Over the weekend, a man in a China mall gave fellow shoppers a tragic shock when he jumped off a railing and plummeted seven floors to his death.
Why? Because his girlfriend wouldn’t stop Christmas shopping.
The man, 38-year-old Tao Hsiao, had been shopping at Golden Eagle International Shopping Center in Xuzhou, China, with his girlfriend for five hours when he decided he simply couldn’t stand it anymore. He insisted that they leave when she proposed browsing another shoe store. Things escalated into an argument, and then Tao threw his shopping bags on the floor and tossed himself over the railing.
An eyewitness said:
“He told her she already had enough shoes, more shoes that she could wear in a lifetime and it was pointless buying any more…she started shouting at him accusing him of being a skinflint and of spoiling Christmas, it was a really heated argument.”
“This is a tragic incident, but this time of year can be very stressful for many people,” said the mall’s spokesman, in the understatement of the year. It’s hard not to wonder what else was going on in the man’s life that would push him to take such drastic action. (It’s also very sad to imagine what his girlfriend might be going through right now.) I’d certainly hope it wasn’t solely the pressure of holiday shopping, but either way, this makes a pretty big (and depressing) statement about the general attitude of the Christmas season these days. The pressures of the holidays can sometimes completely overshadow the whole “joy and togetherness” thing that made us want to celebrate in the first place.