Ah yes, the 29th Feb, that magical, only once every 4 year, date, when your girlfriend proposes to you.
Here's my 29th Feb story which sends shivers down my spine.
Saturday 29th Feb 1992.......
I'd just got off the phone to my friend in Manchester who was setting off to drive south, with his wife, to Hertford to stay with us for the weekend.
Saturday morning, I ran the bath climbed in.
Started reading The Guardian in the bath!
Life was good. Friends on the way down to stay. I lived with my girlfriend/partner of 5 years and her son, we had a house together.
She walked into the bathroom.
"Put the newspaper down, I have something to tell you."
It sounded serious. She then said,
"I've been having an affair!"
Complete and utter shock, dismay, and incomprehension, that put me in therapy for several years afterwards! The timing was impeccable. I'm in the bath, and friends have set off to stay with us for the weekend (remember no mobile phones then).
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry" she kept saying.
Sorry about what or whom I'm not sure about even to this day.
I stood up in the bath, naked and with not much dignity, got the towel and started to dry myself.
I don't remember saying anything for fear I might say something I regretted and couldn't take back.
I dried myself, got dressed, slammed the front door and went for a walk to gather my thoughts.
I sat on a park bench.
My partner has just told me she's having an affair. I didn't have a clue, and I hardly saw it coming, though I was a bit worried about her going away to a conference in a few months time, and I couldn't work out how she could have an affair being at work all day.
It turns out she was shagging the surgeon at work. He had a hospital bedroom for when he was on call.
Of course, you look back and try to piece the jigsaw together, but there are always pieces missing. One thing I realised was that my efforts to be a good partner were too late and in vein. After Christmas and at the start of '92, I took some time off to do my one and only piece of big DIY. I laid one of those IKEA wooden floors for a few days, and looked after her son whilst he was still on Christmas holidays. I thought I was being a superhuman partner.
The irony was as I was laying the floor, she was laying the surgeon!!
I digress. Back to that magnificent day, 12 years ago. I go back to the house, we start to discuss/argue/cry, but ahhhh of course, my friends are about to arrive from Manchester.
So the combination of being told about her affair whilst naked in the bath, and my friends on their way down from Manchester to stay, really scuppered much chance of discussing much for the weekend.
I'd been silenced for the day.
So that's my 29th of Feb, once every 4 year anniversary.
Much has happened in my life over the last 12 years, but I find it interesting that each 4th year anniversary, has so far been a pretty fair reflection of where things are at, even though so much happens in between.
In '96 I'd just met my first wife to be, after 4 years of trauma from '92 to '96.
In 2000, I'd just met my second wife to be!! (Yes there's another story for another day on '96 to '00)
And now in '04, I'm happily (as far as I know!!) married to Annie, my boy (Jay 4 months old) is sitting next to me as I type this, Georgia aged 2+ is running around the house screaming with joy.
So in the end it worked out well!!
And what did I learn from 29th Feb 1992?
1. If someone wants to have an affair, not matter how unlikely it is to find the time, they will!
2. Two Myers Briggs types, never see it coming. Being INTP, I can vouch for that!
3. You come out of it for the better, but it might take a very very long time.