On Monday, Cindy Ziglar will celebrate her fourteenth birthday, or at least it will be the fourteenth time she is able to celebrate her birthday on her actual birthday.
Ziglar is one of the few people who has a Feb. 29 birthday, a date which only makes it to the calendar every four year on a Leap Year.
She said she was born just minutes before midnight on Feb. 29, 1960, and has celebrated her birthday on a variety of days ever since.
“When mom was expecting me, her younger sister, my Aunt Brenda, told her that she already had three nephews and she wanted a niece for her birthday,” remembers Ziglar. “Brenda’s birthday is March 1, so especially as a child it was always considered that Brenda and I shared a birthday on March 1.”
But when she started dating her husband, he suggested that a birthday in February should be celebrated in February.
“So my birthday should be Feb. 28 on non-Leap Years,” she said. “Anything was fine with me.”
Ziglar said her unique birthday even forced some extra days on calendars in non-Leap Years.
“Sandy Ridge Ruritians print a calendar each year with birthdays, anniversaries, etc, and my mom has been making a gift of the calendar to us kids for years,” she remembers. “The calendar is usually printed with my birthday on the 28th and a notation that my birthday is actually the 29th. I guess someone feeling sorry for the lone birthday one non-Leap Year printed a faded out 29th on the calendar with my birthday on it. Feb. 28 came and went and my husband, who said my birthday had to be on the 28th, never said a word – he was taking the faded out 29th as a real day and was unpleasantly surprised to learn that the date was actually March 1.”
She said that as kid her family would have extra large birthday parties on Leap Years and have had fun comparing her “real” birthdays with other family members.
“Being careful with the wording it is a true statement that my daughter and I both celebrated our 12th birthdays the same year,” she said, adding that she has met other people with Leap Day birthdays over the years. She said one person used the unusual birthday to get some extra celebration time.”He usually started to celebrate on about Feb. 27 and ran that celebration at least through March 3 to make sure he ‘got it.’”
The unusual birthday has caused a few problem at times though.
“I have had a couple of occasions when technology would not recognize Feb. 29 as an actual date,” she said. “My driver’s license does read that it expires on Feb. 28 but does list Feb. 29 as my date of birth.”
This year Ziglar expects a quite celebration at home with her husband.
Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.