27 and a PhD

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Our proposal story – from my POV

Welcome to my blog!

Hello there, awesome reader. My name is Dr. 27. I'm older than that now, but I'm staying faithful to the origins of the blog.

This blog started 2 months before completing my PhD in a pretty southern university back in 2009. It was a way to practice my writing and take a break from all things thesis. My PhD is in a branch of structural biology where I studied some rather impressive stuff.

After completing the degree, I packed my life of 6 years in 3 days and moved to Canada to do a postdoc in a completely different field. Two years later, and after attending a lot of seminars, workshops and doing some much-needed soul-searching, I ended up getting out and looking for an alternative path to academia and industry.

The blog chronicles my mishaps, ideas, musings and tips on entering, staying and finishing grad school. It also talks about some (or a lot) of personal stuff. For a while, the blog became a place to talk about the frustrations of not knowing what to do after PhD. I wanted to explore alternatives to the traditional paths of research (academia, industry and goverment) whilst going back to my field of training (if at all possible). Eventually a job materialized. Follow my quest as I navigate the waters of being a staff scientist at a core facility.


January 2013
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Now that y’all know that honey proposed and I got a new job and we’re finally able to move in together and start a new life, I want to share the story of hon’s proposal. At least from my point of view.

Back in the summer, and out of the blue, honey started talking about jewelry. For years I’d been sending him ideas of the kind of rings I liked, usually with sapphires and in a white metal, anything from sterling silver to platinum or titanium. But I like lots of things, lots of styles and materials, so I wasn’t really attached to one particular ring. It sort of surprised me that hon started asking about jewelry and I was silently hoping that this would be it.

It is no secret that I’d been hopeful for a while. I guess when the clock ticked into the second year of our relationship I was hoping he’d propose. At least that’s what Glamour magazine said he should be doing. As it’s been chronicled in this blog, we’ve moved a shit ton of times. Just 1.5 years ago I finally landed a non-TT job with benefits, doing something I like. But he was still a student and once he finished, he struggled to find a job in this crappy economy. I’d envisioned started the job search once again, to move home, especially after he got an adjunct position. But then the call from my past happened, and it changed everything.

I remember a particular day last August where he sent me a link to an online catalog where his mom purchases jewelry. The rings were not only affordable, but different, with lots of different colours, shapes and stones. He’d picked out a ring with a green stone which I liked, but wasn’t crazy about. I was afraid the band would be too thick and one thing I’m particular about is thin bands, that I’m very picky about.

Throughout the next few months we looked at more rings and I sent him a gazillion links. I only grew suspicious that something might happen soon-ish after he started insisting that I point out a ring I truly, madly loved. I asked him why to which he replied that we’d been together for 7 years and now that he was finally working he wanted to give me a nice piece of jewelry to celebrate his new job. I left it at that, thinking that he would be a bit more secretive when it came time to propose. The other thing was that we’d talked about wearing engagement rings, he thinks it’s a bit silly that women get to wear jewelry that essentially signifies that we’re in lay-away while men wear nothing until the wedding occurs (hooray honey)!.

The week before Christmas I semi-jokingly proposed and he said yes (and I told Twitter about it, check this Storify), but he also said that although we’re in a relationship of equals, he still wanted to do the proposal the “right way” and propose with ring and all respecting my wishes for a ring, even if I didn’t get him one (which I didn’t because I had no idea he was proposing the day after Xmas). I left it at that and thought he’d do it soon-ish, but who knew, really. He did tell me to not plan anything for the evening of the 26th as he wanted to take me on a date, given that we hadn’t seen each other since September!!! I sort of suspected that something was going to happen, but I put it aside, thinking that I was over-analyzing stuff and I didn’t want to get my hopes high and then be sorely disappointed.

On the afternoon of the 26th, I prettied up a bit and hon picked me up at my parent’s house. We started the date by going to small chapel in my hometown with some of the best views in town. The afternoon was cloudy, but you could still get some awesome views. The chapel was about to close for evening prayers and after pleading our way, we were let in. We walked up to a bench and sat down. There, honey took out his tablet and started a video chronicling some of our favourite times from the last 7 years. That’s where I got a little suspicious. The video had our favourite song, which will be the same one we use for our first dance! The video had lots of pictures and loving things from our trips together, our accomplishments individually and as a couple. It was amazing.

After, he started talking about us and how special our relationship is, and then he got teary eyed (I didn’t because a) I was in disbelief, and b) I was trying to comfort him) and explained that he’d like to start a family with me. It was so very special, his words so meaningful. After he handed me a beautiful box, and inside was a little brown stain bag. In it was the most beautiful ring I’ve ever seen. I put it on my finger and said yes, and we immediately hugged. It was truly everything I wished for and more. We were alone near the chapel, the weather was good, it didn’t rain, there was a light breeze and there was so much love.

After we walked back to the car and then the usual drama of choosing where to eat ensued. I zeroed in on a place we’d been with his parents years ago … in fact, on the night I told him I loved him for the very first time. We had a wonderful dinner and conversation, but before we called his parents, who were in the whole thing and they proceeded to congratulate us. After dinner we headed to the neighbouring town, where honey grew up and went to school and looked at the Christmas lights there. It was magical. Then we headed home to tell my parents. They were excited, my dad more than my mom at first; after my mom shared how my dad proposed and a few days later we looked at their wedding album.

All in all it was an awesome afternoon and night. I’m terribly excited to get to spend my days with honey (soon enough) and that kitty, him and I get to be a family once more. We’ll do a city hall wedding in NYC followed by a religious ceremony and reception at home. Thanks for all the well wishes.

Next week, I hope to feature honey’s side of the story! Stay tuned!!


  1. Anka says:

    Such a cute story! Men in my side of the family have worn engagement rings since my grandad’s generation, so after my now-husband proposed we picked out an engagement ring for him too. He still wears his, cuz he likes rings, but other men in my family got very simple ones and switched it out for a wedding ring once the got married. I like the tradition, I feel like it’s more fair, and not like I’m being reserved as property with a shiny down-payment (though, I don’t like stones on my fingers, so my rings are just engraved).

  2. Dr. 27 says:

    So cute!!! Thanks for sharing Anka. Yes, hon is itching for a ring because he does not like the shiny down-payment thing either. Good thing is that we’re getting married soon-ish, so he’ll stop itching to wear one 😉

  3. Liz says:

    Oh wow, I just caught up on you blog and CONGRATS on both the job and the engagement. What an exciting end to 2012. I’ve really enjoyed following your story of career path and long distance relationship because I am entering a very similar phase of life so it is awesome to see you starting a new great-sounding job AND being able to be in the same spot as your man.

  4. DeeBlastula says:

    Until just now I had never heard of men wearing engagement rings although I did specify to my SO that I think if he proposes he should get a ring too. My justification was exactly what your fiance’s was. Congrats again!!!

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