Ladies, it’s your year!  I guess you realize by now that this is leap year, which of course means we get an extra day.  I can remember this by the old nursery school poem:

          Thirty days hath September 

          April, June and November

           All the rest have thirty-one

           Except for February alone

           Which hath but twenty-eight, in fine  

           Til leap year gives it twenty-nine!                                                                                               

One of the traditions going back for at least four centuries, is that women get to propose marriage to men during leap year.  So don’t be shy – run out there and snag your man! 

Unless you are Greek.  In that case superstition says it is bad luck to wed during a leap year.  But I suppose there’s no harm in getting engaged.  Just wait til 2013 to tie the knot.

St. Bridget is rumored to have proposed to St. Patrick in Ireland but I think she had something besides marriage to him in mind.  She was probably just campaigning for a little equality – and he was busy with the snakes – so they compromised on the right of women to propose to men in every fourth year.  That’s my version anyway.

I used to worry about the babies born on February 29th – known as ‘leaplings’ or ‘leapers’.  This was when I was young and enjoyed celebrating my birthday.  Now I can definitely see the advantage to 75% fewer of them.  That would make me…well…much younger!  Now I would settle for a face cream that would give me 75% fewer wrinkles, or a delicious slice of chocolate cake with 75% fewer calories.  But I digress.

Some cultures consider leap year to be auspicious and lucky; others see it as a bad omen for crops and animals.  The Mayans obviously thought this leap year was going to be particularly bad for us earthlings.  And now that I realize that it coincides with Presidential elections, I’m thinking it isn’t all that lucky for us either.  It apparently causes a great amount of name calling and back biting and accusations of flipping and flopping and the general lack of manners and civility among the greatest men and women who ask us to vote for them.  At least I hope it is the influence of leap year and not a lack of character.

And I hope you will do something extraordinary with your extra day this year.  Perhaps you might exercise your right to propose something to the man in your life – even if you are already married.  You could invite him to dinner, dancing, star gazing, whatever suits your fancy – because it is leap year and that means ladies’ choice!