Happy Sadie Hawkins’ Day!
Since ancient Rome was in power, an extra day has been added to February, giving the month it’s 29th day every four years. Due to the rarity of this day, many traditions have been created over time.
Since the day is so unusual, it has prompted different cultures over the years to come up with and permit some unusual activities during leap year. Here are a few I found in my research:
1. Women proposing marriage is the most common bucking of tradition for February 29th during a leap year. Some say this break from tradition is good for the entire year while others restrict the action to just the 29th.
2. According to legends, Saint Patrick of Ireland was the originator of this custom during the fifth century. He was supposedly responding to a woman’s complaints about waiting for a man to propose (see women have been going through this since way back when).
3. Scotland’s Queen Margaret created a law in 1288 that actually imposed a fine on men who refused a marriage proposal during a leap year. Of course the fine varied from a simple kiss, to a silk dress to money.
4. Denmark has a similar tradition. If a woman proposes on February 24th and the man refuses, she must be compensated with 12 pairs of gloves. (I’d rather have the cash thank you very much.)
5. A modern leap year custom in the United States is Sadie Hawkins’ Day which allows women to choose a partner, usually at a dance. Surprisingly, this comes from the comic strip Li’l Abner which included a character named Sadie Hawkins. She was considered a desperate woman living in a small town – Dogpatch. Someone granted her one day to chase single men and that is why today, American women are in the habit of asking a man out or asking him for a dance on the 29t of February.
Will you take advantage of Sadie Hawkins’ Day? Is this your chance to feel empowered and ask that guy you’ve been talking to or thinking about on a date? Since this is the one day in four years that you do have this opportunity, are you brave enough to follow through?
As a dating coach for women over 40, I’m not taking sides to say if you should or shouldn’t. But, if you are one of those women who feels you’ll expire if you don’t ask some hot guy out, this is your chance. If you are dating over 40 or dating after divorce, what the heck right?
Men say they like when a woman makes the first move. Personally I don’t think that is the true answer. Yes, its exciting and flattering! Yes they might go with you. But every time I ask a man if they like it when a woman makes the first move and they say “Yes!”, here’s the problem. How do they get another date. Listen carefully to this switching up of the situation.
Every man I have ever got a positive answer about a woman asking him out has said, that if he likes the woman, the way he gets a second date is to ask her! In other words, he returns to his traditional role and takes over pursuit.
So , if you want to leverage Sadie Hawkins’ Day and ask a man out on a date, please only do it once! If he likes you and the idea, HE WILL ASK YOU for the next date.
Another crucial insight…men who get asked out on dates by women think they’ll get lucky without much effort on their part. This is simply assumed because you are the aggressor. Please keep that in mind and don’t be surprised if a man comes on to you.
OK ladies – get busy if you are going to do this today!
Photo Credit: Stephen Poff
Research Credit: Jennifer Maughan