Yes, today is Leap Day—the day that only appears on our calendar every four years. Some have suggested that Leap Day is a good day to do things that you’ve been putting off. You have an extra twenty-four hours this year. Make good use of them.
There are a few traditions around Leap Day. In Ireland, it is said that St. Brigid convinced St. Patrick that women should be able to propose on Leap Day, thus making a little bit of balance to gender roles like the extra day balances the calendar. In some countries the day is known as “Bachelor’s Day,” and men are expected to pay a penalty of a gown or money to any woman whose proposal they refuse. If a man refuses a Leap Day marriage proposal in many European countries, he must buy the woman twelve pairs of gloves so she can hide the fact that she has no engagement ring.
Here’s the trailer from the movie, Leap Year, in which a young woman’s plan to propose to her boyfriend on Leap Day takes her on an unexpected journey.
In the first book of my Village of Hope series, Second Chance Reunion, the heroine proposes to the hero. Here’s an excerpt.
Ian spun around. His heart lodged in his throat. Annie’s blue eyes sparkled with life—the new life she had forged with God at her side. He wanted more than anything to be part of that life. Sharing his love with this woman who was beautiful inside and out would make his life complete. She was everything he needed. “You’re here. I just tried to call you. Then I heard your voice, and it confused me.”
Annie smiled like she knew something he didn’t. “Do we eat first or talk?”
“Eat. I don’t like cold pizza.” He went to the desk and opened the pizza box next to the paper plates. Plus, he needed more time to prepare himself for what he planned to do.
They ate and talked some about their workday. Annie told him about the success of her parents’ visit. She seemed happy. They were having a congenial conversation. Was he going to upset everything with his proposal? He needed to get her finance discussion out of the way before he talked himself out of this declaration of his love.
He put his half-eaten slice of pizza on the plate. “What do you have to tell me about the finances? I hope it’s good news.”
“It’s better than good. It’s fantastic, stupendous, marvelous and a godsend.” Annie reached into her purse and brought out an envelope. “Here. Take a look.”
Ian opened the envelope and pulled out a check. He blinked, then blinked again. His mouth dropped open. He looked at Annie. “From your parents?”
Smiling, she nodded. “I told you it was fabulous news.”
He grinned so broadly that he didn’t think his face could contain it. He took Annie’s hand and pulled her to her feet, then twirled her around the room. When he stopped, he put his hands on her shoulders. “This means we can pay off debts and have money left over.”
“And I have a plan to put the leftover money in a trust. I want to run it by you tonight and then the finance committee tomorrow before we present it to the board.”
“Wonderful, but I have something to say before you tell me about your plan.”
Annie stepped away and held up both hands in front of her. “I have something to say, too. Ladies first, right?”
“Okay, ladies first.” If she kept finding ways to put him off, would he lose his nerve?
Annie took a deep breath, then licked her lips. “I’ve said some of this before, but I want to say it one more time. I’m sorry I ruined our marriage. I’m thankful that you’ve forgiven me, and I want to…I want to start over.”
“Please let me finish.” Annie held up one hand.
“Okay.” His heart raced. She wanted to start over. That was a good sign.
“I’m sorry too about the way I reacted the other day. You saved my life. I was on a path to ruin. If not for what you did, I might have died of an overdose. Losing Kara and Spencer was a turning point for me. I had to get help. Forgive me again?” Annie held her breath.
“I should’ve told you from the beginning.” Ian shook his head. “But I never thought we’d come to a point where we wanted to be together again. Where do we go from here?”
Her heart thudding, Annie finally breathed. “I don’t want to waste any more time being apart. I love you, Ian Montgomery. Kara told me you said you’d marry me and be a daddy to my kids if I asked you. So I’m asking. Will you marry me again?”
Ian stood there, stunned, his mouth hanging open again. She had beaten him to the proposal. Bless little Kara.
“I’m sorry if Kara put words in your mouth. I’m sorry if I put you on the spot with my proposal.” Annie dropped her gaze to the floor.
Ian went down on one knee in front of Annie. He looked up into her face. “You didn’t put me on the spot. You just beat me to it. I love you, and I love your kids. I want to start over, too. I’ll marry you and be a daddy to your children.” He fished in his pocket for the ring case. He pulled it out and popped it open. “I bought this for you.”
Do you have any special plans for Leap Day? Do you know someone who was born on Leap Day?
I’ll be giving away the first two books in my Village of Hope series to someone who leaves a comment on today’s blog post. I will pick a winner on March 2, 2016.