I recently came across something called “The Marital Rating Scale” created by Dr. George Crane, a psychologist from the 1930s. Dr. Crane interviewed 600 husbands on their wives’ positive and negative qualities and then assigned points for merits and demerits. Here is sample of the chart:
I thought it might be fun to take a look at some of the more interesting “demerits” for wives on Dr. Crane’s scale and see how I score.
Demerits for Wives
#3 Fails to sew on buttons or darn socks regularly
True confessions here: I had to google “darn socks.” I mean, I’ve heard the term before, but I didn’t actually know what it meant. Clearly, I have failed in this department.
Also, I have never sewn a button in my life. Ever. Probably because I somehow have never been alone in a button emergency. I mean, I have a mom that can sew a button, my friends can sew buttons, and I married a guy that can sew a button. My nine-year-old can sew a button. I just sort of discreetly leave the room when I suspect a potential button situation.
It’s been 47 years. Why break my streak now?
#25 Wears pajamas while cooking
Hmm…this one is a bit baffling. Does anyone really care what anyone who is cooking for them is wearing?
You want to come to my house and cook for me? You can wear your ratty pajamas, you can wear a ballgown, you can wear a bathing suit. Hell, you can wear your birthday suit, I really don’t care. I would just be forever grateful for one less meal to cook.
#18 Tells family affairs to casual acquaintances, too talkative
I suppose writing a blog about your family affairs for complete strangers to read and then posting it on social media would qualify me for a solid demerit on this one.
#7 Seams in hose often crooked/ripped
Finally, one I agree with! In fact, my hose is ripped right now and it’s super annoying because every time I go to water my hydrangeas, I end up soaking wet. You are right, Dr. Crane, a woman’s hose should not rip.
#35 Wears pajamas instead of nightgown
Wow…huge fail here. Here is a photo of the last nightgown I wore. Holly Hobbie from 1975. That nightgown was legit. I think it even came with a bonnet.
Now I don’t even wear matching pajamas. I wear flannel pajama pants, even in summer, and either my green “Breakfast Club” t-shirt or my gray t-shirt that says, “I like to party. And by party I mean read books.” I probably get extra demerits for having all that goin’ on.
#13 Uses slang or profanity (5)
Shit. He gives FIVE demerits for this one. Screw it, I’ll take the goddamn demerits because sometimes you have to call an asshole an asshole and there’s just no polite way around it.
#27 Is more than 15 pounds overweight
You are seriously starting to piss me off, Dr. Crane. I saw a photo of you, and you’re not so hot. Shall I take five more demerits for calling you an asshole?
Enough with the demerits. Let’s see where I can rack up some favorable wifely points.
Merits for Wives
#25 Has pleasant voice – not strident
Well, according to Merriam-Webster, strident means loud and harsh. I’m 100 percent Italian, so I guess no points here. Damn.
#36 Keeps husband’s clothes clean and pressed
I get a point! Well, half a point. I do wash his clothes. But pressed? Unfortunately, that would fall under the same category as darning socks and sewing buttons.
#28 Writes often and lovingly when away from husband
Does this post count? Love you, B.
#41 Has minor children to care for (5)
Jackpot! I do have minor children, three of them at five points each, so 15 points for me! Shoot, I just realized my oldest is 18 so she doesn’t count. (But she’s still a tax deduction, right?)
#23 Reacts with pleasure and delight to marital congress (10)
Does “marital congress” mean what I think it means? Sex is worth only 10 points? I’m in a bit of a pickle with this one. My children read my blog. If I award myself the points, they might die of mortification. If I don’t award myself the points, it’s possible my husband will. Pleading the 5th on this one.
#34 Good seamstress – can make her own clothes or the children’s clothes
I think we can safely assume from my button confession that this one doesn’t apply to me.
#7 Personally puts children to bed
Umm…yes. I mean, is there another way to do it? Is there, like, a service you can call? What am I missing here?
#33 Often comments on husband’s strength and masculinity
Not really, but I often ask him to reach things that I can’t, which is kinda the same thing.
#21 Keeps snacks in refrigerator for late eating
I do, in fact, keep (well, hide) snacks, particularly my friends Ben & Jerry, buried underneath the frozen vegetables for my late night eating. Does that count?
#20 Has a pleasant disposition in the morning – not crabby.
That depends. Did someone find and eat my Ben & Jerry’s?
#22 Likes educational and cultural things
Ugh. Honestly? I really don’t. I mean, I’ll watch “Jeopardy” every once and awhile, but that’s about it. I don’t like NOVA, I don’t like documentaries, I don’t like concerts, I don’t much like theater, and I pretty much go to museums out of obligation to raise culturally aware children.
Good thing I’m not writing a dating profile. I sound awful.
So I’m not sure exactly how many points I’ve scored, but it ain’t looking good. It has become painfully obvious that I would make a pretty crappy 1930s housewife, at least according to Dr. Crane. But since being a 1930s housewife seems like a worse job than being an armpit sniffer (it exists), I’m not too devastated.
This post was originally published on the author’s blog.