don't have a stupendous track record.

Look what happened on the dreaded year 2000, a big fat nothing. It is kinda embarrassing how that one turned out.

This time the doomsayers insist they are right. It has something to do with the Mayan calendar. It is all a little mysterious and quite convoluted.

I am not sure, if the world is supposed to end or if it is going to rain frogs. I am a little fuzzy on the details. We are screwed if they are right, which is even more reason to party on Feb 29th.

If the world ends, I hope it does so quickly; I really do not want to have to deal with deranged Zombies. Unless, they are bringing me gifts and cake.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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