(Strip Number 130, Original Publication Date, 15 April 1981)
Panel 1: Elly is slumped over the table with the sour, dour expression that I think of whenever I hear her name and is making a point of not listening to John saying "You're right; it is an expensive stereo."
Panel 2: His explaining that that it's great quality and the very best mean little to her and only serve to make her angrier.
Panel 3: One would think that his more-or-less sincere comment about how if he didn't go for the very best, he wouldn't have married her would placate her.
Panel 4: One, of course, would be suffering from the same fecal encephalopathy that makes Elly think that he doesn't want her to have nice things; that's because she bellows "IT WON'T WORK, PATTERSON!!" so forcefully, he looks as if he were being hit by a water cannon.
Summary: Like I said, she doesn't want the problem to be solved; what she wants is to passively sit and fume like an idiot over nothing so she can be a super-important and super-impotent martyr. Years of this crap do something stupid she does not intend; it convinces John not to spend more on appliances than he has to. Since he's going to be wrong anyway, he should at least save some money, right?