Tuesday, July 31, 2012

An Expensive Surprise

Wife walks in and sits down across from me in the living room. Here's a general overview of the convo:

Wife: "I have something that I need to talk to you about, and I know you're not going to like it."

Me: "Okay... Go ahead." Puts computer away.


Wife: "Well, I know you just said that we need to pay close attention to the budget (backstory note: we just paid a hideous amount of money for a new, quality couch, and our budget is still kind of reeling from this and all the miscellaneous med school costs that have come up in the past month.) but there is something that I want to get. It's really expensive."

Me: "All right, what is it?"

Wife: "I can't tell you."



Perplexed pause.

Me: "...And why not?"

Wife: "It's for you, and telling you what it is will take a lot away from it, almost ruin it, but I know you'll love it. I'm sorry, I know you've got to hate this part..."

---

The reason Wife is "sorry" here is that I am in charge of planning our budget, and just yesterday I told her we were going to have to be pretty careful with the budget. Something along the lines of, "We've played things a bit fast and loose this summer, and we just can't be making many unplanned expenditures for a while." She also knows that I don't like wrenches being chucked into my carefully-planned-and-tidy budget. She also knows that I very rarely spend large amounts of money on myself. The most recent laptop addition to our technology was A) planned out and saved for over a period of 2.5 years, and B) largely paid for in a generous med school gift by my dad. Those savings have recently been diverted in anticipatory "preservation of healthy marriage" action toward a vacation between the next two semesters, so it's not just hanging around to pay for whatever plans Wife is making here. A continuaciĆ³n...

---

Me: "Okay, so it's a gift for me. Is it a need or a want?" You see, I have this thing where if it's a need, it's much easier for me to bend the budget and accommodate it. If it's a want, I'm much more likely to say no.

Wife: "Well, part of it's a need, part of it's a want..." Not helpful, but I can tell she's doing her best to answer my questions.

Me: "Okay. The big question is, how much are you wanting to spend?"

Wife: Bites lip before speaking. "It's two million dollars."

No, she didn't really say two million dollars, but I figured I'd rather put that in here than the actual amount. Don't worry, the real amount is much, much less - but still expensive by my terms...

Me: Closes mouth, starts breathing again. "Oh man, I don't know if I can do that... What if I don't end up agreeing with you that it's worth it? How long would I have to wait before finding out what it is?"

Wife: "It would be about two months..."

Me: "Two MONTHS?!? So you're telling me that I have to fork over two million dollars [again, not really two mil] with the possibility that I might disagree that we even need to get the thing in the first place? All right in the middle of med school? Man, that would be frustrating. And stressful I don't know if we can do this.."

Wife: Hurriedly, "Believe me - this would be an awesome gift to get right in the middle of med school. You won't regret it."

That gives me pause. She keeps talking it up as I open up the computer and navigate to our online banking and the budget tools I've set up. I do a quick run-through with her of our current financial standing and anticipated expenses, along with reserve funds, projected tuition payments for me and her, along with expected loan installments. As it is, if everything chugs along as planned, we should squeak through to next summer with a little bit of a buffer in case of an emergency, all things accounted for. At least one (preferably both of us) will need to get a job next summer, but it should work.

I make a bunch of guesses about what it could be, but Wife is not very forthcoming with hints. She's rarely this close-mouthed about a gift. Actually, I'm usually able to guess her gifts based on the most barebones of hints - probably the reason for her silent mouth... I fall into silence after she gives me zilch to go on.

Wife gets up and says, "I'll let you think about it." I just mulled it over for several minutes, thinking about plans for moving money around, then decided to write this post to help me hash through my thoughts. I've decided to trust her and tell her to go for it.

Seriously, how lucky am I to have as awesome of a "problem" as this? To have a wife that respects me and trusts me enough to give me this decision? A wife who loves me enough to plan out and attempt a surprise that she knows I will love, months in advance? And to boot, a financial situation where something like this is even possible, regardless of if it's by a tight squeeze? I definitely cannot complain...

The only thing I can do is go into the kitchen (where Wife - in typical awesome form - is currently making us an incredible dinner; I can smell it now...) and tell her it's on. 

Just told her. Now all that's left is to wait two months to see what the gift ends up being... Any guesses?

5 comments:

Jill said...

I have no idea what the gift may be, but what I do know is that you are one lucky man!

Susan said...

I'm not good on waiting for surprises..... :{ this is gonna KILL me with suspense...Waiting two months is like waiting two years

ahyesplans said...

OH MY GOSH the suspense!! You just got a new computer so I'm not sure what it would be... an iPad? Do you have an iPad?? Erm... yeah that's where my guesses stop. I'm not that imaginative!

Justin said...

@Jill - Truth,

@Susan - The only way I can deal with surprises is to forget about them. Luckily, I have med school to distract me soon...

@ahyesplans - I actually DO have an iPad, so that's not a possibility... I don't even know if it is going to be a new piece of tech - but then I try and think of something expensive that ISN'T tech, and I draw a blank, so... I have absolutely no clue. It could be anything.

elisabeth said...

I can't wait to find out what it is! What a wonderful wife you have. Oh, and, you have definitely inspired me to get way more organized with our budget!!

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