“Maude! Bring my slippers!”
“Get them yoreself, Harry. I ain't yore personal slave. Who died and made you boss, anyways?”
Harry cranked his Lazy Boy to its upright position, but before he could sit straight up Maude had fetched his slippers and dropped them by his feet in their proper left-foot, right-foot positions. She huffily planted a cheek on his bald head and returned to her own chair.
“Thanks, Maudie. Yore a peach.”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm a peach, and yore the pits, Harry. If I had knew you was so lazy, I never would have married you 50 years ago. Just think, I gave up Billy Joe Hawkins for you, and today he's a millionaire.”
“He also cheated on all three of his ex-wives. I never once cheated on you. Besides, you didn't love him, Maude, you loved me.”
“I know that, Harry, but I coulda learnt to love him.”
“You don't learn to love anyone, Maudie. You either love'em or you don't. And you loved me. Still do, I'm gatherin’, by that little smackaroo just now.” Harry chuckled.
“Yeah, I do, Harry, but only the good Lord knows why.” Maude looked toward the heavens.
“Awe, Maude, ain't I always been good to you? Ain't I always worked hard and provided you with everythin’ you needed?”
“Yeah, Harry. I just wished you would act grateful for all the things I do for you. You just take me for granted, Harry. How come you never fetch my slippers?”
“Why, you never once asked me too, Maudie.” Harry rolled his eyes.
“I shouldn't have to ask, Harry. You should just do it! I cook for you, clean for you, and been yore nursemaid ever since we got married, and you never even once returned the favors I do for you.”
“What's got into you, Maude? You never talked like this afore.”
“Well, I been meanin' to tell you, Harry. I been thinkin' 'bout a divorce.”
“Are you crazy, woman? We been married for 50 years! I ain’t givin' you no divorce!”
“Well, I wont one, Harry. I wont one.” Maude stomped off into the kitchen to fetch Harry a cup of coffee.
Harry didn't sleep very well that night. Maudie wanted a divorce! He just didn't understand it. How could she think of such a thing after all this time?
He knew she had seemed unhappy at times, but he thought it was because the good Lord never gave them any children. Maudie had wanted a daughter badly, and Harry had yearned for a son. They were married for 10 years before Maude found out from Doc Jenkins that she couldn’t conceive.
That's why he had become like a little boy to her, he supposed. She needed to mother someone, and he had to admit, he liked the mothering.
The next morning, Harry fetched Maude's slippers. He made her breakfast, dinner, and her supper. He waited on her hand and foot for the next several days, until one day, Maude could take it no more.
“Harry, if you don't stop smotherin' me, I'm gonna shore 'nuff divorce you!” Maude exploded.
“Land's sake, woman! Make up yore mind. What do you want from me? I'm tryin' to be a good husband so you won't wont a divorce!”
“Harry, I don't wont a divorce. I just needed to know you love and appreciate me, and now I do. Now I do.”
“I do love you, Maudie.” Harry raised up from his Lazy Boy and went to sit by Maude on the sofa. He put his arms around her and kissed her on the cheek.
“I love you, too, Harry.” Maude tearfully kissed him on his bald head again, but this time with a little more passion.
Two weeks later Harry surprised Maude with a black Lab puppy. She had always wanted a dog, but Harry thought dogs were too much trouble. They named him Sonny, and he was the perfect solution. Maude finally had a baby to raise.
Harry and Maude just celebrated the 60th wedding anniversary. For the past ten years, they have been happily taking care of Sonny, and each other.
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