How I Asked Mara to Marry Me or The Best PCB Design Ever

Posted in Wedding by Bill
3 Sep 2011
How I Asked Mara to Marry Me or The Best PCB Design Ever

This is the story about an electronics geek and how he proposed to the girl of his dreams; who also happens to be a geek. I try to keep my blog about projects and not about my personal life, but in this case I’ll make an exception. This is pretty big after-all.

I met the love of my life, Mara Tuchman at college. We were both Electrical Engineering students with many classes together. We were friends for many years before becoming more and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. But I’ll skip the sappy story of how we started dating for some other time. This is how I asked her to marry me.

Mara is very smart, funny, beautiful and exceptionally stubborn. She likes to always figure out what’s going on before it happens and she HATES to show emotion or be surprised. I knew the only way to make this moment special was if I did something so different and sudden it would catch her off her guard. I had been stumped for months on how to do that before this opportunity presented itself.

She recently started a project that required her to design a circuit board and have it fabricated. I’m not going to go into the details of what the project is, she will post about it when it’s finished. This is her first time getting a circuit board professionally fabricated, so I helped her prepare the design to be sent off to Laen’s DorkbotPDX service. That’s when I had the eureka moment. I don’t know of anyone else who had proposed on a circuit board in the past! She would never see it coming. As soon as the email to Laen was sent with the design files I quickly sent him another email asking for a favor; could he add a message to the boards for me? He agreed.

So began 3 weeks of torture (we missed that weeks panel). I had already set the plan in motion, there was no turning back. I had no exit strategy if I got cold feet. Would the boards arrive early? Would she open them while I wasn’t there?

Laen’s orders usually come on a Monday, or the Saturday before. I think he was excited about this panel as they came even earlier, on a Friday this time. Never before have they arrived that fast. Thankfully, I left work early, and got to the mailbox before she did. When I got to the apartment, Mara had just gotten off work and was already busy soldering away at all the wires you see in the pictures. I laid the envelope with the PCBs in it next to her and sat at the computer desk near by. She didn’t stop soldering. Great, more torture! I had to bite my tongue several times to keep from shaking during the hour the boards just lie next to her, staring at me.

Finally after an eternity I hear the iron getting shut off and her starting to open the envelope. My heart starts pumping as I reach for the ring in my pocket. A few seconds of silence is broken by her. “Are you kidding me?” That’s my cue.

What follows is the usual happy ending movie proposal; tears, kisses, everything you would expect. I don’t need to go into details. The bottom line is it worked; she said YES! She was so caught off guard by how I did it she couldn’t stop laughing for a long time after.

You can see in the pictures following the circuit boards with the question in the silk screen. Laen also threw in a ‘gold PCB ring’ as well. I didn’t think Eagle had ring size conversions for drill holes!

Special thanks to Laen for playing a key role in helping me pull this off. I couldn’t have done it without his help. Also, he has the best USA based PCB group fab order so check it out if you haven’t already.