Taking Leaps

In honor of Leap Day, and because I just couldn’t stand another moment of growing out my unruly hair, I made a snap (or would that be “snip”?) decision, as demonstrated above. Thankfully, my stylist had a sudden cancellation, so I could walk the two blocks to the salon and surrender myself to her scissors before I had time to second-guess myself. While some of my better choices have been made this way, instinctually and without over-thinking them, others have been a bit more counter-intuitive.

On February 29, 2000, I wanted nothing more than to go home after work and spend the evening sprawled in front of my TV. I’d been in NYC on a business trip the day before, so I was tired and socially tapped out, and honestly, more than a little hungover. The morning of the 29th, I’d gotten dressed with more attention to comfort than fashion; I was wearing an old sweater, jeans, Birkenstock clogs, and socks with a repeated motif of a woman carrying shopping bags while trying to hail a cab (I wish I still had them so I could prove this detail). Thankfully, a friend encouraged — okay, forced would be a better word — me to go with her to a Leap Day Party that night. Though I continued to protest, she was firm and persuasive.

“Stay for just one drink,” she said.

I was also reluctant to go to this party because it was being held at the apartment of a guy whom I used to fancy. (It would be much easier if I could just say “at my ex-boyfriend’s apartment,” but definitions were a sticking point with him, and ultimately led to the end of our fanciful endeavors, so I am left with not much more than awkward phrasings.) There was bad mojo in that apartment, and the potential that the guy would be there, so I was uneasy about the whole thing. But it was Leap Day, and it was “just one drink,” according to my friend, so I took the risk.

I’d just sat down with my one drink, and was scanning the room for former fancies, when I heard a voice on my right.

“I like your socks,” he said.

I spent most of the rest of the evening talking to the owner of that voice, who told me his name was Scott, that he was a graphic designer, and that he liked to make clocks in his free time. I’d met him a few weeks before, at a bar near my office after work, but the introduction was fleeting. We probably wouldn’t have had an opportunity to connect again, had I not given in to my friend’s coercive techniques and attended this party.

Every day is a day for taking risks, but Leap Day is a day for celebrating our impetuousness. This year, Scott and I are spending our third Leap Day together, and in a few months, we’ll enjoy our tenth wedding anniversary. And all because I said yes when I normally would have said no. (And wore those ridiculous socks.)

What have you done in honor of Leap Day?

12 thoughts on “Taking Leaps

  1. I was just recalling this morning (as noted in my Facebook posting) that on
    Feb 29, 1972, I was praying fervently that I WOULD NOT GO INTO LABOR
    and deliver my first child on the Leap Day, my “due date”….My prayers were
    answered, but it took a while for Jenn to be born on March 14, so this year will
    be her 40th birthday, not her 10th!

    • In some ways, I think it would be fun to have a Leap Day birthday (especially when you’re 80 and can claim you’re only 40!), but mostly I can imagine it would be a pain. So good for you (and Jenn) for holding out, and good thing she didn’t wait for March 15. As they say, beware the Ides of March…

      • “(especially when you’re 80 and can claim you’re only 40!)”

        Actually, I think you could claim you were 20, as leap years only happen every four years.

        Although, I guess that wouldn’t necessarily stop you from claiming you were 40… just as accurate, I guess. — PL

      • Even better, Peter! (And thanks for the correction — math has never been my strong suit. Thank goodness I wasn’t born on Leap Day. I’d be perpetually confused!)

  2. Oh – I love this story ever so much. And I love your hair short, and think it looks marvelous.

    Last year, after 3-4 years of dithering, I decided to finally take the leap and get a divorce. Not that my ex was a bad guy (he’s not), just that the relationship wasn’t working or fixable. Several weeks after that decision, I started tai chi class – and several months later, I started dating my tai chi teacher, who is the absolute love of my life. The Universe sometimes works in mysterious ways.

  3. “What have you done in honor of Leap Day?”

    I never pay it much mind, truth be told. But today I guess I could say I honored it (albeit unconsciously) by reading your blog, and I’m glad I did. I LOVE that story about how you and Scott met! It plucks all the right cornball sentimental strings in my heart. Thanks for sharing, and I wish you two many more leap days together! — PL

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