I’m 32 and don’t have a driver’s license. This isn’t something I’m making up for the sake of comedy because, frankly, the admission is more tragic than comic. But the great thing about the Leap Year birthday is that people actually expect you to be an overgrown toddler and/or half retarded. So when the worst thing you have going for you is that you’re license-less, girls are actually impressed when, on a first date, you and your dad go to pick her up, you’re kind enough to give her shot gun and control of the radio.
The Summer Olympics are the coolest thing to come every four years. Leap Day is second. A Lindsey Lohan attempted comeback that involves her serious portrayal of a former porn star is third. The McRib is fourth. A direct to video Air Bud sequel is fifth. The Winter Olympics are 1,000,0000,0001st. Any Presidential election involving a Bush is 2,000,000,0002nd.
After you turn 21, who cares? All birthdays are are an annual reminder of your impending death and all the friends you no longer keep in contact with. But if your birthday only comes every four years? Suddenly it’s an event. People feel sorry for you. People think you’re entitled to something extra special. You want to listen to Mr. Bungle, drink ayahuasca and watch Altered States with Al Roker? Knock yourself out. I’d note none of these things have ever happened to me. I spend most of my birthdays at the Old Spaghetti Factory. Alone. The last exciting birthday I had involved buying a shot of tequila for Carrot Top when I turned 21. That was my 21st birthday. But, hey, at least the option is there…
All kinds of interesting things happen in February. Valentine’s Day. President’s Day. Black History Month. None of these involve me in the slightest. In fact they anti-involve me. Of the three I’m realistically much closer to being black than I am to being in a romance. Or President of anything other than a Sacramento chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous. And my favorite TV Show is WKRP in Cincinnati.
Ha ha, I get it, I’ve only had 7 real birthdays. Consequently I’m “really” only 7 years old. Not the 32 years I’ve actually spent on this planet. And by all means please tell me I’m smarter/more sexually active than most other 7 year olds you know. More sexually active? You obviously don’t know me very well. Yeah, yeah I sound like I’m taking myself too seriously. But seriously I’ve heard the same jokes since I was 8. And I thought they were lame then. It’s like being forced to listen to Semi Sonic’s Closing Time perpetually for 3 decades. People, look, as Fred Brooks said in The Mythic Man Month “Just because a woman takes 9 months to have a baby, 9 women can’t have a baby in one month.”
You’ve probably forgotten it. But go Google image Leap Year. There are like a thousand pictures for this film. I love Amy Adams. But this movie bears the rare distinction of being the 90 minute PG-13 romantic comedy that will play in an eternal loop on TBS that Katherine Heigl actually apparently wasn’t offered. I don’t get it. Worse holidays have better movies. Good Friday has the Passion of the Christ. Christ, Groundhog Day has Groundhog Day. But I get saddled with this. And what’s with the shamrocks? Yeah the thing is set in Ireland, I get it. So why not make it a fucking St. Patrick’s Day romantic comedy? I mean aside from the reality that most St. Patrick’s Day romances culminate in date rape.
Without fail you’re going to end up sharing your birthday with some historical person or event you hate. My advanced apologies to those born on April 20th who annually share their celebration with Hitler, Columbine and the fan base of Grandma’s Boy. But the problem with a Leap Year birthday is that, because the damn thing only happens every 4th year, you just don’t have a large enough population of people birthed to make your birthday cool. Now sure, you’d assume, it’s a unique birthday, and a unique birthday should lead to unique people being born on said birthday. Nope. These are people born on February 29th you may have heard of: Ailene Wournos (the serial killer that inspired Monster); Dennis Farina; Antonio Sobato Jr.; and Ja Rule. I think I’m more famous than any of these people, and I have an AOL email account. Alternatively let’s look at people born on, I don’t know, October 9th: Scott Bakula; Brandon Routh; Tony Shaloub; Jackson Browne; and John Lennon! So, reminder, if you’re born on October 9th, you share your birthday with Superman and the guy famous for creating modern popular music. If you’re born on February 29th you share your birthday with the guy famous for grunting on Ashanti songs.
I’m not against this from a romantic standpoint. I think it’s cute. And a lot less lurid than its predecessor “Men can Stone their Wives if they’re Sexually Unsatisfied with Them on Leap Day.” But Jesus Christ people. This thing only comes every four years. Can’t I just have my one day and be spared your grand, totally justified and consequently completely frustrating romantic overtures? It’s already hard enough eating alone at the Old Spaghetti Factory on Valentine’s Day…