The couple: Neha Sachdev and Jack Herrmann from Philadelphia.
The ring: It’s a sterling silver band with a round-cut diamond and a round-cut ruby, with smaller diamonds inset in the band. I love it because it’s totally unique and exactly what I wanted.
He designed it himself, with input from my best friend. I always knew I wanted a "moi y toi" ring, which is a two-stone ring that stands for "me and you." I love the meaning of the ring, and since red is the color of marriage in Indian culture (my parents are from India but I'm US born), I wanted a diamond and a ruby. My best friend helped pick some design ideas, but he did most of it on his own and worked with a jeweler in New York to have it custom made. It's perfect!
The proposal: On the day we got engaged, I was in the last month of my first year of a residency in family medicine in Chicago, which is notoriously the most difficult and taxing. (We met in Philadelphia during my last year of medical school and dated for about a year, but have been long-distance since.) I had been working six days/80 hours per week for a year and was feeling so run-down and fatigued.
It was my last clinic day as an intern, so I was excited to get it done and get to my weekend, which I actually had off. My clinic supervisor had sent an email that week asking everyone to dress nicely, as we were having a photographer come and take photos for our new brochure. I was way too tired and lazy to do that, so I decided to ignore the email and wore scrubs. I figured the photographer would take photos of others instead.
My clinic day was awful. I kept getting switched around to different patient exam rooms and working with different staff, and I started to run behind schedule, which I hate. The photographer also kept interrupting me to take photos, which was making me later and even more stressed.
My last patient of the day was an elderly diabetic woman with heart palpitations and dangerously high blood pressure. I was worried about her, but because I had to see a prenatal patient first who needed some extra attention, I asked the clinic supervisor if one of my colleagues who had a cancellation at the end of her day could see my diabetic patient. My supervisor just flatly said "No, you need to see her." I was so mad, because we are supposed to help each other out and I didn't want this poor, sick lady waiting forever to be seen, but my only choice was to keep going. Finally I made it in to see my last patient ... and I opened the door to see Jack, my boyfriend, in a suit!
I was shocked. He got down on one knee in front of everyone at the clinic and asked me to marry him. All of a sudden, it made sense why nobody else could have seen this patient. I found out he had been planning this proposal for months, and that everyone was in on the secret. The reason I kept getting bumped around exam rooms was so they could smuggle him in without me seeing. And the photographer was not there to take photos of our clinic, but had been hired by Jack to help document the proposal for our family and friends back in Philly. So in our proposal photos, I am wearing scrubs and he is in suit. Personally, I think this makes them even better. I always told him I wanted to be surprised and have a good engagement story, and he knocked it out of the park.
The band: I am not having a band, as the design of my ring is so unique, a band wouldn't work. We also liked the idea that each of us will wear one ring. He is of Irish descent, so I'm designing him a Claddagh ring that I hope will be just as unique and interesting as my ring.
Read other PW Reader Ring stories here.
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