It's official! I'm engaged to the best girlfriend I could possibly imagine. This is my second time being engaged, but I took my time, this time, and I believe we're taking this step for the right reasons.
The engagement announcement brings with it a funny story. Well, I say "funny" in the euphemistic sense one uses when one can do little more than laugh at a situation so far out of hand. I won't bore you with the details, but let's just say that, since an incident in the eighth grade when a teacher put her job on the line to cover my lie, honesty and integrity have been exceptionally important to me. My commitment to integrity means that I work very hard to make my thoughts, words, and actions consistent. I often describe this by saying "if I'm lying to you, it's because I'm lying to myself."
I have never been one to blindly follow tradition. That's not to say I don't follow traditions, mind you. I just choose which ones I follow carefully, and with an eye toward whether or not I believe in their innate value. Speaking in the terms defined above, that means I can't follow a tradition just to follow it, I have to believe it.
To make a long story short, after much discussion, we decided that a reasonable compromise between what I wanted, what Irene wanted, and what we knew her father wanted, would be for me to ask for his blessing on our engagement. I regarded that as perfectly reasonable. The more people that are rooting for you, the better you're likely to do. It's an energy transfer thing. What I absolutely would not do was ask for permission to marry. It's not that I don't respect the man or his traditions, it's just that my asking his permission would not have been an act of integrity, because I don't believe that I (or we) need his permission. There's no point in asking someone's permission when you know you're going to bloody well do it no matter what they say. You might apprise them of your intentions, but if you're going to do it anyway, I believe that falsely asking for permission is, in fact, quite disrespectful.
So I asked for his blessing, and got it (along with an earful about how our current living situation isn't right). The next day, after watching a lamb roast on a spit all day (which, incidentally, is very fascinating), we extended the olive branch a foot farther by asking him to do the honor of announcing the engagement to those gathered for Easter. He said (emphasis mine):
Tripp and Irene have very honorably asked for my permission to marry, and I have given it...
Oh, well. We tried. It really doesn't matter, ultimately, but it does illustrate what we're up against.
I'd talk about technical things, but all I've done is fight fires and fix mistakes all week, which hasn't been very rewarding. Well, I did get some serious hacking done late last week and over the weekend on p4.py, a library for writing scripts against a Perforce depot in Python. Like all of my code, it rocks mightily, but is not ready for release :)
I should point out that I'm an Aries. Not just any Aries, either, but an Aries born right at the apex of the Aries cycle (April 6th). It's nice work, if you can get it. Well, I enjoy it, anyway. But, if you follow these things, you know that we're entering Taurus now, which is good, because Taurus finishes things, and I have a lot of crap that needs finishing! In fact, I need about a whole year of Taurus energy to catch up :)