One afternoon, as she sat with her husband beside her on the cot, thrusting her needle faster and faster, yanking the thread until it broke, she remarked in a soft hysterical tone, "There is one advantage in our children's not having enough to eat and not growing as they should. They can go on wearing the same old garments longer than normal children."
Helianos took the needle and thread away from her, put his arms around her, and told her that this was no way to talk. Unintentionally or not, it was like a parody of his own ironic speech and it disturbed him, somehow between sadness and anger. Their nerves were on the edge. They were unaccustomed to everything, inefficient at everything; for which they alternately blamed one another and apologized to one another.
Glenway Wescott, An Apartment in Athens, David Leavitt (intr.), NYRB, 2004 (1944, 1ª edição).