An extra day ... but no extra pay

Aasma...who's writing this column today for free...ponders the pitfalls of proposals

By The Newsroom
Monday, 29th February 2016, 10:24 am
Updated Monday, 29th February 2016, 11:31 am
Aasma Day, Lancashire Evening Post
Aasma Day, Lancashire Evening Post

As you are reading this column today, spare a thought to the fact that I am being subjected to slave labour.

Shackled to my desk churning out words and carrying out in-depth interviews, my employers are cruelly not paying me a penny for my efforts.

While you wipe a tear from your eye in sympathy for me (or cackle with amusement), consider this: if you’re a salaried worker and slaving away at work today, you’re also likely to be working for free.

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The Aasma Day Column: Leaping into a Leap Year proposal

Today is that elusive day, February 29, as 2016 is a Leap Year with 366 days … the question is how will you spend the extra 24 hours handed to you?

I certainly won’t be spending the extra cash I’ll be raking in today seeing as it amounts to a big fat zero. However, if you’re paid an hourly rate based on when you clock in and clock out, you’ll be quids in.

But for the poor – literally – people like me on an annual salary, it doesn’t matter if the year contains 365 or 366 days – we get paid the same.

So bosses everywhere will be rubbing their hands in glee at the prospect of extracting unpaid overtime from their employees. One extra day but no extra pay.

The Aasma Day Column: Leaping into a Leap Year proposal

If it cheers you up, you’ll be getting a “free” day of usage of your gym membership this year. Yippee. And if you pay your rent monthly, you’ve got an extra day chucked in for free.

Personally, I believe every February 29 should be declared an extra Bank Holiday. After all, it’s a special day that only comes every four years so why not make it something to celebrate.

Speaking of celebrations, those born on February 29 are given a bit of a lousy deal as the majority of the time, they are deprived of a “proper” birthday having to mark the day on either February 28 or March 1.

Still, when their real birthday rolls around every four years, it’s an excuse to have a really big bash.

And at least “leaplings” or “leapers” can convincingly lie about their age by knocking 75 per cent off the real age. Although I don’t know how many 60-year-olds will get anyone believing they’re still 15.

Apparently, the odds of being born on February 29 are about 1 in 1,461.

For some men who have keen girlfriends, today represents an extra 24 hours of worry as February 29 is traditionally the day when women can “turn the tables and propose to their partners.”

Times have changed and society has progressed to an extent that women can pretty much do anything men can do.

So if you fancy popping the question to your man, I don’t see why you need to be pigeonholed to a certain date and if you want to do it, just bite the bullet any time you want.

From a personal perspective, although I can be pretty feisty, independent and go-getting in most areas of life, I don’t think I’d ever propose to anyone.

Aside from the fact that I’d be attempting bigamy as I’m already married and Hubby might be a bit miffed, I think it’s nice to be asked.

Some men clearly think it’s nice to be asked, too, as according to a survey, more than half of men would say yes if their other half proposed to them.

It seems they wouldn’t mind the role reversal at all as it would take the whole proposal pressure off them.

Smacks of laziness on the part of the blokes to me.

One of the reasons women are often reluctant to propose is we fear rejection even more than men do.

I only have one friend who proposed to her husband – and technically it was cheating as he’d already proposed to her a number of times only for her to turn him down, so she knew deep down he’d jump at the chance to say yes.

Interestingly, food really is the way to a man’s heart as 40 per cent of men have confessed that their perfect proposal would involve food.

While I think breaking the traditional mould can be a good thing, I do feel women proposing need to make sure they are doing it for the right reasons – not as an attention grabbing or novelty gesture or because they are desperate to get hitched and want to railroad their fella before he’s ready.

On the subject of novelties, steak restaurant Beefeater has come up with a “Leap Year Proposal Package” where women can present their lucky guy with a 10oz steak branded with the words: “Will you marry me?”

The pack also contains “crispetti” instead of rose petals, an onion ring instead of a diamond ring, two bottles of beer instead of Champagne and a box of man sized tissues for when he gets emotional. That doesn’t sound tacky at all.

Still, if you’re a woman who plucks up the courage to go down on one knee only to get rejected, there is one consolation.

According to folklore, if a woman’s proposal is rejected, the man has to buy her 12 pairs of gloves to hide her hand from the embarrassment of not wearing an engagement ring.

So at least your hands will be warm.