Four-ever young

Matt Romaire will celebrate his 32nd birthday on Feb. 29, but it will be only the eighth time he will celebrate his actual birthday.

The odds of being born on Feb. 29 are one in 1,461.

Matt Romaire has defied those odds.

Romaire, a 2003 Papillion-La Vista High School graduate and meter technician for the City of Papillion, will be able to celebrate his actual birthday on Feb. 29 this year thanks to the leap year.

“It is unique when you have a tie to something that not very many people have,” Romaire said. “I guess it’s always seemed pretty normal to me.”

Romaire was born on Feb. 29, 1984, in California. He was born around 11:30 p.m. Pacific time.

“My grandmother always used to tease that I was born on March 1 Nebraska time,” he said. “I was actually born a few weeks early from my due date.”

Romaire said the first time he recalls celebrating an actual leap year birthday was his 12th birthday.

“I guess the only thing special I’ve done is when it’s my actual birthday, my mom puts the number on my cake of how many leap years old I am,” he said. “I always had to explain it to my friends when I was young.”

Even though his actual birthday only shows up once every four years, Romaire isn’t about to deprive himself of celebrating his birth each year.

“I’ve always celebrated on the 28th,” he said. “I joke with my wife that on the years it actually falls on the 29th, I should be able to celebrate the whole week.”

Celebrating a leap year birthday doesn’t come without a little ribbing from friends and co-workers.

“They all joke that I’m not old enough to drive or have a drink,” he said. “I’m sure those will all be coming next week.

“Most people don’t pay much attention to it. They’ll kind of glance over it and then maybe remember it at the last minute.”

Romaire takes his special birthday in stride.

“I don’t like too much attention so I don’t make a big deal out of it,” he said. “It’s a quirky thing, but it has its place.”

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