Taking matrimonial bliss into our own hands

pizza proposal

“Will you be my…husband?” is something few men ever hear coming from the mouths of the women they love. And yet, a survey conducted in 2003 by Korbel Champagne found that one in three Americans know a woman who has proposed marriage to a man. They also found that 70% of Americans agree that it’s socially acceptable for women to propose marriage to men, almost 50% of all women would propose to their significant other, and a whopping 80% of men would accept a proposal from their significant other.

According to columnist Dennie Hughes of USA Weekend Magazine, the good news is that no diamond is required. But there are still some important factors to consider.

The most important thing is that it shouldn’t come as a total shock to your intended. Be sure marriage is something you’ve both discussed and agreed on. Then, consider his comfort level (how does he feel about private vs. public proposals?), write out a speech from the heart, plan, rehearse (especially if family or friends are involved) and deliver.

That’s all well and good. Sure, I could pop the question, but doing so would just make The Beard stutter like he does when I toss out such give-him-hell gems as, “You’re never going to be ready to get married, are you?”

I guess there is always Leap Year.

Leap Year was the traditional time that women could propose marriage…When the rules of courtship were stricter, women were only allowed to pop the question on one day every four years. That day was February 29th.

It is believed this tradition was started in 5th century Ireland when St. Bridget complained to St. Patrick about women having to wait for so long for a man to propose. So, according to legend, St. Patrick said the yearning females could propose on this one day in February during the Leap Year.

The first documentation of this practice dates back to 1288, when Scotland passed a law that allowed women to propose marriage to the man of their choice in that year. They also made it law that any man who declined a proposal in a Leap Year must pay a fine. The fine could range from a kiss to payment for a silk dress or a pair of gloves.

10 Responses to “Taking matrimonial bliss into our own hands”

  1. Kai Jones says:

    I proposed to my current husband, with the simple phrase, “Let’s get married!” It was in response to his discovery that (a) his roommate was moving out–to live with a woman that we introduced him to, and (b) the lease on their apartment would be up in a few months.

  2. Never teh Bride says:

    That sounds so wonderfully simple, Kai. Can your husband talk to The Beard for me?

  3. Megaera says:

    woo! So you mean to tell me that on Leap Year in Scotland, if some woman wanted to get a pretty, new outfit, she could propose to some man who had his eye on another woman!!!!! SWEET!!!!!!! ‘Course if he said yes, that might be a pickle, but come on, you could find some man who was set on marrying some other woman…mmm silk dress…mmm other people paying for it…

  4. Anna says:

    Never teh Bride,

    You should give The Beard an ultimatum: Marry you or get out. Maybe that will get the wheels rolling.

  5. Kourtney says:

    *wince* oooh, ultimatums are not so great. You’ve already started with a time frame & a ‘conversation’; let that simmer in his brain for a while.

  6. JayKay says:

    I agree…ultimatums never work out well for anyone…
    And, no matter what the situation, I’ve found that pushing the issue has similar results…
    Men are kinda slow sometimes (my DJ included) and it takes ’em a while to realize a good thing…but one day, the idea to act on said good thing will fall out of the clear blue sky and hit him on the head…and then its like buttah, baby!
    Hang in there, dear…your day is coming 🙂

  7. Never teh Bride says:

    Thanks for the encouragement, JayKay! It’s a tough spot for both of us. THe Beard is truly wonderful – honest, caring, gentle, responsible, trustworthy, etc. so I don’t want to lose him. But I was brought up to see marriage as highly important while in his family marriage doesn’t carry as much weight. It’s a case of clashing ideologies.

  8. Freyja says:

    I proposed to my husband on his birthday, after the usual… intimate festivities. We were basking and I pulled a lovely watch from under the bed and just asked.

    It doesn’t have to be an ultimatum. There’s no reason that you should have to languish and wait for him to be ready to buy you with a big ol’ rock. If getting married is important to you, take control of your destiny and pop the question!

  9. Knows says:

    Obviously it will never happen for you. Through what I see, it’ll be years before that “man” of yours does anything useful, nevermind propose.

  10. The problem I have with the whole Woman proposing thing, does the girl still get a ring? I’m not obsessed with the ring idea, just, is it rude to then want one?