Friday, June 13, 2008

Am I a Good Wife?

I know a lot of people have seen this – it's the "Marital Rating Scale" by George W. Crane, MD, from 1939. Most folks have passed around the first page of the "Wife's Chart" because it's the most commonly encountered example. I poked around and found the full version on flickr. I decided to take the *full* test, and am posting the text here (with my comments and results). I'm tempted to follow up with the Husband's Chart in the future!

Wife's Chart
George W. Crane, PhD, M.D.

"In computing the score, check the various items under DEMERITS which fit the wife, and add the total. Each item counts one point unless specifically weighted as in the parentheses. Then check the items under MERITS which apply; now subtract the DEMERIT score from the MERIT score. The result is the wife's raw score. Interpret it according to this table:"

Raw Scores - Interpretation
0 - 24 = Very Poor (failures)
25 - 41 = Poor
42 - 58 = Average
59 - 75 = Superior
76 and up = Very Superior


1. A good hostess - even to unexpected guests – not that we ever have any: +1

2. Has meals on time – we do nothing "on time", so I make food when Chris is hungry. I think that counts! – +1

3. Can carry on an interesting conversation: +1 (as if it could be otherwise!)

4. Can play an instrument, as piano, violin, etc. – doesn't say well, so: +1

5. Dresses for breakfast – considering his (the good doctor, not my sweet baboo!) idea of "dresses", I have to be honest: 0

6. Neat housekeeper – tidy and clean – Epic fail: 0

7. Personally puts children to bed – since our children all have tails and he does a lot of the "putting to bed" when he's home, I'm going to give myself 0.5

8. Never goes to be angry, always makes up first (5) – "Never"? "Always"? I know I should adhere to the spirit of this and observe the language of absolutes he employs, but fuck it. I don't go to bed angry (who can fall asleep pissed off?), and make up first a lot, especially when I know I've contributed to the problem. I deserve some freaking points! – +2.5

9. Asks husband's opinions regarding important decisions and purchases – sure, I ask! – +1

10. Good sense of humor jolly and gay – two words that have left our vernacular, at least in this context. Whatever. I have a fabulous sense of humor! – +1

11. Religious - sends children to church or Sunday school and goes herself. (10) – I'm one of those cliché "spiritual but not religious" people: 0

12. Lets husband sleep late on Sunday and holidays – in the context of #11, this seems particularly asinine. So I should love God and Jesus and drag the kids to our place of worship, but let my darling hubby sleep in? Would a good wife really care so little about her husband's eternal soul?!? Whatever. We both sleep in. – +1

13. Encourages thrift – economical (5) – Fail. He works so hard and has to travel so much that I would rather do without for myself than tell him not to get something he wants. As long as we're doing ok, I think that's fine. – 0

14. Laughs at husband's jokes and his clowning – absolutely! But only because he's genuinely funny! I could never be one of those wives who "humors" her husband in this area. So part of me thinks (based on the tone of this scale) that I should get a "0" here. But I figure part of my wifely awesomeness lies in choosing a guy to marry who I could laugh with honestly. So really, I should get 2 points here! I'll take the 1, though: +1

15. Ambitious for her family - urges higher attainment – um… don't know what to do with this. I'm no Lady MacBeth. And I'm not dreaming of Chris becoming a CEO. I just want us to be happy and secure, and he wants that too. So to be literal, I would get "0" here, but since he and I are on the same page in terms of "ambition", I'm taking this one – +1

16. Belongs to parent-teacher club, or child study group – again, no skin kids. And since I belong to several yahoo groups specific to our non-human children, I'm taking this one too: +1

17. A good cook - serves balanced meals (5) – when I follow a recipe, I kick ass. And when I'm trying to be good and healthy for Chris, I make balanced meals. I'm taking a partial: + 3.5

18. Tries to become acquainted with husband's business or trade – sure, I try! You try acquainting yourself with warehouse management software and get back to me: +1

19. Greets husband at night with a smile: +1

20. Has a pleasant disposition in the morning not crabby – if I'm actually up in the a.m. (and it’s the "waking up" in the a.m. and not the late-night for me) I'm guaranteed to be crabby! – 0

21. Keeps snacks in the refrigerator for late eating+1 (oh, wait – for him? Whatever. He can eat what I have on hand if he's really hungry.)

22. Likes educational and cultural things – I'm totally counting tv and movies and blogs: +1

23. Reacts with pleasure and delight to marital congress (10) – this is based on my own life, in which he is doing things right. Again, I'm not good at "humoring" people, and consider my choice of a compatible spouse to be part of my "Good Wife-y-ness": +10

24. Faithful and true to husband (10) – uh, totally. Otherwise, what's the point? – +10

25. Has pleasant voice not strident – not at all. My tone of voice is a major issue because something about my mind/ears makes me unaware of how I come across. So sadly, Chris is apparently stuck with a harsh and strident wife. Sorry, babe! – 0

26. Has spunk – will defend her ideals and religion – to the death!!! Ok, maybe not death: +1

27. Praises husband in public+1

28. Writes often and lovingly when away from husband – do text messages count? How about dirty ones? Email links? – +1

29. Writes to husband's parents regularly – again, does email count? I'm going to operate under the assumption that this question is more about harmony with the in-laws, which I definitely try to maintain: +1

30. Willing to assist husband at office or shop – Willing? Yes. Able? Not even close. So in the spirit of adhering to reality: +1

31. Sympathetic - likes children and unfortunates (5) – of course I do! – +5

32. Keeps hair neatly combed or shampooed and waved – sadly, I am dirty and lazy. My hair is always neat, just not always especially clean or styled : +0.5

33. Often comments on husband's strength and masculinity – um, no. "Often"? To whom would I be doing this? I certainly extoll his awesomeness, but not usually in terms of heavy lifting or hairiness/"bedroom performance". I'm going to give myself partial credit here because I truly believe that I let Chris know how terrific I think he is. But I don't run around commenting (to him or others) on these specific things : +0.5

34. Good seamstress – can make her own clothes or the children's clothing – not hardly: 0

35. Gives husband shampoo or manicure – I do!!! He often gets manis when we're in the car for more than 30 minutes: +1

36. Keeps husband's clothes clean and pressed – clean? Totally. Pressed? Nah. I don't believe in irons. But he does, so I keep everything clean and he irons what he wants extra-smooth: +0.5

37. Bravely carries on during financial depression – Wow. Talk about some dramatic language! I'd have to say "yes" here: +1

38. Healthy or courageous and uncomplaining – Yeah, right! Anyone who knows me (or has read anything pertinent here) is aware that this doesn't even remotely apply: 0

39. Keeps self dainty, perfumed, and feminine – hrm. "Dainty" throws me because it seems size-specific, and I've always felt I was too tall/big to qualify. I'm definitely "perfumed" but that isn't really a "plus" as far as Chris is concerned. And "feminine"? What the fuck does that mean? I have a vagina, and his penis isn't unfamiliar with it. Aside from reproductive standards, is there a better definition? – +0.5

40. Is of same religion as her husband (5) – this again treads that shifty ground. We are both spiritual and non-religious, so we are (so far – *knock on wood*) free of "religious" conflicts. And we don't have the "family" religious issues. So in my book I get full points: +5

41. Has minor children to care for (5 points per child) – Jeez! Baby wars, anyone? I know how difficult and time-consuming human children are, so I'm not presuming to equate our non-human kids with them. I'd rather scoop 20 litter boxes than deal with a human child for 24 hours straight. So I'm acknowledging our posse without being unrealistic about their needs: +1

42. On friendly terms with neighbors – Sure, why not? I say "hi" when I see them. I don't call the cops on them. What more can one ask? – +1

43. Fair and just in settling children's quarrels with others – N/A so I'll take the zero: 0

44. Likes to vacation with husband – as opposed to all those other guys I love sailing away with… Puh-leeze! I know it may sound lame, but Chris is my best friend. Who better to vacation with? – +1

45. An active member of some women's organization – WOW, this is vague. And since it is, I'm going to count my subscription to Bitch magazine: +1

46. Often tells husband she loves him (5) – possibly *too* often, but how is one to judge? I say it when it strikes me, which is several times a day. I would rather shoot myself than regret not saying it: +5

47. Polite and mannerly even when alone with husband – Um, no. He would probably think I was possessed if I suddenly started acting thusly: 0

48. Willing to get a job to help support the home – must opine here – this is only worth ONE point?!? Really? My willingness to pull my own weight/support the household is worth less than telling Chris I love him, bearing a child, being (basically) charitable, cooking "balanced" meals, or not going to bed angry? For serious? I'll take the point, but I really think this one should be worth more. A LOT more: +1

49. Praises marriage before young women contemplating it – I love it, so why shouldn't they? – +1

50. Is unselfish and kind-hearted – doesn't specify "humans" so I think I'm home clear – +1



1. Slow in coming to bed – delays till husband is almost asleep – totally bogus, but I'll take the hit: -1

2. Doesn't like children (5) – I like them! Especially if they belong to someone else! – 0

3. Fails to sew on buttons or darn socks regularly – I'm willing and able but don't do so on a regular basis: -1

4. Wears soiled or ragged dresses and aprons around the house – I don't violate this literally but I do in spirit: -1

5. Wears red nail polish – WTF?!? I know there are some historic contextual incongruities in this "quiz", but how has red nail polish ever been an issue that could negate one's willingness to get a job??? And what would Dr. Crane think of my truly vampy shades? Whatever: -1

6. Often late for appointments (5) – Not even! In fact, I'm *taking* a point because Chris is so non-punctual and I have struggled against it for so long! – +1!

7. Seams in hose often crooked – n/a – 0

8. Goes to bed with curlers on her hair or much face cream – those were the days. – 0

9. Puts her cold feet on husband at night to warm them – guilty as charged. What can I say? He is deliciously warm and so readily available in the dead of winter! – -1

10. Is a back seat driver – NO! I have worked SO hard to correct this! I refuse to take a point: 0

11. Flirts with other men at parties or in restaurants (5) – I have to admit that I'm not qualified to answer this. I don't even know how to (deliberately) flirt "in real life". But apparently some of my online *joking* behavior has been interpreted as being flirty. So do I go by intent or result? I'm going to go by result, because I know my ignorant behavior has at least once upset Chris in the past: -2

12. Is suspicious and jealous (5) – totally, unrepentantly guilty of this. Back off, bitches, or I will cut you! – -5

13. Uses slang or profanity (5) – I fail to see the problem here, but whatever. FUCK you, Crane: -5 (and, again: this equates to a human child?!? Get a grip!!!)

14. Smokes, drinks, gambles, or uses dope (5) – thank goodness it isn't multiple vices! Wine is enough for me! – -5

15. Talks about former boyfriends or first husband – nope – 0

16. Squeezes toothpaste at the top – for real?!? THIS was a big marital issue back in the day? – 0

17. Reminds husband it is her money they are living on (5) – Hah! Not even! – 0

18. Tells family affairs to casual acquaintances, too talkative – *gives Chris hairy eyeball* – 0

19. A chronic borrower – doesn't keep stocked up – so NOT an issue for a hermit like me: 0

20. Slows up card game with chatter and gossip – seriously?!? They played cards/games for non-social reasons back then? Not in my demo – it's purely for fun here! – 0

21. Opens husband's personal mail – ALL the damn time. Why should it be a problem, exactly?!? He who has nothing to hide hides nothing, motherfuckers! – -1

22. Frequently exceeds her allowance or family budget (5) – all the time, but not in some dramatic/apocalyptic way: -4

23. Eats onions, radishes, or garlic before a date or going to bed – I refuse to take a point for this, because it doesn't interfere with sexy fun time: 0

24. Tells risque or vulgar stories (5) – Again, fuck you, Crane. This doesn't make me less of a wife. In fact, it makes me MORE of a wife! You really think I should keep those stories from my husband? You think he wants me to? You're a moron! I'm *taking* a point! – +1

25. Wears pajamas while cooking0

26. Talks during movie, play, or concert – I'll fess up. I do this. I know it's aggravating, but I can't seem to stop: -1

27. Is more than 15 pounds overweight – Woohoo!!! Not yet! – 0

28. Often whining and complaining – Um, yeah. Total whiner here: -1

29. Discourteous to sales clerks and hired help – never! If anything, I'm overly kind! – 0

30. Shoulder straps hang over arms or slip is uneven and shows – Heh. I rarely wear a bra, and almost *never* a slip, so I'm in the clear! – 0

31. Fails to was top of milk bottle before opening – Uhhhhh... I have no notion what a modern equivalent for this might be. But I refuse to take a hit! – 0

32. Corrects husband's speech or actions before others (5) – I don't think I do this, but I know I'm not perfect so I'm docking myself: -2

33. Saves punishment of children for father at night (5)0

34. Serves dinner but fails to sit down till meal is half over – then wants husband to wait for her – Gee, hold a grudge much dude? – 0

35. Wears pajamas instead of nightgown – I'm giving myself a point here because I eschew both and go naked. What husband prefers clothing to nudity? – +1

36. Fails to bathe or brush teeth often enough (5) – I'll dock myself here because although I'm super-keen on oral hygiene, I'm dirty with the body stuff: -2.5

37. Puts stocking to soak in wash basin – n/a – 0

38. Serves too much from tin cans or the delicatessen store – *I* don't think so… – 0

39. Visits mother too often – a spoiled child – judge-y much, Crane? – 0

40. Is snobbish or too much concerned in "keeping up with the Jonses." – Puh-leeze! They only *wish* they could keep up with us!!! LOL! – 0

41. Dislikes husband's hobbies as fishing, baseball, etc. – Meh. I don't "dislike" WoW, I just can't get into it… – 0

42. Tells lies - is not dependable (5) – never say it: 0

43. Doesn't want to get up to prepare breakfast – well, of course not! Why would I, when Chris prepares it so much better? – 0

44. Insists on driving the car when husband is along – how about the opposite? I avoid driving when Chris is available to do so! Especially when #14 (drinking) is a factor. Should I deprive him of the opportunity to be the designated driver? – 0

45. Smokes in bed or has cigarette stained fingers – No, nay, never! – 0

46. Cries, sulks, or pouts too much – this I totally do. Can't avoid it: 0

47. Makes engagements without consulting husband – not anymore! I was guilty of this for several years whn we first go together, but have since been cured! – 0

48. Talks too long on the phone – I only talk excessively with Katie, and that's almost exclusively limited to when Chris is away. I'm really not a phone person: 0

49. Is a gossip – sooo relative. And I don't think I qualify: 0

50. Walks around the house in stocking feet – why on earth is this a negative?!? And, again, why is it equivalent to my willingness to get a damn job?!? Whatever. I do it. ALL the TIME. Suck it, Crane! – -1



Judgement: I am a poor wife. But we already knew that.


Tammy said...

I tried taking the quiz, but my short attention span caused me to stop after awhile. That said, I read through all the answers and estimated the scores, and I'd say that I failed miserable.

Oh, wait, I've just realized that I'm not married.


Trina said...

LOL! If you want an easier/faster way to take it, there's an online quiz version here:

Anonymous said...

Damn you are truthful! I would hide some of those things for just me to know LOL.I hereby deed to you 70 points for mentioning your stunning friend Katie. And the extensive lenght of our phone calls is due to Chris who gets 100points,$00.00 free on a long-distance call.And all the more he understands 4 hours is a quick chat!Commenting if all you have to seem to do to ace this quiz is fed him on time and be polite,I think I passed !!!How shocking...Koo's

mireille said...

1939? 1939! and you should have received 240 pts. for sense of humor alone. xoxo

CrazyBunnyLady said...

I got a 40. I am definately going to start wearing my pearls when I vaccuum.

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