Tuesday, June 25, 2019     Volume: 20, Issue: 16

Santa Maria Sun / Humor

The following article was posted on December 29th, 2015, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 16, Issue 43 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 16, Issue 43

The argument

Krider reaps the consequences of not planning ahead


Five days before Christmas, when the house was decorated with joy, and the lights on the tree were sparkling, the wife and I had a huge fight. No, it wasn’t very jolly of us to have this fight, but we had it anyway, regardless of whether our yelling could be overheard by the kids or the Elf on the Shelf. Somehow we stumbled on a topic that pressed too many emotional buttons inside of each of us and quickly all reason and kindness was lost. We just had it out, Christmas be damned.

During our nearly two-decades-long marriage, my wife and I haven’t had very many fights like this one. We generally get along very well. Usually when we disagree (which isn’t that often), we quickly determine that she’s right and that I’m wrong. Once that’s settled and we do things her way, then we can go about our lives with smiles on our faces. This arrangement has worked for a long, long time. But on this particular day, five days before Santa was to arrive at our residence and bring presents and joy, I forgot my place in the argument arena and uncharacteristically refused to back down. This resulted in instant conflict.

This little disagreement began when I informed my wife, whom I love, that I’d be doing some Christmas shopping to buy her some gifts. This would be my annual way of showing her love and affection by getting her stuff that she likes. Unbeknownst to me at the time—and it’s VERY clear to me now—when I informed my bride that I’d be going shopping FIVE days before Christmas, I hurt her feelings. You see, if I truly loved her, I would’ve purchased all of my gifts at least SEVEN days before Christmas. By waiting until FIVE days before Christmas I was showing a lack of caring or love of any kind. Essentially, I was nothing more than Grinch dung.

Now, I’d like to point out this small technicality: She would not receive these gifts until Dec. 25 regardless if I purchased them on Dec. 20, Dec. 18, or June 12. But the lack of proper planning on my part showed total disregard for her feelings. 

So, you may ask, why did I inform her I would be doing this last-minute shopping five whole days prior to Christmas? If I’d kept my big, dumb mouth shut, she wouldn’t have known. She would have opened her presents on the big day and been none the wiser. 

Great question. I’ve been asking myself that one ever since the fight. Here is the reason: My wife is the custodian of the bank account. She keeps track of all of the money. So, when I was informing her that I’d be going shopping, I was looking to see how much money we had so I could buy her lots of trinkets to display my love. But because we were FIVE days away from Christmas, she had already purchased lots of stuff for our kids and extended family, which meant we were short on money. She hadn’t budgeted for me to do some shopping for her.

To understand how this fight escalated, here is a very important note about my wife: She is a very kind and giving person who LOVES Christmas. She spends a lot of time and puts in tons of thought and spares no expense in getting the perfect gift for everyone in our family. 

And I mean everyone in our family. That nephew we see every three years or so? Yup, he will be getting a brand new “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” special edition gift. This amount of kindness from her often results in our bank account being drained. Drained to the point where I hope Santa fills my stocking with some rolls of toilet paper so we can get through the rest of the month.

Since there was an obvious lack of funds in our bank account, I decided to pull off a miracle and save Christmas by finding an alternate source of funding so I could still buy my wife something nice five days before she would open it. I have a business savings account for my novel, Cadet Blues. When all the books in inventory sell out I use the account to print more books and keep the self-publishing machine going. I like to keep the account at an amount where I can quickly order 500 more books when demand requires it. I had access to the money, so I figured the problem was solved and I could repay the account later to keep things flush for Cadet Blues.

Here is the big but. There is always a “but” when there is a fight, and that butt was me. I made a huge miscalculation when I was telling my wife two things she didn’t want to hear during the holidays. One: I was going shopping for her a mere FIVE days before Christmas. And two: I informed her that I would need to pay back my account later after buying her gifts. By doing this I made her feel as if I didn’t care enough about her to shop ahead of time, and that I didn’t care enough about her to spend money on her from the business. In her eyes I was being cheap. I might as well have spit in her face. I showed total disregard for her and her feelings. Essentially, I crapped on all of womankind in the universe.

My wife was upset, understandably. She doesn’t care about gifts. What she wants is to know that I love her (like love her enough not to wait until five days before Christmas). She’s a girl and thus her feelings were crushed. But during the fight I couldn’t understand why. I’m a man, and I rarely have feelings, therefore I don’t understand them. It didn’t make sense to me why she was upset as long as there would be a nice present under the tree on Christmas morning (which I have always come through with during years past). Throughout the argument I tried to reason with her, while yelling at the top of my lungs, “Was I supposed to embezzle money from our household bank account in August, and lie to you and hide it from you so you didn’t spend it on everyone else in December, just to make sure I had some money to buy you a present?!”

With tears in her eyes she said, “Yes. That would’ve been really thoughtful.”

Rob is getting ahead of things as he is currently shopping online for presents for Valentine’s Day 2020.

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