A tradition from the British Isles and other European countries allowed a woman to propose marriage to a man during the leap year. In some countries, the proposal was restricted to leap year day, or a woman who intended to propose was required to wear some sort of signal, such as a red petticoat. These limitations and signals were established to appease the men because any man who refused the proposal was required to pay some sort of fine to soften the blow or the rejection. The fines might be anything from a kiss to money to several pairs of gloves to a silk gown or enough fabric to make several dresses. The version of the leap year letter in this design was passed down from my grandmother. The young woman in the photograph used for the design is my grandmother’s stepmother at age 16.