According to the Washington Associated Press, 75 percent of Americans are OK with the idea of a woman popping the question. However, only somewhere around 5 percent actually do. What’s up with that, ladies? Generations fought hard to earn our rights to education, equal pay and voting privileges. Surely it should be no stretch for us now to do the ring shopping, right? Most of us are pretty much awesome at shopping, anyway.
Still, even in today’s forward-thinking culture, woman-to-man proposals remain a bit taboo with some insisting that reversing the roles emasculates the groom-to-be and makes the future bride seem, well, pushy.
But let’s face it—men aren’t always the best with expressing their emotions. As long as we’re throwing statistics around, a 2014 study found that three-quarters of men would rather self-administer electric shocks than be alone in a room with their thoughts. No kidding, sister—you might be waiting a while…
…except this February happens to be a Leap Year. What does that mean, exactly? Picture it: fifth century Ireland. St. Patrick gets an earful from St. Bridget about the discrimination of it all. Why should we sit around pining for a proposal all the time? This is so unfair! Can’t you fix it? So he did—sort of. He granted the fairer sex one day a year to propose to their beloveds sans scorn. The catch was that this particular day only came around once every four years. Well played, St. Patty.
And his handiwork might have gone to waste, too, if it hadn’t been for that meddling Margret, Queen of Scotland. In 1288 she reinstated the ancient tradition, complete with fines for any man who refused a girl’s bended knee. Payment included, but wasn’t limited to, a silk dress, a pair of gloves or a simple monetary gift of one pound—that law probably wasn’t ever abused or anything.
Fast-forward almost seven centuries later, and the Lil’ Abner comic strip renames the whole thing and dumbs it down. Behold: Sadie Hawkins Day. Now we get to ask guys out on dates. So much for that silk dress…
Today, Leap Day can be celebrated by grabbing discounts, eating frog legs (OK, this is just getting strange), and yes, proposing to your man. If anyone looks at you sideways for doing so, go ahead and blame history—it’ll make you feel smarter, and, hopefully your finger a carat-or-so heavier.