Leap Day is upon us! This elusive extra day on the calendar comes but once every four years, and it means big things for romance. You see, in Ireland Leap Day has a strong feminist overtone: on February 29, proposals become a sort of Sadie Hawkins dance as ladies pop the question.
Now, we know it’s 2016 and a woman can ask her man for his hand any day of the year, but as Amy Adams showed us in her movie Leap Year — the tradition is fun, flirty and full of excitement!
Don’t hate, Declan, she winds up with you at the end!
According to Irish legend, the lovely Saint Brigid made a deal with Saint Patrick. One day every four years, a lady may propose to her fellow. Rumor has it that the tradition was started to balance gender roles, much as Leap Day is designed to balance the lunar calendar.
We love the idea so much, we just had to hear from some awesome ladies who popped the question. Get ready to feel the love!
Ten years ago, my husband and I had been living together for years. We’d both been married before, and I was gunshy about taking the plunge again. He knew this, so he’d casually proposed several times, oh-so-gently suggesting; I oh-so-gently turned him down. On a business trip to Hong Kong, I watched Sleepless in Seattle on the 24-hour plane trip. I’m not usually sentimental, but for some reason, that stupid little movie broke me. When I arrived in Hong Kong, I called him up and said, “I think we should get married.” And that, as they say, was that. – Jenn Bennett, author
My partner and I were having ongoing talks about marriage and proposals for months, and I made it very clear that I would like a say in the timing of such a life-changing event. We wanted to subvert the narrative of women in heterosexual relationships waiting and waiting, and we also knew that we wanted to exchange meaningful gifts. My partner agreed—neither of us is terribly traditional (we may have booked the wedding venue before the proposal even happened?)—and together we chose our three-year anniversary date to be Proposal Day.
I surprised him with a trip to Breakneck Ridge about 90 minutes north of NYC, and he presented me with an Engagement Crossword Puzzle on the train ride up. We did some hiking, and both of us waited for opportune moments to propose to each other (him by a creek after we’d washed our hands, me under some willow trees). It was great to not have the stress of ONE SINGLE MOMENT to build up to, since we knew it was going to happen that day regardless. He gave me a vintage-inspired ring (which I also endlessly pondered over—why a ring? Why couldn’t it be something else? Should I ask for a bicycle instead?) and I gave him a watch he’d wanted for ages. There were tearful speeches, hugs, kisses, questionable ice cream and friends to celebrate with at a neighborhood bar when we got home. – Faye Bi, publicist
I first met my husband in Analytical Chemistry. He was this bearded dude who looked like he hadn’t had his hair cut in four years. With all that hair and beard I thought he had to be 40 or something. Not 19. I was 18 and trying my hardest in this class where 20 percent was participation. (In a chemistry class!) The instructor was an older man who believed that only men should be in science and he never called on women. Meaning every time the professor called on this bearded man I got so angry!
It took almost six months for me to realize this bearded man was a 19-year-old amazing man who became my best friend and not the man I should hate because I didn’t fit into a professor’s narrow-minded views. Four years later we went on a trip together as friends and came back as a couple.
After wasting so much time without him, I truly didn’t want to wait any longer. So instead of waiting for him to propose to me, before we decided on grad schools and a future that might not include one another, I stood in front of him and asked him to marry me.
I’m shorter than he is to the point he has to lower his head to kiss me even on my tip toes so when he said yes and blushed, he was the one to kiss me first. We’ve been married for over six years now and I can’t picture my life without him. — Carrie Ann Ryan, author
So ladies, if you’re ready for marriage and you’re with the one you love, today is your day! Turn the tables, get down on one knee and pop that question! (Then tell us all about it, we want to hear!)