Cue swoopy violin music and soft focus pinkness
The magical once-in-a-four-year opportunity to ask a man to marry you. How romantic and wonderful. What are you waiting for, ladies?
Er.. Wait a minute.
Unplug the mushy stringed instrument sounds and the identikit roses-for-lovers nonsense.
What this is saying is that the only time a woman can take her matrimonial future into her own hands is on 29th February. The rest of the time she’s supposed to depend on dropping hints and for the penny to drop and her beloved to get down on blended knee.
Good grief. How can we have come this far and still be stuck in the dark ages of equal opportunities? Technically we can have it all – jobs, mortgages, responsibility – and yet we’re not supposed to ask the men in our lives to marry us on any day except for this.
It’s amazing that any couples actually every make it up the aisle if only one half of the pair can do the asking. It suggests that there are some pretty efficient hinters out there among the ranks of womanhood. Or maybe the path of a relationship runs so smoothly that by the time he says “will you?” they’ve both arrived unspoken on the same page. Obviously that would be lovely, wouldn’t it? Then all that’s required is that the man must do his bit to make it official.
Romantic location, carefully chosen perfectly fitting ring, rapturous acceptance, tears, joy, etc, etc. Do women have to loiter in auspicious locations like children reluctant to hand on the pass the parcel?
So if you’ve got to the last day of February 2016 and you think it’s a good idea to surprise your chap with a proposal it’s worth asking yourself a few key questions.
Are you still a spinster because your hinting skills are deficient. Did you not make it clear with subtle signals that the time is right and he should get a move on and put a ring on it?
Are his hint receptors stuffed? In which case do you want a hint impaired husband? Think about it, you can try your hardest and you’ll never be ‘surprised’ by a present you actually want. Social occasions will be fraught and punctuated by ‘why are you kicking me under the table?’ embarrassments.
Maybe, he’s just not that into you and you’re facing a Feb 29 fiasco. He’s just not asked because he does not want to marry you. Not very romantic, but it’s a possibility.
I’d say that if you’re considering popping the question today, the chances are you won’t get a happy ending.
Better would be to use this year’s extra day to ditch this sexist tradition and campaign for something much better to do with a leap day.
What do you reckon? Leap into the unknown day. The day you pick something of the menu you’ve never had before. Read a new book. Smile at the stranger. Sign up for that course. Book those tickets. Turn left not right. You know, a leap of faith. Say ‘I do’ to what you really want.