February 29, 2008

leap to it, ladies.

q. shenaynay

It only comes around once every four years, so don't waste it, ladies! It being high noon, you've now got exactly twelve hours to proposition some handsome fellow.

What? You didn't know ladies could propose on February 29th? Oh my. Quick, let QS get you up to speed before all the coaches turn back into pumpkins.

Throughout recorded history, there's been a tradition allowing women to propose marriage anytime during a leap year. But somewhere in the murky past, men who felt this put them at too great a risk managed to get it whittled down to a one day deal: February 29th. (Cheeky chaps.)

Some folk historians believe the tradition started with Saint Patrick or Brigid of Kildare in 5th century Ireland. In 13th century Scotland,there was a law under young Queen Margaret that required a man to pay fines if he refused a marriage proposal in a leap year; Wikipedia says "compensation ranged from a kiss to £1 to a silk gown, in order to soften the blow."

Women who were in a courting mood were, in some western cultures, expected to wear scarlet petticoats as fair warning. How racy is that?

So get after it, girls. Fetch your red skirts and get a move on. March is only 12 hours away.


Dani said...

If only Gary had waited a bit longer to ask me. haha :)

JCrew Mama said...


G.L.H. said...

In 1940, my father told my mother that if she wanted to marry him, *she* had better ask, as he was in no way going to propose to her during a Leap Year!

elliebird said...

aw man, I missed it.

HandmaidenforHim said...

Oh, well, it's now past, and I didn't even think to propose to anyone. ;) Do you think we could start a petition to have it yet again throughout the leap year?

rachel tsunami said...

yes, elliebird. Mommy had the internet blocked that day to disarm Auntie Lynn's reminder to you girls. I know her intentions were....historical, but we need only one family wedding at a time.