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Funny story time: I married a Czech and her father didn’t speak English, so I memorized how to ask for her hand in marriage, and called him internationally. He gets on the phone, I say my thing, and I hear the dreaded ‘No.’
I’m stunned. My fiance mouths ‘What?’ and I said ‘He said no.’ She starts to reach for the phone, but then I hear in the background on the other end her sister yelling something, then I hear him say ‘Ahhh-no! Ano!’
In Czech, yes is ‘Ano’. But in normal conversation, it gets shortened to ‘No’ all the time, which is similar to ‘yeah’.
I got my shit together.
He had said figure out the answer to his questions and ask again in 6 months. I didn’t have to ask again.
I went out, got my college financials sorted out, signed up for more classes, found a job, and a month later bought a brand new civic.
He was incredibly impressed with and proud of me for how quickly I stopped being a dumb ass.
We were young, I was about to move ~1000+ miles away without a firm job prospect. I asked her parents for both permission and blessing over a seriously nice steak dinner. They politely said no; I asked why; they (again politely) expressed concern over our ages, vocations, and potential separation-anxiety-fueled-puppy-love-marriage-dreams, and their desire to make sure their daughter didn’t wind up destitute with a deadbeat bum.
Since we all had my then-girlfriend’s best interests at heart, I had no trouble genuinely thanking them (though I was sad). I followed up by telling them we’d wait and prove our commitment and capabilities.
Waited and distance-dated for a year, asked again over incredibly cheap/nasty green burrito / del taco, got both permission and blessing, married a year later, just celebrated 15 years of marriage and 3 kids.
And… that was one of several interactions which contributed to the great relationship we all have with each other individually and corporately. Which means there wasn’t a shred of angst / nastiness over Christmas when we had her entire family (parents, siblings, nieces, nephews) over.
Currently that is my problem. He flat out hates me and flat out told me he will snap my neck before I ever marry his daughter. We’re engaged and plan on getting married any way. Really I don’t know why he hates me so much. When we started dating she was pregnant and didn’t know. I spent five long months thinking the kid was mine to find out it wasn’t. I still stuck with her. I love her and her daughter as if she was my own. I could have just ran and to me you would think that he would like me.
I found a job, and his “no” became a “yes.” In all fairness, he actually said, “Not until you get a job.” I was a senior in college at the time.
My father in law said “good luck with that”. It’s honestly one of the more heart felt things he’s ever told me.
I’m not of the same race as my fiance’s father. My plan was to talk to the parents, but when my fiance told her father that I was going to have that conversation with him (I didn’t want it to take him by surprise), he became livid and forbid me from coming to his house. So I proposed without his blessing, and haven’t spoken to him since.