"and it was leap year too and would soon be over." (U13.208)

Leap Year is the traditional time when women can propose marriage (or ask a man out on a date). It is believed the tradition started in 5c. Ireland by St Bridget, with the approval of St Patrick, because women often waited so long for a man to propose. It is said (but disputed), that Queen Margaret of Scotland passed a law in 1288 that imposed a fine on any man declining such a proposal. The fine ranged from a kiss to £1 to a silk gown. Because men felt thus put at great risk, the tradition was in some places restricted to female proposals on the specific date of February 29.