Surprises can be a surprise…

So it’s my wife’s birthday and, sure I could step out on a limb and go buy her something – a surprise something – that I think she might love, but then again, she might not.

Meanwhile there’s a whole bunch of stuff that she’s dropped some (not so subtle hints!) that she would like.

So I either go for the surprise option or I get her what I know she would like.

When I put it like that, it’s obvious which option I should go for. But why do we feel compelled to go for the ‘surprise option’?

I suspect (or fear) that it’s actually our own ego that we’re stroking when we choose to go for the surprise option. We want to knock it out of the park and delight the recipient and give ourselves a warm glow… like we knew more about what they wanted more than them. 

Or am I missing something?

P.S. Which option do you think I went for: surprise or not so subtle hint(s)?