Every four years we add an extra day to the calendar: February 29th or Leap Day. This has been happening since 45 B.C., when Julius Caesar introduced the Julian calendar, a reform to the contemporary Roman calendar. Allegedly, in Ireland, sometime between 450 and 525 A.D., St. Brigid struck a deal with St. Patrick allowing women to propose to men on the extra day. Thus, women have the opportunity to break away from tradition, while paradoxically still maintaining some tradition, once every 1,424 days.
Though the tradition of women proposing to men on leap day exists, many would be mortified by the prospect. One women, Jade, was bold enough to break traditional roles in the name of the Leap Year.
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Jade met Josh in Hawaii, through mutual friends, during her high school senior year. According to Jade, Josh was a “skater boy” back then. She was instantly attracted to his sense of humor, laidback style, and of course, good looks. Friendship blossomed and by the summer, the two were officially dating. The date was June 13, 2010. A year later, Jade moved to California, living at first with her Uncle, before Josh followed behind.
In November of last year, Jade had dinner with friends, who were recently engaged. They had been dating a year longer than her and Josh, and were anxious to know when Josh would pop the question. Jade thought, "Josh will wait until he’s absolutely sure of my response, it could be when we’re forty.” So, her friend suggested she pop the question instead. Coincidentally, that friend, who made the suggestion, was born on leap day. She wouldn’t make the connection until later though, when she saw a facebook post prompting women to partake in the leap day proposal.
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That was in January of this year. She had two short months to plan the proposal. Though she thought about getting down on one knee, she didn’t want to present Josh with a ring the traditional way. That’s when she found Tree Hut and had her eureka moment. She decided an engraved watch would the perfect alternative. On the back, she engraved, “Will you marry me?” She hid the watch among confetti within a In-and-Out fry box. Josh loves In-n-Out; in fact, he wanted to go days before the 29th, but perhaps suspiciously, Jade insisted they wait.
Come the 29th, Jade asked a few friends to hide outside of in-n-out with balloons ready. After the meal, when Josh left his seat to throw away the trash, she placed the box where in his seat. When he returned, he was confused and at first thought the box was also trash. In response, Jade lightly teased, “It’s not trash.” She prompted him to look within the box.
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Even after he saw the cute note she wrote relaying her love and instructing him to turn the watch over, he was confused. Then he understood, she wasn’t just having a cute conversation, or giving him a just-because gift, she was proposing to him.
They had talked about marriage in the past, and she felt confident he would accept. Time slowed down and she held her breath waiting for some kind of response. When the confusion subsided, he looked at her, and happily accepted her proposal.
Though it’s only been a few days since the engagement, they know they want to have a summer wedding, back in Hawaii with all their family and friends. When I asked Jade if she planned to the break tradition of changing her last name, she was unsure. She grew up with only sisters and thought she would always keep her maiden name, since there aren’t any boys to carry on the family name. Now she’s open to hyphenating, but it’s a conversation her and Josh will have to have.
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It can be really scary for a women to ask a man to marry her, but remember men who propose are probably equally scared and unsure of the woman’s response. So ladies, bold ladies, be proud that you know what you want, take a chance, partake in leap day, and you might just be surprised by how relieved your significant other is to have you take control.
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