When winter ends, winter coats rest until it returns. When winter returns, so do the coats. Have you ever pulled a coat from the closet and found money in the pocket? If so, you may find something relatable in our newest entry in the Justin and Justina dialogue series. For potential newcomers, Justin and Justina are two fictional and similarly-named friends whose dialogues feature often in the pages of this humble online writing magazine. You can find all of their adventures in their series archive.

The Dialogue: Finding Money In A Coat Pocket

We pick up this dialogue with Justin and Justina greeting each other in person outdoors.

Meetings and Greetings

Justina: It’s cold!
Justin: I’m…
Justina: Stop! Don’t tell me that it’s a state of mind. It’s actually cold!
Justin: Well it is a state of mind. But that wasn’t what I was going to say.
Justina: Oh.
Justin: I was going to say that I’m sad.
Justina: I didn’t ask what you were going to say.
Justin: Do you want to know why I’m sad?
Justina: No.
Justin: So here’s why I’m sad.
Justina: Can we at least walk and talk? I’m cold!

“I didn’t find money in my pocket”

Justin: It’s 25 degrees.
Justina: I know.
Justin: I adopted a heavy coat mindset.
Justina: Your coat isn’t heavy! I’d wear that if it was 45. You’re a freak.
Justin: First time I pulled this bad boy out in a year.
Justina: Knowing you, possibly the last.
Justin: I didn’t find money in the pocket.
Justina: Ok?
Justin: That was soul-crushing.
Justina: Did you lose money that was in the pocket?
Justin: I may as well have.
Justina: Huh?
Justin: You don’t understand.
Justina: That’s true.

Opportunity Cost

Justin: Have you ever found something in the pocket of something you haven’t worn in a while?
Justina: All the time. Usually receipts.
Justin: I usually find money.
Justina: You should empty your pockets before you put your stuff in the closet.
Justin: You should check your mail and delete social media apps from your phone.
Justina: You’ll never take away my social!
Justin: At least you didn’t deny the mail part. But I digress. I always find money in the pockets of my coats when I first pull them out of the closet.
Justina: That’s because you don’t empty the pockets.
Justin: It’s a source of income for me.
Justina: It was always your money.

Illustration of a piggy bank by Edna F. Hart for a 1914 edition of Hans Andersen's Fairy Tales.
Illustration of a piggy bank by Edna F. Hart for a 1914 edition of Hans Andersen’s Fairy Tales. Upscaled version.

Justin: I use it to treat myself and buy things like stamps.
Justina: You use your money to do that. It was always your money.
Justin: I really needed this. Spent what I hid under my mattress.
Justina: Why do you put money under your mattress?
Justin: I don’t.
Justina: They why did you say that you do?

Great Expectations

Justin: It’s an expectations thing.
Justina: What do you mean?
Justin: I expect to find money in my pocket. Set a high bar. So not finding money subverted my expectations and made me sad.
Justina: This just means that you emptied your pockets before putting your coat away…
Justin: Remember when you thought I was going to make up for your missing the cow parade but I instead showed you a weird statute in Gowanus?
Justina: Don’t remind me of all the times you make me angry.
Justin: That was all expectations. You expected a cow. It wasn’t that the statute I showed you was bad. It just wasn’t as cool to you as a cow statue.
Justina: It was more that you made me walk into the middle of nowhere for it.
Justin: It’s rough. I really wanted that pocket money.
Justina: You have the pocket money. You took it out of your pocket last year!

I Found This In My Pocket

Justina: (SNEEZE)
Justin: God bless you.
Justina: Thank you. I think I’m allergic to you.
Justin: Probably. Do you need a tissue?
Justina: I do, thanks.
Justin: You’re in luck. I found half-a-pack of tissues, unused, in my coat pocket.

A half-used pack of tissues that was found in the pocket of a coat that had been in the closet for a year.
My professional photograph of a half-used pack of tissues from my own coat pocket. Justin’s looked just like this.

Justina: …
Justin: I would have preferred to find five dollars, but I suppose all’s well that end’s well.
Justina: Thank you for the tissue. But this is the first time I’ve ever felt annoyed about receiving a tissue.
Justin: The next tissue you receive will feel like a letdown without the build-up and the backstory.