February 28th is Leslie’s birthday. She was my girlfriend for maybe two or three months during my senior year in high school. We liked each other, but neither of us was the love of the other one’s life. Suffice to say we broke up. The details weren’t all that gory, and within a very short while it became one of those rare break-ups where we actually did remain friends. There were only 15 letters in the alphabet (four vowels and eleven consonants) when I was in high school, so you might wonder why I remember after such a long time that today is Leslie’s birthday.
What do I remember about Leslie? She was a redhead and because of that looked cute when she dressed up as Raggedy Ann for Hallowe’en. I remember a year after we broke up I was away at college and she sent me some homemade cookies. The enclosed note said she felt like baking and didn’t feel like having the cookies go to her hips. She did not say, but I did think that when the cookies went to my hips, they would have plenty of company.
I know today is Leslie’s birthday because tomorrow is leap-year day or if you prefer, Little Orphan Annie’s birthday, which explains why Annie’s aging so slowly. You see, as part of the learning process that takes place in any new boy-girl relationship, I discovered that Leslie’s birthday is February 28th. So as I usually did in those days, I said the first thing that popped into my head: “Wow! You just missed being born on Leap Year Day.”
Leslie responded with a long pause, during which she looked at me as if I had two heads, or possibly three, or maybe even none. Then she spoke. She told me the year in which she was born wasn’t a leap year. We were in high school, so I knew roughly how old she was. I should have realized the year she was born wasn’t a leap year. That’s what made the episode memorable and so much more humiliating!
Happy birthday Leslie, wherever you are.