Friday, October 5, 2012


     Musa Publishing is celebrating its anniversary—it’s one year old.  Yay!  Hope there’s many more.
     While I was thinking about this, I recalled how wedding anniversaries have certain gift themes based on the number of years the couple has been married.  I went ahead and checked these, and was kind of amused.  First off, the one year gift is paper—so sort of ironic for an ebook publisher.  They not surprisingly get nicer and more expensive with advancing years—three is leather, eight is bronze, fifteen is crystal, twenty-five is silver, fifty is gold, and sixty and seventy-five are diamond.  (If you’re curious, most sources list a theme gift for years 1-15, and every five years thereafter.)  I was struck by the datedness (and non-P.C.-ness) of fourteen, though—it’s ivory.  So if you’re a stickler for tradition and want to buy your friends something new, you might have to break international laws.  Also, once past seventy-five the list reverses course and gets cheaper again.  Eighty is oak (!), and eighty-five is wine (I realize that some wines are expensive, but still, probably cheaper than gold, platinum, and diamonds, right?).  But I guess that’s okay, as according to my research only eight couples have been confirmed as reaching eighty-five years together or more.  More to the point, does anyone, aside from Emily Post’s family, actually follow these?  In case you were wondering, the record confirmed longest marriage was 91 years, for Daniel Frederick Bakeman and Susan (nee Brewer), 1722-1863, in NY, U.S.A.  Although Karam and Kartari Chand of Bradford, England are hot on their tail, at nearly 88 years and counting.  One final anecdote—a friend of mine celebrated his second anniversary by giving his wife a .45 Magnum (which she loved).  We teased them by saying that the appropriate second anniversary gift is a crossbow, not  a firearm. *
     When the number of years for an anniversary gets really large (like for companies, or countries), the names can get unwieldy.  Sure, centennial and bicentennial roll right off the tongue, but some of the others are obscure and awkward to say.  Like 175 years—dodransbicentennial, or 350—sequarcentennial.  And my new favorite, obvious but funny—600 years is sexcentennial.
     Moving on, for another type of anniversary, birthdays, I must admit I find the recent tradition of celebrating half-birthdays kind of dumb.  Where does that end?  Quarter birthdays?  One-twelth birthdays?  One-365.25th birthdays?  Also, to technically be a half-birthday it’s not simply adding six months to the day, since months are different lengths.  To be accurate a person should add 182.5 (or 183 in a leap year) to their actual birth date.
      Speaking of leap years, it must be awkward in cases when birthdays or anniversaries fall on February 29th.  Sure, you can celebrate on February 28th, or March 1st, but it must be a little frustrating to actually have the official day only come once every four years, your version of the Olympics, I guess.  I looked it up to see if there were any really famous events on leap day, and there weren’t too many of worldwide importance.  Similarly, there are not many huge historical figures or “A” list celebrities who were born then.  Here’s a very partial list of some notables.
1468—Pope Paul III.
1896—Morarji Desai, prime minister of India.
1916—Dinah Shore.
1928—Vance Haynes, famous archaeologist.
1944—Dennis Farina, actor.
1948—Ken Foree—actor, “Peter” from “Dawn of the Dead.”
1956—Aileen Wuornos, female serial killer.
     Harvard University did a study a few years back figuring out which days are the most common and most rare birthdays.  The most common is September 16th.  The least is leap day, obviously, and the second least is December 25th.
     Furthermore, a pet peeve of mine, as a beer aficionado, is U.S. breweries’ failure to acknowledge Prohibition on their labels (for ones that existed prior to 1920, clearly).  It’s always something like, “Brewing up the best beer ever since 1890” or whatever, not mentioning that from 1920-33 if they were still in business they were producing ice cream, soda, near-beer, chemical dyes, etc. instead.  Admittedly, this would make for a lengthy, strange, label, but the historic purist in me is bugged by this.
    One more bit of birthday trivia—the oldest authenticated person ever was a French woman named Jeanne Calment, who reached the age of 122 years, 164 days (1875-1997).
     Hopefully Musa Publishing will challenge Ms. Calment’s lifespan.

*  We were kidding—it’s actually cotton, but that’s not as funny, or dangerous.


  1. I personally don't know anyone who goes by the anniversary gift rules and I sure don't want to lol
    Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  2. Congrats Musa.
    Your post was quite the interesting one. lol I've tried to follow that list before, especially for 25 yrs and 50 yrs. It just wouldn't be cool to give someone who mas married 25 yrs the wrong thing.
    Although I think it would be nice to get something made of leather, like restraints, or floggers. And I like the firearm for the second year gift, it was funny.
    luvfuzzzeeefaces at yahoo dot com

  3. That 175 year anniversary is one I've never heard of...Dodsranbicentennial? Weird. I'm happy to celebrate MUSA's special day with paper...Lots & lots of paper.
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

  4. LOL on the crossbow anniversary! I'd prefer 45 myself too! :P

    Cia Nordwell

  5. Thanks everyone, for stopping by. Cassandra--I certainly don't follow those themes. I usually give cash or alcohol no matter what the number. Julianne--I suppose leather could be interpreted in fun, naughty ways. Maybe 12th (silk) and 13th (lace) could be as well. Catherine--can't say I heard "dodransbicentennial" used either. I think usually people just go ahead and say "175th anniversary." Cia--it might be worth checking out the NRA website. Maybe they have their own theme anniversary list, like a .38 Special for 1st, M-16 for 10th, AK-47 for 20th, etc.

  6. Hi!! Happy Anniversary! Very awesome! Thanks for letting us celebrate with you! And thank you for the fun hop and giveaway!! Many blessings to you!