When Your Birthday Falls On The Same Day As The Great American Solar Eclipse

Eclipsed by nature. Literally.


It’s true what they say: as you get older, your desire to celebrate your birthday plummets. I’ve seen my late summer birthday descend into obscurity as I’ve detached myself from personal Facebook use (no wall = no one cares about your birthday, except for the few kind people who do). My birthday — which I am too paranoid to specify and you are resourceful enough to figure out— falls so late in summer that it’s usually the day the worst summer movies are released before the Awards Season push begins.

But this year, it shares a date with what media outlets have dubbed “The Great American Solar Eclipse.” Madras, Oregon, is even calling it “Solarfest,” because the town offers a view of eclipse totality. Other totality towns are expecting droves of tourists, too. Am I also excited about nature’s super rad birthday gift to me and everyone else who was born on this day? Totally (heh). The Great American Solar Eclipse will be the first total eclipse of its kind in 99 years to cross the United States from the Pacific to the Atlantic.

Not quite, but I own this shirt anyway. (anna_axilla/Threadless)

Personally, I love eclipses. The sun, the moon, and Earth are like nature’s love triangle, and eclipses are basically that climatic moment in the Lifetime movie when all of the cheating hearts are in the same room and confront each other. But I don’t like the fire and brimstone that often comes with them. That’s the scary part of sharing a birthday with Astronomy Christmas.

Authorities are commencing disaster prep, just in case. Wyoming and South Carolina ordered up extra toilets, also just in case. “We advise customers not to spend too much time in our portable toilets on the actual date of August 21, or they may miss this very brief but memorable event,” National Construction Rentals sales and marketing director, Scott Barley told Time magazine.

That is a real quote in a real magazine.

A few days ago, my dad sent me a YouTube video about the world ending on my birthday/eclipse day. Susan Miller of the long-running Astrology Zone website has a guide on “How to Cope With Eclipses,” especially if one occurs on your birthday. Cope. “It’s vital you guard your health if an eclipse falls within five days of your birthday,” she wrote. Later in the article, she adds, “If an eclipse falls on your birthday, or within five days of your birthday, the year that follows that particular birthday will be a critical one for you.”

Reading “health” and “critical” a few sentences later isn’t exactly reassuring when American healthcare is in limbo. Thanks, astrology! But there’s more. Another website warns about being “accident prone and having an “identity crisis.” Other sites use neutral, non-committal words like “eventful” and “important.” It all sounds very ominous. Will it be a big year because the world is going to end? Or will it be a big year for Madras, Oregon, because it‘s in the path of totality? Cha-ching!

If you’re still reading this, you must be wondering why I even bother with horoscopes and astrology. The short answer: I don’t know. It’s fun. Plus, Astro Poets is really great.

The news is terrible lately and horoscopes rarely say anything bad will happen to you, which is how we can tell they’re kind of BS, right? But I’m always fascinated when an astrologer finally confesses: “It’s going down! Everyone’s going to fight with you today. Stay home, watch The Chew, and don’t go out! Critical! Accident prone!”

Like when a major solar eclipse falls on my birthday.