Gift for PhD
November 30, 2009 4:53 PM   Subscribe

What is the perfect gift for a girlfriend receiving her PhD?

She is 33 with 3 kids. Her husband is sending me and her on a girls' trip. Her PhD will be in literature. I don't have much money to spend.
posted by mola to Shopping (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
A handle of vodka should do it.
posted by Spurious at 4:56 PM on November 30, 2009 [2 favorites]

After I defended, I would have loved a gift certificate for a massage!
posted by fullofragerie at 5:08 PM on November 30, 2009 [2 favorites]

If she's just getting her PhD, it's likely that she hasn't had any leisure time or junk reading time in a very long while.

If you know what her tastes are in lowbrow fiction---Mormon vampire romance, celebrity gossip magazines, Tom Clancy submarine novels, whatever---get her a couple. And a bottle of whisky.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 5:10 PM on November 30, 2009

Before I clicked on the [more inside], my immediate reaction was "massage." Now I see that fullofragerie has beat me to it. Assuming I eventually make it to my dissertation defense, I plan to drive to a spa immediately afterwards to get a 2-hour-long full-body massage. I'll probably undress in the car to speed up the process.
posted by pluckemin at 5:13 PM on November 30, 2009 [2 favorites]

Oh, I would have LOVED a massage after I defended.
posted by arcticwoman at 5:19 PM on November 30, 2009

posted by synecdoche at 5:34 PM on November 30, 2009

PhD in literature. My best friend game me a "doctor kit" from a toy store - the kind kids have. I still have it and love it. But I agree wholeheartedly with the Massage chorus.
posted by media_itoku at 6:55 PM on November 30, 2009

If you'd like a light-hearted, grad school-specific gift, you could try something from the PhD Comics store. I swear the comics are 75% non-fiction.

When I get done, I want the 'Doctor*' mug they sell.
posted by TBAcceptor at 7:01 PM on November 30, 2009

one more vote for massage(s). sometimes, late at night when I'm offering advice on the internet instead of working on my methods chapter, the thought of a massage is the only thing keeping me going.
posted by kugelmass at 11:05 PM on November 30, 2009

If she has a good sense of humor, I might suggest getting something from the PhD Comics store. You could get her a t-shirt or a mug that says "doctor." I bought my friend (a physics PhD) the t-shirt and he really loved it.
posted by qmechanic at 2:45 AM on December 1, 2009

Supergrass did a single called 'Sun hits the sky' it has a chorus where there is a pause then the singer comes in with "I am a Doctor", that should fit a doctor kit type present as mentioned above.
posted by biffa at 4:02 AM on December 1, 2009

A job.
posted by musofire at 6:54 AM on December 1, 2009

Oh yeah, one more vote for massage. Maybe a pedi, too. Nothing like unwinding after a stressful defence!
posted by LN at 7:28 AM on December 1, 2009

I like the massage and the pedi idea, and it's something you could do on your girls' trip. After I defended my Ph.D., all I really wanted was a vacation and a bucketload of margaritas.
posted by emd3737 at 7:40 AM on December 1, 2009

Hmmm, this is a crazy, way-out-there idea, but have you thought of ..... a massage?
Just kidding. While that's a great idea, some other avenues to pursue could be sleep-related like new pillows, sleep mask etc. (it's probably been awhile since she got enough) plus a bunch of fun things to do in bed, like magazines, games, pulpy books, etc.
You could get her something(s) related to the topic of her dissertation, and she'd probably be thrilled that you cared enough to learn about what it is that she's been immersed in for ages. She might be tired of the topic, but it's also possible that she'd love to share: it's kind of depressing to work so hard on something that only a few people ever read!
Her social life has likely been completely lame, so tickets to some extra-exciting show would be good. Likewise movie nights, dinner (out or in) with friends, etc.
Also, if she has hobbies that you can remember, it might be a while since she's been able to indulge them, so maybe art supplies, knitting gear, or whatever is relevant to her non-school interests (if she has any left!)
Congratulations to your friend, and to you for wanting to help her celebrate this major achievement!
posted by Bergamot at 11:54 AM on December 1, 2009

Great thread. My ex-gf will be graduating from her PhD programme in April 2010. I'm a massage therapist :)

However she's in a different city. Boo.

She's previously studied entomology, so I'm going to find her some bright, shiny beetle jewellery. Sparkly stuff. She likes that.
posted by flutable at 9:46 PM on December 1, 2009

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