“WHAT, Maude?” Ira leaned out of the bathroom, toothbrush still hanging out of the corner of his mouth.
“Ira, I think you’d better come look at this!” Maude yelled back, sitting on the edge of the bed, looking at her feet. Ira walked over, scratching his side as he moved, then tugging his white undershirt back down again.
“What am I supposed to be looking at, Maude?”
“Look, Ira, there’s a bump on my pinky toe that wasn’t there before! LOOK!” She held her foot up higher for him to look. He harrumphed.
“Maude, you’ve had that lump for twenty years now, and each spring you notice it again. I would think you’d remember by now!”
“Well, it rubs on my nice sandals, that’s why.” Ira threw his hands up in the air.
“Your nice sandals? The ones your mother bought you FIFTEEN years ago, just before she passed, God rest her soul?”
“Yes, you know my mother had an eye for quality!” Ira harrumphed again.
“An eye for price, that’s what she had. She could walk into any store, find the most expensive thing in five minutes flat, and walk out happy knowing no one else could have it because she already did.” Ira went back to brushing his teeth.
“Well, Ira, she definitely found things that lasted, unlike someone I know.” Ira leaned around the corner again.
“What is THAT supposed to mean? Are you talking about my coat? You’re talking about my coat, aren’t you? I’ll have you know that that coat has lasted me twenty-five years now, and I’ve not been cold one winter!” He smirked and leaned back to get the mouthwash.
“Lasted?! The only thing holding that coat together is three coats’ worth of patches and five spools of thread!” Ira spit out the mouthwash.
“Three coats’ worth? Why, there’s only the patch on the elbow, and the one on the pocket!”
“And the new collar, after I turned the other one, twice. And the new lining, which was from your son’s outgrown school jacket, I’ll have you know. AND...” Ira stormed out again. He returned minutes later with the coat in question.
“THIS. This is quality! This is WORTH the thirty dollars I spent on it. Coats shouldn’t have to cost a hundred dollars just to keep you warm! This...” But as he shook it, one of the sleeves became partially detached and started sliding off the hanger. Then the front pocket drooped a bit, and the stitching began to relax on it so that it hung away from the coat, just a bit more. Ira slumped.
“Ira, dear, do you want me to fix it for you?” Maude asked gently. Ira set the coat on a nearby chair and slipped into bed next to Maude. He turned out the light and gave her a kiss.
“No dear, tomorrow I was thinking you could take me to get a new coat. Something of quality.”