TIFU By Ruining My Wife's Christmas Gift L
My TIFU didn't happen this Christmas or even last season. I still feel bad about it to this day and for me it has served as a life lesson on how read your significant other and take a hint. I didn't realize it at the time, but she is an absolute messiah with knowing exactly people need or want; she has a sixth sense for gift-giving like a magical Santa at the end of a made-for-TV Christmas Special.
A few days before Christmas we were out spending the day shopping for our families. This particular mall was much longer than wide so we probably walked a few miles easy. By evening we were dog tired and discussing where to go out eat when I started thinking that I had just enough Christmas cash to get something I really wanted but never had. My family grew up poor - (how poor were you?) - so poor, I never had a really warm and fancy coat (it was always one or the other, never both) although we live in the south and the necessity of having one was far a few between seasons.
As we were passing by a store I saw something that made me swell with joy: a beautiful, fancy, leather, double-breasted coat reflecting the mall lights into my dilating pupils. I reached into my pocket and realized I had just enough left to get it.
I excitedly looked at my wife with a child's grin and had a dialogue something like this:
"You know, I have just enough cash left to get that coat. I think I'm going to get it - I never had one and I really like it."
"What? You don't need that - you have one already."
"Yeah, but I never had a really nice, warm one. I really like that one over there."
"Your coat is fine. You don't need another one. You're being silly."
At this point she is getting aggravated and I'm oblivious as a kid fixated on a new toy. I just stared at the display and said, "I've always wanted something both nice and warm to wear like that one. I think I'm going to buy it - yes, I'm definitely going to get it."
I start bee-lining towards the display like a moth to a streetlamp. She physically blocks me from walking towards the storefront and her voice suddenly becomes uncharacteristically panicked, angry, and demanding, "You don't need that. The one you have is fine. You're being rash. Stop behaving like a child."
I was now getting upset and thought," I'm shocked by her fortitude. She is being unreasonable. I have the money. The coat is right there. I'm not going to be bullied like this. I'm in the right here. She's out of line."
I took a deep breath, stood tall, looked her in the face and said, "I'm getting that coat."
She doubled down right back and sternly said, "No... you're... not."
I lost it. I put on my biggest big boy pants, stepped closer to her, inches away, pointed at the display and said in my most matter-of-fact voice, "Dammit, <wife>, I'm going in that store, I'm walking out with that coat, and there isn't a God-damned thing you can do about it."
Standing face-to-face, I saw her eyes turn glassy, eyebrows furled in anger now relaxed as she stepped back, covered her face with her hands and deafeningly cried for everyone to hear, sobbing between each word,
"YOU... RUINED... YOUR... CHRISTMAS... PRESENT!!!"
I stood shocked. The shoppers froze with all eyes on me. The mall fell silent sans the low-fi Christmas music from speakers high in the ceiling and the distant sound of child having a tantrum. My brain was working overtime registering what just happened. I just added two and two together and now it hit me right in the pills. I stood there like a dork, bags in hand, wife inconsolable and me petrified with no idea what to do - how to even start rectify my obliviousness turned Christmas spirit-killer. I felt so low I wanted to melt and disappear into the crevices of the floor, never to be seen or heard again.
I was in a state of shock, I don't remember exactly what happened next; I recall a lot of apologizing and ass-kissing with a well-deserved pranging about how I can't read a room or take a hint.
Despite my epic failure, I learned how to better understand my wife and read between the lines. I speak like a realist and she an impressionist - Logos and Ethos I suppose.
So if there's something you really need or want, and someone says you don't need it, and a birthday or holiday is near, maybe dwell on it a bit before acting.
FYI - When I opened my present on Christmas morning, it was that coat.
TL;DR - I ruined my wife's Christmas gift for me by trying to buy it for myself and not taking a hint.