Keep cut-throat razor at the ready

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No pressure.

No pressure at all, chaps.

Only tomorrow, there she’s going to be, heart, hope and a mengagement ring in her outstretched hand, doing what you should have done anywhere between six years and six months ago.

It’s February 29, Leap Year Day, her once-every-four-year opportunity to ask her man to go for keepsies.

And come Wed-nesday, don’t go blaming her if you suddenly feel emasculated and hemmed into a morning suit fitting; it’s all your own fault. You should have shaped up or shipped out long ago.

Your last chance probably came and went as Valentine’s day drew to a close and you’d proposed nothing more than a sizzling platter two-for-one and a mutual bout of indigestion.

So she’s figured, along with scores of other women who have got sick of waiting for their man to propose, that it’s best if she takes matters into her own hands.

It’s more common thank you think. Almost 10 per cent of proposals are from women to men. Monica proposed to Chandler in Friends and so did Miranda to Steve in Sex and the City.

So help you God if you go and tell her the answer’s no, though. You might as well pack your bags because a woman thwarted does not forgive or forget.

Try as you might to reassure her that she’s just right for you, only the timing isn’t, she won’t buy it. Because you’re lying, really, aren’t you?

You don’t want to commit because even though she cooks you lovely teas and washes your pants, you still just might bump into Elle Macpherson. And if you’re already married, well, Elle’s not going to give you a second glance, is she?

And if you want to blame someone for giving women the power to pop the question on Leap Year day, lay it at the mummified feet of Queen Margaret of Scotland. She was the one who made it law, with the added proviso that any woman scorned was eligible to a kiss and a silk gown from the hound-dog himself. Not that any woman today is going to be happy with either of those things if you’ve just rebuffed her proposal. All she’s going to want is a cut-throat razor and a jam jar.

I have to say I don’t agree with women doing the proposing, though. I think it smacks of desperation, not emancipation.

However, now I come to think of it, I kind of popped the question to my first husband. In my defence, I was very young. Too young. By my 21st birthday we’d bought a house together. And when, a year later, the Chancellor announced he was upping the married person’s allowance in the Budget I said I thought it made sense for us to get married. We couldn’t afford a stair carpet at the time.

For once, he didn’t disagree with me and a big white wedding was arranged, which meant my dad had to get a huge bank loan and we couldn’t afford that stair carpet for years. By the time we could, we were getting divorced.

If you ARE a woman pining for matrimony and nothing can dissuade you from going for it tomorrow, may I suggest you ask yourself if you are utterly sure you want him for keeps and it’s not a case of desiring what you can’t quite have.

Do ensure he doesn’t have a stash of hidden credit card debt or a secret criminal record. Or worse, a secret wife stash.

Don’t get down on one knee, because you’ll look too needy and if he says no, getting swiftly to your feet in an elegant fashion is not going to be easy. And have the cut-throat razor and the jam jar visible. They might act as an incentive.