The British Isles started the tradition of women only being allowed to propose to man on February 29th of a leap year. Interestingly, particularly for these austere times, if the proposal was met with a refusal, then it was traditional for men to pay a fine to the woman in the shape of £100 or a silk gown or – as in Denmark – 10 pairs of gloves.
So if you could do with the cash, have a tendency to lose gloves or genuinely have found that man or woman that you are prepared to exclusively have sex with for the rest of your life, then here are some tips for women on how to do it.
Whether it’s printing “Think of the Tax Breaks!” on a billboard or taking the opportunity at half-time during the football, you must be sure that you are going to get a positive answer. A public forum does not necessarily mean your beau will be embarrassed into saying yes as this painful film demonstrates. If you are still unsure of which answer you will get but you really want those gloves (bear in mind the refusal fine is not legally binding) or you are really OK with being humiliated in front of thousands of people, do bear in mind that the only football teams playing tonight are Sheffield United, Scunthorpe, Ayr, Ross County, Arbroath, and Airdrie. That doesn’t bode well now does it?
Flash mobs (or any variation on singing and dancing your proposal)
Do Not Do This Under Any Circumstances. To arrange a flash-mob to encircle your beloved and perform an awkward zumba class will reveal yourself to be a despicable human being. If, in fact, they would enjoy such a ghastly experience, then they will show themselves to be without shame and therefore likely to climb on a table during the wedding reception to perform their John Prescott impression with their buttocks. You have been warned.
The Engagement ring
This is incredibly difficult area when a woman is doing the proposing. If you are proposing to a woman you’ll still need to fork out for a diamond while heterosexual men in Britain rarely wear engagement rings. Thus when you are on bended knee to a man, what are you going to proffer? They might appreciate a slice of cake, but this hardly has the symbolism of a ring. So try to find something ring-like that says “man”. My heart is telling me cock-ring but my head is telling me “your heart has the sense of humour of a 12 year old”. Also in capitalism’s rush to make us buy useless things, engagement rings for men are now being marketed as “management rings”. Only propose with one of these if you met your partner at a strategic business procurement conference because you’re clearly made for each other.
On bended knee
It is convention that you propose on bended knee which both discriminates against the arthritic or those who cannot sit down or stand up without making an “ooft” noise. Also, there is a high chance that a loved one may misconstrue the action of a woman kneeling down in front of them as the start of a sexual encounter. If you hear the sound of a fly being unzipped you have got perhaps 10 seconds to get through your proposal, so make it quick.
Don’t be too creative
Some people chose to propose while bungee-jumping or jet-skiing or somesuch. Presumably, they are under the impression that your potential betrothed will be so petrified they will say yes. But even something as simple as dropping a ring into a drink can result in your romantic gesture being delayed by the digestive tract of your loved one. No one wants their engagement to begin with searching for jewellery in their own faecal matter. Keep it simple; Hand Them The Ring.
All of the old cartoons of women proposing on a leap year depict ugly desperate women running after poor freedom-loving bachelors . Uphold this honoured tradition by clawing at their legs while you pop the question and sobbing. Why not wear your already-bought bridal gown? And entice them by taking pictures of yourself in the dress and photo-shopping your soon-to-be fiancé in? Nothing says “there’s no going back” like a tattoo of their face under an “I Love My Hubby” t’shirt. You’ll get a yes or a restraining order, either way your relationship will finally be legally defined.
Alternatively, women save yourselves embarrassment, rejection, expense and awkwardness by blissfully living in sin. We can then use 29th February for other things that we are not generally allowed to do; such as being a government minister.