Advancing to candidacy gift/gesture?
May 20, 2008 9:22 AM   Subscribe

My boyfriend is advancing to PhD candidacy today, and will be giving a talk to his committee and all that jazz. He's been a stress case about this for weeks, understandably, and I'd like to do something nice for him to celebrate. Ideas?

I'd send flowers, but I just gave him flowers a couple of weeks ago. His talk is at 1pm, and I'm at work until 5pm, but I'll be going to see him after work. I thought about maybe making him a cute cheesy card or something, but I'm not sure I'll have time. Yes, I probably should have planned this farther in advance. I'm not really looking for anything too involved though, just some sort of small gift or gesture that says, "Congratulations, and I'm really proud of you." Of course, I've also just told him that, but you know, actions speak louder than words or something.

He's also planning to have some sort of party to celebrate on Friday, so if anyone has ideas to throw out for that, I would appreciate it too. I'll probably be cooking some things. I'm not a PhD student, so this is all a little bit foreign to me, although I'm pretty familiar with academia in general.
posted by booknerd to Human Relations (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
It of course depends on your boyfriend's preferences... But I'd think a bottle of his favorite type of alcohol would be a nice gesture. It's something kind of nice, and it also has a bunch of "now you get to relax" connotations.
posted by Ms. Saint at 9:27 AM on May 20, 2008

I'll bet a massage would be nice. Followed by a, um, a massage.
posted by bricoleur at 9:28 AM on May 20, 2008

My first response was "a 45 minute massage." I'm guessing that Bricoleur has also been to grad school. And I would get him a pro massage, unless, of course, you are really good.
posted by mecran01 at 9:33 AM on May 20, 2008

Me and mine went and took ecstasy and walked around Seattle for six hours or so with a bag of peaches to celebrate. This is clearly not the right approach for everyone, but I'd concentrate on something that might

- help him get his head in a different place either through persuasion or through force (whatever his brainbender of choice might be)
- has plenty of sensual pleasures associated with it that he's probably been deprived of lately
- is restful, relaxing or otherwise has no particular goal-orientation

Alternately, if he's been avoiding friends/family, maybe coordinating having them all email him some variant of "we're so proud of you" messages which I think always go over well.
posted by jessamyn at 9:59 AM on May 20, 2008

Whatever he does to relax, set that up for him for that evening.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:02 AM on May 20, 2008

While dittoing above, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a little cheesy gesture in that too. Despite the stereotypes, men like little things that make them laugh.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 10:06 AM on May 20, 2008

Tell him you're proud of him.
posted by bicyclefish at 10:27 AM on May 20, 2008

Piled High and Deeper Book.
posted by devilsbrigade at 10:53 AM on May 20, 2008

Seriously, all I wanted was to relax/sleep/do nothing for several days. We had a really nice cook out a couple days later with friends I hadn't seen in months. As others said, his favorite relaxing activity, but require no effort or decision making from him for a few days (or weeks).
posted by hydropsyche at 10:58 AM on May 20, 2008

I finished my first year of grad school recently, and that weekend I went swimming in a lake with a bunch of my friends. One of them brought a Calvin and Hobbes compilation, and I wound up spending most of the day sitting under a tree reading that. It worked pretty well.

Then again, I'd already gotten drunk and had a massage. But I think these things can go in any order.
posted by nebulawindphone at 11:15 AM on May 20, 2008

When I finished my PhD orals, my wife handed me $100 and said we couldn't go home until I'd spent it. We were both students at the time, and $100 was a lot of money to spend in one evening, so that was a lot of fun.
posted by MrMoonPie at 1:03 PM on May 20, 2008

Champagne! And his favorite dessert!

And then you!
posted by GardenGal at 9:02 PM on May 20, 2008

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