We had just finished our usual breakfast, the one she calls her favorite, peanut butter and black raspberry jelly on toast. It was chilly, a slight dusting of snow covered the ground. I placed some logs in the fireplace and began a fire. We sat in our two chairs facing the burning wood. It was Indiana in the winter time, still mostly dark, still mostly gray. Just dank Midwest in the winter. We had our coffee and we watched the fire. Occasionally one of us, mentions a topic and the other gives and opening followed by a counter or agreement opinion.
There was a pause, a lull, and she turned to me and says. “I have something to tell you. I don’t know how to say it.” My mind raced, we’re approaching 48 year of marriage, and there’s something you don’t know how to say? Will there be a 49th year?
I rushed in; “you’ve promised we’d go somewhere today?” No,
“you promised we’d do something next week” No
” I bought a coat.” My mind ran rapid, coat? She’s got a coat for every 10 degree temperature change, why another coat?? But, my mouth went shut and stayed that way for awhile!! The days of flying off the handle went by the way side, when she saw the number of fishing lures I have hanging in the shed.
“Well I saw this coat and it was normally a hundred dollars, but it was on sale for thirty nine and it looked so cute and warm. I ordered it a while ago, and then we saw that FedEx Semi, get cut in half by the passenger train, with boxes flying everywhere. And you said, good thing we don’t have anything ordered. I was concerned that my coat might have been on that truck. So, I got on line to check the shipment. That’s when I learned it was coming from Shanghai.”
” Shanghai!!!!” I said.
“Shipping was free” she said. (My mind is processing.) “At least it wasn’t on that truck, but the coat is now in San Francisco.” she said (My mind is still processing what I’ve just heard.)
“Shanghai!!” I said. “Wait, how long ago did you order it?”
“Eleven days ago, it took five days to process the order.” she said.
” Five days to process the order? ” (My mind’s done processing! Mouth returns to an open position.) ” It probably took five days to translate the order! pause So, you bought a $100 coat, for $39, with free transportation from Shanghai. The coat probably only costs $5. You realize with free transportation from Shanghai, you may not see it until spring? It’ll bounce all over the country. And when it gets here it may only fit a 10 year old Chinese girl. Well, if it doesn’t fit, we’ll have purchased a granddaughter’s birthday or Christmas gift early.”
I didn’t get mad. After all, it is pretty hard to find any clothes manufactured in the United States, Shanghai!? Hope she wasn’t shanghai’d in this deal.