Both Edith's Wharton's "Roman Fever- (repr. Arp, and Greg Johnson, Perrine's Literature: Structure, Sound and Sense, 8th ed. [Fort Worth: Harcourt, 2002] 427) and Frank O'Connor's "The Drunkard- (repr. in Thomas R. Arp, and Greg Johnson, Perrine's Literature: Structure, Sound and Sense, 8th ed. [Fort Worth: Harcourt, 2002] 342) display examples of situational irony. However, the manner in which the reader understands the stories' expectations is quite different. In "Roman Fever-, the reader assumes what will happen doesn't really happen. In "The Drunkard-, the reader expects the husband will be the one the story is written about, and a twist in the story causes an unexpected ending. .
In "Roman Fever-, what the reader expects to happen is derived from what Mrs. Alida Slade wants to happen. That is, that Mrs. Grace Ansley, believing the dishonest letter, will waste a cold night at the Colosseum as a punishment for her interest in her fiancé. These ladies were child hood friends and incidentally become reacquainted later in life at a hotel in Rome. When reacquainted, the women find out that they have both been married and conceived daughters. Conversely, what the reader expects to happen in "The Drunkard- is what the wife doesn't want to happen. The wife suspects, and the reader expects, that the husband will drink too much and lose wages as a result, and she'd have to create stories as to why he missed work. In the first story, Mrs. Alida Slade instigates the expectation. In the second, the mother attempts to avoid it.
The irony in "Roman Fever- comes from that fact that the expected wasted night turns into a lover's tryst. Posing as Delphin, Alida sends an invitation to Grace, whom she believes has a romantic attraction towards Delphin, requesting a meeting at the Colosseum that evening. Alida hopes that Grace will spend the evening waiting in the cold. Ironically, Grace does go to the Colosseum and does meet Delphin, Grace's fiancé.