Decorated! (Maupassant)

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Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A man obsessed with receiving a prestigious decoration spent his life trying to earn it, only to discover that his wife had secretly arranged for him to receive it through a friend.
Monsieur Sacrement had always dreamt of being decorated with a prestigious award since he was a child.

Ever since he was a child Monsieur Sacrement had only had one idea in his head—to be decorated.

Despite failing his Bachelor of Arts examination and not having a clear career path, he married a pretty girl and lived a comfortable life in Paris.
Monsieur Sacrement — obsessed with being decorated; jealous, ambitious, and persistent.
Madame Sacrement — Monsieur Sacrement's wife; supportive, secretive, and resourceful.
However, his obsession with receiving an award never waned, and he constantly felt jealous of those who had been decorated.

When he met any men who were decorated on the Boulevards, he looked at them askance, with intense jealousy.

In an attempt to earn a decoration, Sacrement began writing pamphlets on various subjects, hoping to gain recognition for his work. He sought the help of a Deputy named M. Rosselin, who advised him to continue his efforts and even managed to secure him a position researching historical works in libraries across France.
M. Rosselin — Deputy; decorated, influential, and helpful to Monsieur Sacrement.
One day, Sacrement returned home unexpectedly and found an overcoat with a red ribbon, signifying the Legion of Honour, in his house. His wife, Jeanne, quickly explained that it was a surprise for him, as he had been awarded the prestigious decoration due to his exceptional services. The news had not yet been made official, but she had obtained the overcoat in anticipation of the announcement. Overwhelmed with joy, Sacrement wept and thanked M. Rosselin for his help in achieving his lifelong dream.

He was so overcome that he let the overcoat fall, and dropped into an armchair. 'I am—you say I am—decorated?'

A week later, the Journal Officiel announced that Monsieur Sacrement had indeed been awarded the Legion of Honour, finally fulfilling his lifelong ambition.