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?

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