Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Our Turbulent Engagement, Part 2

The Harmonic family and I are heading off this weekend to visit her other-grandma-that-I-haven't-met, who lives in another part of rural NC. So I leave you with Part 2:

This is getting so long that even I am forgetting where I left off. Maybe I should just have Harmony write it. In fact, it might be interesting to have her write her version of the novel. Might make for some quite interesting Rashomon-like narrative.

Let me preface this portion by saying that I wish there were some other way that this situation could've been handled. I am not advocating that others go around defying their parents. Perhaps we were wrong to defy my parents. But eventually they came around to support us in our decisions. At least we are not defying them anymore ....? And when exactly do I stop becoming a child as the Bible defines one? These are not rhetorical questions; if you have thoughts on this, please leave a comment.

When I left off Part 1 (see link on the sidebar or whatever), I had begun the job search. Come February 2006 and I did not have any job offers, but I had some promising prospects (which, eventually, did not work out). I had told myself that I would have another talk with my parents after I got a job offer, but I got impatient and called again in February. I said that back in August I was thinking about grad school, but now I'm thinking full-time job after graduation. I asked them to reconsider what they'd said in That Horrible Month (tm), considering that I was going to be working after graduation. They still held firm. Well this time I fought back a bit. I don't remember all that was said (much to the female audience's frustration, I'm sure). The phone conversation actually ended twice; the first time, my dad hung up on me. I called back, and my mom picked up. I do remember the last thing I said to her, before she took her turn at hanging up on me: "Just don't be surprised if I'm engaged by the time I graduate." I don't think we spoke for a month after that.

As I mentioned earlier, none of my job prospects worked out. However, I think soon after the conversation I received an e-mail from a recruiter of a big name company right in the Atlanta area. After a series of e-mails and a series of on-site interviews, I was offered a job! All this time I was assuming that I would end up moving away to, U of Texas at Austin, the Pax River area of Maryland or the DC area, but in the end God worked things out PERFECTLY for me. I honestly could not have asked for a more perfect outcome.

Soon after I excitedly accepted the job offer, I called my dad, to talk more about engagement. By this time, I think I had firmly established myself as a masochist. (I seem to have broken that habit recently though, thank goodness.) It was considerably more subdued than the previous conversation. He seemed to indicate that he had given up trying to argue with me. If this is what I wanted to do, then he said there was apparently nothing he could do to stop me. So that very evening, I went to Harmony's work and finally said, "Okay, let's get married :)" I'm sorry to disappoint everyone, but there was no elaborate plan. I didn't even get down on the knee and pop the question. As Harmony will testify, she was fine with it. So we were finally engaged! End of story, right?

When my mom found out about this, she was NOT happy. Unfortunately, she reacts much differently to stress than my dad. She called me one morning in tears, beginning with "How could you..." I then proceeded to spend an hour on the phone with her while she was crying and being mad/crushed. Taking the advice that one of my uncles had given me much earlier, I didn't know what to say, so I just shut my mouth. She was telling me to cancel all the plans that we had made, that I had gotten engaged against their wishes, so now I had to listen to them on when to actually get married. Of course, she was still wanting us to get married MUCH later. It was kinda frightening to hear her like she was; she was saying that she did not want to live because of what I had done, that there was something wrong with her and that she was going to go to the hospital because she didn't know what it was. Now this distressed me; I loved Harmony, but I also didn't want to cause the early death of my parents. I talked to Harmony, the aforementioned uncle, and my sister. We didn't know what to do.

Part 1
Supplemental I
Supplemental II
Part 3

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