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METROPOLITAN LIFE TEN UNUSUAL WAYS TO POP THE QUESTION
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Indy Lifestyle Online
It's a Leap Year, and traditionally women get their chance to ask a man to marry them on 29 February. That's Thursday, girls.

IN PUBLIC ...

Hire an aeroplane to drag a banner across the sky. A twin-engined plane will trail your 100ft by 30ft "will you marry me" message for three hours for around pounds 3,000 (you only propose once, you know). Contact Freight media, 0171 706 8070 for details.

Take out a large personal ad in a National newspaper A quarter page ad in your intended's favourite broadsheet will cost about pounds 2,000 plus VAT (and the price of the paper to insure they read it). The Independent personal ads: 0171-293 2222.

Advertise your request on the radio First, make a tape in a professional studio (approx. pounds 400). Then buy the airtime, which costs between pounds 200 and pounds 2,000, the cheapest time being the middle of the night on a station in the middle of nowhere.

Rent a billboard or bus shelter site, which can cost anything between pounds 200 and pounds 1,000 for half a month's rental. You may be able to negotiate a one-day deal. J C Decco (0181-746 1000) can give details.

Contact your local football ground to send your message on their electronic score board. Most will do it for free if there is a good love story to go with it.

Get your ex-lover to ask for you - a good way to prove to your new lover you're not living in the past (it could also be a good way to start an argument).

Visit the Yorkshire Moors and propose in the mist, among the bracken, like Cathy should have after her steamy session with Heathcliff. Train fares to Yorkshire start at pounds 45 for off-peak day return from London.

Pray for rain and stand outside dressed only in shirt and slacks (like Hugh Grant in Four Weddings and a Funeral) and make your lover promise never, ever to marry you.

Hire Juliet to recite a soliloquy to your loved one at his window. Sternberg Clarke (0181-877 1102) can offer Juliet in full Elizabethan costume for pounds 200. If a heavier hand is needed, they can provide a Mafioso who will make your beloved an offer he can't refuse - for the same price.

Get a temporary tattoo declaring "will you marry me". An elaborate design will cost around pounds 60 while a DIY lip pencil and eye make-up kit, with hairspray as temporary sealer - and your own artistic talent - will cost a tenner from your local chemist.

DOROTHY KOOMSON

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