Leap Year

Forty years ago today, on a chairlift in Cortina, Italy, I asked my husband to marry me, and he said “no”. Back then, February 29th was the only day women were “permitted” to ask men to dance (or marry). But then women didn’t go skiing in Europe with their boyfriends either. I remember finding a letter addressed to me from my mother on the hall table in the chalet where we stayed. She would not have been happy to hear that I was registered with my "married" name. Of course the owner had no idea that I was the intended recipient of the letter since there was no one with my name staying there.

Peter didn’t actually say “no” that day. He said, “When it’s time to ask, I’ll do the asking.” Since we were high on a chair lift in Italy, I couldn’t exactly get up and storm out of the relationship. Which was lucky because four months later he did ask, and forty years later, I can say it was worth waiting.


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