It was perhaps my good luck that in college, we had to study the short story The Gift of the Magi written by O. Henry. It my most favorite short story and I have ready it many many times. I first read it in 1990 and that was 19 years ago. My enjoyment of reading it has not diminished at all and has increased over the years. That time, I was a teenager boy and the story profoundly affected. I dreamt that someday, my own couple life will be like this. Thanks God that it has been even perhaps better. However, for the idea of happy couple life, I think that I owe a lot from The Gift of the Magi.
The plot of the story is very simple. Jim and Della are a loving and happy couple. Their economic condition is not good. It is the day before Christmas. Jim had no money to buy any gift for his wife and vice versa. He had a gold watch which he inherited from his family and he sold it to buy a set of expensive combs so that Della can take better care of her lovely hair. Della has extraordinary hair and they are long and shiny. She sold the hair to buy a chain for that gold watch of Jim. This way, what they bought became useless but they understood that they are the happiest couple.
This short story created the thrust in me to find a girl like Della in real life. Fortunately, I found one and she was in Internet in another country. Even we did not have the same language and she was very weak in English. Still, we love each other a lot and we waited for each other in Internet for nearly 4 years. Many people around me laughed at me that I was wasting my time for an Internet girl. I came from a lower middle class family and even saving enough money to visit her country was impossible for 4 years.
It was my good luck that I read The Gift of the Magi at a very early age and it surely influenced me a lot. All I can tell you is that if you have not read the short story then do it right away. You can read it free in Internet here: http://www.auburn.edu/~vestmon/Gift_of_the_Magi.html
I wish that in our own time, we have good short stories like this. By the way, there is one short story that I have written and you can find it here: http://write-translate.blogspot.com/2006/02/helpless-short-story.html
So, enjoy my story for the time being.