When should I be born?
February 22, 2008 9:18 PM   Subscribe

When should my new birthday be?

My birthday is currently September 1. I hate it. I've always hated it. Everyone goes on vacation labor day weekend so no-one is around to celebrate. In college, all my friends were in their respective parts of the country before the start of school, so I celebrated alone. In addition, I'm planning on being a teacher, so I expect in the tumult of starting a new school year, my birthday will continue to be skipped. The three day weekend does not make up for its shortcomings.

So, I've come to the conclusion that I want to permanently move my birthday to some other day of the year. I'm curious if any mefites feel that their birth date is superior for some reason, or if any other times of the year offer similar pitfalls that I cannot foresee.

I'd like my birthday to be during the school year, so I can celebrate it with my students. ( In know, shameless). I'd also rather not celebrate my half birthday, as this would continue to legitimize my original birthday. Sharing my birthday with some obscure holiday might be entertaining. But other than that, any advice you could provide would be much appreciated.
posted by JimmyJames to Society & Culture (58 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
October is pretty calm, holiday-wise, as is February.
posted by Nelsormensch at 9:26 PM on February 22, 2008

my birthday is February 15th and it is truly awesome. It make valentine's day extra special if you are in a relationship, and if you're not everyone remembers the day.
posted by elvissa at 9:27 PM on February 22, 2008

I'd share it with the groundhog.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 9:27 PM on February 22, 2008

I've always liked May 5th.
posted by Korou at 9:29 PM on February 22, 2008

Do you have seasons where you are? If you're inclined to, say, BBQ on your birthday, you might prefer to have something in the early fall or late spring so the weather will cooperate. Stay away from anything between 2 weeks before Thanksgiving to 2 weeks after Christmas, even if you decide winter is okay.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:32 PM on February 22, 2008

My birthday's December 28th, and though it doesn't fall during a school year (the only downside, and it ceased to be so after turning 18), it's a lovely time for a birthday.

No, I'm not sharing it.
posted by SansPoint at 9:34 PM on February 22, 2008

March Fourth! is the only date that can also be read as an order.
posted by Bookhouse at 9:37 PM on February 22, 2008 [18 favorites]

Response by poster: Jacquilynne: I live in Northern California. So, not so much seasons, but I do like the idea of spring now that you mention it.
posted by JimmyJames at 9:38 PM on February 22, 2008

Why not just celebrate on September 7th or something? It's not like you have to have a party on the day of your birth.
posted by delmoi at 9:39 PM on February 22, 2008

I'd suggest planning for mid-July. Anyone who went out of town for the 4th will be back. School will be out, so no need to worry about work. Plus, it's summer, so you're able to do outdoorsy things if you choose. My birthday is on July 6th, but I tend to celebrate it a week later to accommodate everyone's vacation plans. Alternately, I've also attended a couple 4th of July parties and sort of commandeered them. "PS, everyone, we're also celebrating my birthday today. Those fireworks are for me."

Once you've got a time of year narrowed down, I'd do some research on the specific dates. You might find that a favorite celebrity or historical figure was also born around then. I think it's fun to share a birthday with Frida Kahlo, for instance. See if you can line up with someone you admire.
posted by Help, I can't stop talking! at 9:40 PM on February 22, 2008

OK, ignore everything I said. Clearly missed the part about you wanting a birthday during the school year.
posted by Help, I can't stop talking! at 9:41 PM on February 22, 2008

Halloween! It's when my birthday is, and it RULES. Always tons of parties, people in costumes to gawk at, happy hyper children, built-in birthday party theme, and it's a holiday that you won't spend alone because your friends are off having special family time.

Also nominating St. Patrick's Day, because beer is good.
posted by Gianna at 9:44 PM on February 22, 2008

Response by poster: delmoi: see, I've always celebrated on the 7th or so. IThe headache of starting a school year on my birthday has always been a bummer.
posted by JimmyJames at 9:45 PM on February 22, 2008

my only advice: don't pick february 29th.
posted by ddaavviidd at 9:46 PM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

Late April is nice. The world is recovering from winter by producing wonderful green things and pretty flowers. I don't celebrate Easter (since I am not christian) nor Cinco De Mayo (as I am not Mexican?) nor May Day (because I don't understand why May 1 is special) so there are really no holidays around it to take away from it.

If I were to have to choose a new birthday i would probably pick March 15 because I am a geek(ette).
posted by silkygreenbelly at 9:47 PM on February 22, 2008

How about throwing darts at a calendar? Could be a fun way to get random dates, though you would then need to throw for the month. This works especially well if you aren't very good at darts and thus won't hit what you aim at.
posted by Carillon at 9:57 PM on February 22, 2008

Response by poster: the ides of march, tempting...
posted by JimmyJames at 9:58 PM on February 22, 2008

Best answer: I am partial to April 1st. April fool's Day.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:03 PM on February 22, 2008

I'm june 14th. As a kid it was great 'cos it meant a present every six months, more or less. I always felt sorry for the kids with birthdays in January, having to wait 11 months till they got presents again. It's also good here in Australia because we get a public holiday in the first week of june, so there is always a long weekend on or near my birthday. It's like the Federal government giving me a birthday gift too.
posted by robotot at 10:04 PM on February 22, 2008

If you teach math, please please please move your birthday to March 14th (Pi Day!!).
posted by Squee at 10:17 PM on February 22, 2008

Also, if you don't teach math, but enjoy eating pie, I would still nominate March 14th.
posted by Squee at 10:18 PM on February 22, 2008

Boo on February. Too close to Christmas. I'd pick May.
posted by clh at 10:36 PM on February 22, 2008

Response by poster: I like the idea of an April first birthday. I love practical jokes. I guess I'm not sure how to convince my friends/family that I'm actually switching my birthday.

April 1st 2008:

Me: Hey, today's my new birthday.
Friend: April fools?
Me: No really it's my birthday. I switched it.
Friend: I don't get it. That's not much of a April Fools joke.
Me:*Smacks forehead*
posted by JimmyJames at 10:48 PM on February 22, 2008

For a guy who's switching his b-day, I think April Fool's is PERFECT.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:57 PM on February 22, 2008

Best answer: if you're just making up birthdays, why go with one? Segregate your friends into the four groups who are least likely to bump into one and other, and give them all a separate date. Blamo-- every three months, it's cake and beer time.
posted by dong_resin at 11:02 PM on February 22, 2008 [6 favorites]

My birthday is in early March, and I've never had any clashes with the holidays. Spring break tends to be in late March or April, so I've never had everyone pack up and leave before my birthday. I wasn't born on a leap year, so no-one ever comments "Oh, you juuuust missed February 29!" I'm a good week away from St Patrick's Day, far away enough to avoid the accompanying jokes.

I get enough time in the newly-arrived year to appreciate the last dregs of my former age, and then my birthday arrives. And then I don't have to worry for very long about being officially, say, 22 in January 2008, yet still being 21 because March has yet to roll around. This is a relief, especially if your life requires constant paperwork.
posted by Xere at 11:08 PM on February 22, 2008

You could develop your own obscure system, like the calculation of Easter:

'My birthday is the third Monday after the first new moon following the Equinox.'
posted by TDIpod at 11:10 PM on February 22, 2008 [3 favorites]

My birthday is Sept 10, and it's so awesome that President Bush has appointed the day after as a national holiday, fittingly called Patriot Day to give distinction to my obvious brilliance, to allow me to get over my hangover.
posted by parmanparman at 11:30 PM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

May I humbly suggest you join me in 'conception day'? My birthday is dec. 17 - a lousy time. So I switched it to 9 months earlier, my day o' conception, which is march 17th, randomly St. Patrick's day.

And my mom, bless her, sends me a card every year.
posted by anitanita at 11:56 PM on February 22, 2008 [4 favorites]

My family celebrated our half-birthdays sometimes, as we all had fall birthdays and it was a good excuse to have a silly party in the spring. Half a cake, a few presents that were likely bought at half-off, etc. You could adopt your half-birthday -- March 1 -- as your date for a real party. Send those invites now!
posted by lisa g at 12:07 AM on February 23, 2008

Avoid anything in the month of December, if you live anywhere near a christian-centric society (like America). All my friends with December birthdays complain about how everyone's too busy to celebrate with them, their special day gets lumped in with the general xmas festivities, etc. Apparently it sucks.

Personally, I'd go with some date in March or April. There's not much in the way of good holidays around then, and it's nice to have something to celebrate.
posted by vytae at 12:11 AM on February 23, 2008

Scorpio obviously the superior astrological sign, so anywhere between October 23rd to November 21st.
posted by B(oYo)BIES at 1:09 AM on February 23, 2008

I know I'm breaking the rules and not answering your question, but I just wanted to say that my birthday is the same of yours. And I love it. It's easy to remember, and I was actually born on labor day, which makes for a stupid but fun joke every time it comes up.

I suppose however, if I were to move it, I would move it a month later. But whatever you do, stick to the first of the month. It's the best.
posted by stray at 1:12 AM on February 23, 2008

Oh, and don't go with your conception day as suggested above. According to my parents I was born exactly on my due date, which makes it Jan 1st. Everyone'll be way to hung over to party with you.
posted by stray at 1:13 AM on February 23, 2008

As a person born on April Fools' Day, I'd like to welcome you to our ranks.
posted by cmyk at 1:58 AM on February 23, 2008

Hey, me too cmyk! April Fool's babies rock!
posted by evilbeck at 2:10 AM on February 23, 2008

Best answer: Don't change the date, change the calendar. Specifically, use the 260-day Mayan Tzolk'in calendar. Here's why:
  1. You don't have to arbitrarily make up a new birthday. Just look up the Tzolk'in date for the day you were actually born and use it.
  2. Your birthday will automatically be in a different season each year, without you having to change it again. Variety is good.
  3. You get to use those awesome skull-like glyphs. Put them up in your room and tell your students their meaning will be a secret until the date.
  4. It would be a great excuse to teach your students about Mesoamerican culture, history, and art, or the mathematics and science of calendars.
  5. Best of all, while Gregorian losers only get 52 birthdays every 52 solar years, you get 73. WIN.
Here's a Mayan Calendar Converter. It will tell you that if you were born on 1 September 1986, your Tzolk'in birthdate would be 3 Eb. Then your next four birthdays would be 25 September 2008, 12 June 2009, 27 February 2010, and 14 November 2010.
posted by grouse at 4:02 AM on February 23, 2008 [7 favorites]

May 2, then you could be a Taurus like me and we could be confident, earthy, hedonistic birthday twins who celebrate for the entire month of May and refer to it as our Birthday Season. Plus the lilacs are blooming.
posted by ersatzkat at 4:54 AM on February 23, 2008

May the 4th be with you.
posted by ellenaim at 5:26 AM on February 23, 2008 [2 favorites]

Skip October -- there are so many October birthdays (for this, we can thank the snowbound tedium of January) that yours will get lost in the shuffle. I'm "October birthday #4, yawn, what an anticlimax" in my extended family.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:50 AM on February 23, 2008

Skip February altogether.
Bad weather (snow usually) has canceled more parties than I care to remember.

Also, having a birthday around Valentines sucks because flowers are usually so expensive on account of the holiday and you won't get them.

Since you're teaching, why not go with your "half" birthday. I did that with kiddies who has summer birthdays when I taught elementary, that way they could celebrate their day with their friends in school.
posted by NoraCharles at 6:43 AM on February 23, 2008

I was also born on the 1st of September and I love my birthday. Here's why: if you spell out your date of birth DD-MM-YY, like we do here in Britain, then my date of birth is 1-9-84, or 1984, the year of my birth. In order to enjoy these great privileges on the other side of the Atlantic I suggest a switch to January 9th.
posted by greytape at 6:57 AM on February 23, 2008

I was born in January. It's cold, depressing, dark, and the world is dead.

I've always dreamt of being born in mid March. Everything is starting to come back to life. The crocuses are popping up.
posted by Netzapper at 7:19 AM on February 23, 2008

February 3rd is an incredible day for a birthday: it is the glorious day of my birth.
posted by nonmerci at 7:25 AM on February 23, 2008

If it is good enough for a Queen, it's good enough for you. Liz moved an April birthday to June. I've always thought that was pretty cool, and you get to celebrate twice!!
posted by kuppajava at 7:36 AM on February 23, 2008

If you are a chemistry teacher, October 23.
posted by naoko at 8:07 AM on February 23, 2008

I have the birthday bookhouse suggests, as does my husband (yes, really). People seem to remember it, probably for the sentence reason. I also think it's nicely positioned for celebrating the coming end of grimy winter suck. It was Inauguration Day in the U.S. through 1933. And we get to share a birthday with Adrian Zmed!
posted by gnomeloaf at 8:33 AM on February 23, 2008

I always wanted a birthday in June so it would be 6 months away from Christmas. That way you don't have a long wait for more presents (I started thinking about that at a young age, as you can imagine). Mid June is a great time: people are in town, school is ending so people are in good moods, and the weather is beautiful. If you teach high school you will want to make it at the beginning of June, of course, so your kids can celebrate with you. (Mine is in August and I hate that I can't celebrate it at school with my students, so I don't think you are shameless.) Let us know which one you decide!!
posted by ms.v. at 8:35 AM on February 23, 2008

Make it be "fall back" daylight savings day. Statistically, more people are born on that day than any other- because it has 25 hours.
posted by proj08 at 8:50 AM on February 23, 2008

I always thought that a birthday on New Year's Eve/Day or July 4th (in US) would be great, because you could pretend all those fireworks and parties and general mayhem were for your benefit.

I have a brother-in-law (big beefy firefighter) whose birthday is February 29th. We send him a kid's birthday card every four years. He's only going to be turning 9 this year. So if you are worried about growing old, choosing Leap Day is a fun way to hang on to your youth.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 9:35 AM on February 23, 2008

Well, I sure wouldn't pick something near Christmas, if you think Labor Day is such an inconvenience...
posted by shownomercy at 10:04 AM on February 23, 2008

In honor of my eighth birthday coming up at the end of the month, I'll put a vote in for Leap Day. As long as you can tolerate the unoriginal jokes, it's great - everyone thinks your birthday is cool, you have a built-in excuse for a big throwdown every 4 years when the real day comes along, and on the off years, you can schedule it for whenever is convenient to you, or for the entire month, or whatever. I wouldn't trade my birthday for any other!
posted by hilatron at 10:26 AM on February 23, 2008

I'd go with March First - exactly six months from the original date (more or less), but I wouldn't call it your birthday. Call it your anti-birthday?
posted by 2oh1 at 10:28 AM on February 23, 2008

I vote for Talk Like a Pirate Day. It's early in the school year, so yours would most likely be the first birthday celebrated with your students.
posted by xena at 11:11 AM on February 23, 2008

My birthday is January 3rd, and I've always hated it. The weather sucks, it's so soon after Christmas that people either forget it, or are so tapped out from the holidays that I don't even get a card... I never thought of changing it before! I may have to do that...
posted by sarcasticah at 12:48 PM on February 23, 2008

The end of May is nice. You get good weather and in the US, Memorial Day barbecues make good platforms for birthday parties.

I recommend the thirtieth.
posted by breezeway at 1:57 PM on February 23, 2008

I've never heard of another person changing their birthday! I made the change as a kid, from November 30th (too close to Thanksgiving/Christmas) to November 3rd (my due date.) Even one month makes a huge difference, when that month is November, but I would advise you to choose a date that isn't so close to The Holidays.

I would also advise you to choose a date that's "after" your legal birthday - that way when people ask you your age you won't have to lie! I had trouble with this as a young person; maybe it wouldn't matter so much to you because you're already old enough to vote, etc.

As I grew older, people got more lax about remembering which birthday was which, so now it's more like I have two birthdays. Expect this to happen, and consider spacing them further apart for this reason.
posted by hyperfascinated at 2:02 PM on February 23, 2008

Find other people with the same birthday, or another reason to celebrate on your birthday, and start a party club.

For example, our daughter has the same birthday as her eldest cousin, which is also my sister's wedding anniversary. You can imagine it's a lot of fun and shared joy.

By coincidence it's September 1st. Wanna join?
posted by Hogshead at 2:16 PM on February 23, 2008

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