So it's 2008 - another leap year (yes it's divisible by four) but do we really care? After all, adding an extra day to February is just prolonging the already too long winter and is yet another day we have to go to work. But surely we've waited four years for something better. In August, there's the Beijing Olympics to look forward to - an incredible choice of 28 sports and 10,500 athletes to watch. In November, we'll finally know who will succeed George Bush as US President after what seems months of primary elections. And we should not forget that, for girls, this leap year could be the perfect opportunity to pin down that man.
Traditionally, men have always done the proposing leaving women to play the waiting game. Will he? Won't he? When should I give up? Of course, there are not the same pressures on women to wait silently these days. Women are more self-reliant and assertive than ever and quite able to question their man on his intentions or actually do the proposing themselves. But an age old custom known as “The Ladies' Privilege” has allowed women to propose to their man on 29th February, a day which happens once every four years and used to be ignored, or “leapt over”, in English Law.
Girl power is rife, but what girl doesn't have an inkling of romance and tradition when it comes to weddings and babies? Girls are brought up on happy ever after Disney princess classics with demure girls being swept off their feet by handsome princes declaring their undying love. If there's one day when ladies rather than ladettes rule, it has to be a wedding day and reverting to an old tradition by proposing on 29th February adds a certain distinction.
A 29th February proposal is memorable in its own right but this is a girl's opportunity to propose in the way she wants to ensure it remains a special memory. Men often believe that it's a good idea to put their girl on the spot by popping the question in front of a crowd but actually that may be totally overwhelming. Deciding where and how to ask the question can be difficult but a joint interest should be a good source of inspiration. A time when you're having fun together whether it's climbing a mountain, walking on a sunset beach, scuba diving, or just enjoying a good meal.
Doing the proposing leaves a girl open to rejection but should the man turn the proposal down he needs reminding that tradition says that he should buy her a silk gown or a pair of gloves. I'd recommend updating this to a weekend at a health spa to get over the rejection or perhaps just paying for a night out with the girls. But let's hope that he says yes to the proposal and then all that's left to do is to buy a ring, organise the wedding and get on with married life.