Unit 7 – Reading

Read the text and complete the exercises.

Why don’t we get married?

There are many superstitions about important days in people’s lives that began centuries ago. One such day is the day when you decide to get married.

The Greeks, for example, believe that if you get married during a leap year, you will probably divorce. In Finland, on the other hand, if a woman asks a man to marry her on 29th February, it will bring her good luck.

The next tradition is very interesting. In 1288, the Scottish Queen Margaret established a law which allowed women to propose on leap day. But the woman had to wear a red underskirt so that the man knew she was going to pop the question.

The Irish also have an interesting tradition. Legend has it that St Bridget asked St Patrick to allow women to ask men to marry. He agreed but only allowed this on 29th February. St Bridget used the opportunity and proposed to St Patrick. He said no but gave her a silk dress so she wouldn’t be too disappointed. Traditionally in Ireland, any man who says no to a woman’s leap-day proposal must give her a silk dress.

Today men propose in many different ways. Some make it simple, others make it creative and romantic. Those who want to be original propose in untraditional ways.

In the USA, for example, men sometimes propose during sport matches. Usually the proposal appears on a scoreboard and then the cameras turn on the couple. If the woman accepts, the whole stadium applauds.

One computer expert hacked into his girlfriend’s favourite computer game while she was playing and asked her to marry. Another man took his girlfriend to the cinema. He proposed to her with a video that was played during the commercials before the film started. One couple went skydiving together and when they landed the man asked the question. Yet another man asked his girlfriend to marry him on top of a death train ride.

The key to a successful proposal is the right time, the right place and the right person to spend the rest of your life with.  You can’t go wrong if you just follow your heart.

Decide if the statements are true (T) or false (F).

  T F
1         The Greeks believe that a wedding during leap year brings bad luck.    
2         Women in Scotland could propose to men on leap day.    
3         St Patrick allowed women to propose any day of the year.    
4         Whenever an Irishman says no to a marriage proposal, he has to give the woman a dress.    
5         In America you can propose at a sports event.    
6         If a man proposes at a sports match, nobody knows about it.    
7         The computer expert’s proposal was part of a computer game.    
8         A man asked his girlfriend to marry when they got off a death train.    










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