Once, I've heard, no one celebrated birthdays. But then someone invented the celebration, and since then we've been looking for more ways to make ourselves special.
When my sister was in college, we had to mail her half birthday presents on the six month anniversary of her birthday. I say had to because she reminded us, quite frequently, of the upcoming event. One year, we halved everything (one sock, half a cupcake) before sending it to her.
People enjoy golden birthdays nowadays (that word sounds so country) too. And they don't even have to endure 50 or 60 or more years to earn the right. If you were born on the twenty-third day of the month, then your golden birthday is when you're 23. Of course, by following this day-of-the-month method, everyone has his/her golden birthday before turning 32.
Another way of figuring golden birthdays is even more random--which I find appealing. If you were born April 7th, your golden birthday is when you turn 47. This method favors people born in the earlier months of the year (if you're born in October, for example, you wouldn't celebrate your golden birthday until you were over a century old) and earlier, single-digit days of the month (there's little use being born in February if it was on the 12th, as no one lives to be 212 years).
I'm sure that if I thought long enough and made a table or figured out an algorithm (I don't even know if that's the correct word), I could tell you which birth dates will give you the most opportunities for golden celebrations.
Instead of doing that, I'm going to throw something new into the mix. We should celebrate a golden birthday by the letters of our name. For example, my first name, Olive, has 5 letters in it, and my last name, Kite, has 4 letters in it. So, my literary golden birthday will be when I turn 54. This seems like a fairer way of establishing golden birthdays, anyway, for two reasons: 1) most people's first and last names are each fewer than nine letters, giving everyone a shot at a golden birthday, and 2) we have more control over what we name a child than on what day he/she is born.
Another reason to celebrate . . .
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