Since today is leap-year day, it's acceptable for women to propose to men. Lord knows why, but it has something to do with a nunnery in fifth-century Ireland. Do we really want to get into it? Nah. Anyhow, a gentleman has written a piece for the Times of London about how to avoid getting in a situation where — God forbid — their girlfriends propose to them. Steve Beale writes, "A long-term relationship with a woman who doesn't display signs of borderline personality disorder can be fantastic." He also points out, "If you're married, she can have half your money. Maybe more." And he suggests the "real reason" a woman might propose today is that it would make for a good story for her friends. Because really, when it comes to marriage, what's love got to do with it?
So how does Beale think dudes can avoid a dreaded proposal?
• Go to a "high class orgy" because "the last thing she wants is for your (inevitable, gutless) acceptance to be celebrated by a round of applause from a bunch of naked 'heedonists,' as Larry David calls them."
• Get scary into the whole marriage idea. Give her your grandmother's ring and tell her you're going to Paris to get a proper one, have Vivienne Westwood "make you up four swords with her orb on the hilt for your ushers," book a castle for the whole affair. Beale writes, "Your fiancée will undoubtedly call it all off, citing that the relationship was so 'intense' that it must also be 'destructive.'"
• Avoid soccer matches because this is a perfect time for her to propose.
• Go to Greece because Greeks think it's bad luck to marry during a leap year.
• Don't watch soap operas because this one time a contest winner proposed with a prerecorded commercial-break message.
• If all else fails, book a "business trip" to Moscow and stage an affair with a Russian woman. Send yourself letters with Russian addresses and a cryptic message that says the fake Russian woman's brothers will kill you if you don't marry her. The woman who proposed to you will realize she doesn't stand a chance.
You know what would be a lot easier than all of that, Mr. Beale? Breaking up with your girlfriend.