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article imageOp-Ed: Will Leap Day be the day I propose?

By Sarah Millar     Feb 28, 2012 in Lifestyle
I'm more than a quarter of the way through my life (if I live to be 100), which means Hollywood has taught me a few things.
It has taught me that someday my prince will come, everyone has a happily ever after and that you're nothing until you've got a man.
OK, so maybe Hollywood isn't the best of teachers. But there has to be some kernels of truth in the movies it produces, right?
Which leads us to the Amy Adams-Matthew Goode film Leap Year, which is where I first learned of an Irish tradition which allows women to propose marriage to their boyfriends every Leap Year on Feb. 29.
I had been dating Keith, my Irish boyfriend, for a few months when we rented the movie upon its 2010 release. When I told him the premise of the movie — about a woman who learns of this tradition and follows her boyfriend to Ireland to propose since he won't already — Keith's response was simple.
"That's false," he commented. "No such tradition exists in Ireland."
But that was in 2010, when it wasn't a Leap Year and there wasn't a February 29.
In the two years since we first watched that movie some things haven't changed — my ringless left ring finger being one of them.
Something that has changed is Keith's attitude on this so called Irish tradition. Now, he doesn't exactly say the tradition doesn't exist.
"You only can propose to a man on Feb. 29 if you're in Ireland," he explained to me a few weeks ago.
Of course, he was quick to add: "Which we won't be."
The legend goes something like this: Women were given the right to propose to men back in the fifth century by St. Patrick after St. Bridget complained to him that women had to wait around for men to propose to them. So we got this one day every four years we could take matters into our own hands.
But do women actually do it?
The Western Advocate in Australia has an interview with a jewellery store sales associate about whether the store has seen women coming in looking for engagement rings to pop the question to their boyfriends.
“I do remember some years back a girl came in on February 29, bought her own ring and proposed to her boyfriend, but it was a while ago,” Tania Reedy told the paper.
“She came in, chose the ring and went and proposed. She was very excited about it.”
I took the question to my Twitter followers to see what they thought. Here's some of the reaction I received:
Twitter screenshot
Twitter screenshot
So will I pop the question this Wednesday? I'm not sure.
Call me old-fashion and anti-feminist, but I think I'd still like to see my partner get down on bended knee, hold a ring out to me and ask for my hand in marriage.
Of course, if my finger remains bare in four years time, I might change my mind about that.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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