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Hart Beat

Watch out...it's Leap Year

February 2004 has zipped right past me. I survived Feb. 14, thanks to a lovely Yakima Valley Merlot and nice box of chocolates in an Elvis Presley heart-shaped tin. But there is one more day to survive before I can say "adieu" to the fair, if dangerous month of February.

Feb. 29 lurks on the horizon as a day on which IF I were in a relationship and IF I were crazy enough to consider the advisability of it, I might take the ultimate leap.

Yes, dear hearts, leap year is upon us. So, according to legend, all of the feminine lonely hearts may, without embarrassment, take advantage of the day to propose marriage to some unsuspecting man.

It's an intriguing notion. However, I assure you, I have no intention of taking advantage to my right to propose marriage to some poor fella. Even if it is leap year, that would not be a sporting thing to do to any person of the male persuasion.

However, I do feel a responsibility to my sisters to suggest that they certainly are not bound by my matrimonial squeamishness. No one will consider you too forward if you want to take the leap.

Single women for centuries have marked Feb. 29 on their calendar as the day when it is perfectly acceptable to ask the man of their dreams to marry. The right of a woman to propose matrimony on Feb. 29 dates back to the days when English law simply ignored the extra day in February. Englishmen simply leaped over Feb. 29. It was considered a day that had no legal status, so it seemed reasonable to the young, single English lasses that wedding traditions had no status, either.

So those women, who were concerned about facing the dreaded prospect of spinster hood, took advantage of the "non" day to propose to the man they wished to marry.

Granted, we now live in much more enlightened times. A modern woman need not be shy about seeking the hand of the man she wants to marry. In fact, more women are asking the question than ever before. According to a recent study conducted by a champagne company, women are not content to sit back and wait on their man to "pop" the question. Independent women are stepping up to ask "Will you marry me?"

I say, "do it, if the mood strikes ya, Sister."

Thankfully, men are apparently not being put off by the forwardness of their significant others as apparently eight out of 10 men are saying "yes," according to the survey.

I heartily approve of this role reversal trend - for other people - naturally. I, on the other hand, have no intention of going anywhere near an altar except to take communion or for the christening of a baby.

Now, I do not object to celebrating a lesser known holiday. I have circled Nov. 15 on my pocket calendar as "Sadie Hawkins" Day, a day on which a woman may ask a man to "go a courtin'."

Fortunately, I don't have to worry about Sadie Hawkins Day rolling around for another nine months. For now, let's just get pass Feb. 29 and then we'll worry about Nov. 15.

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