Day 13 and I was devoid of thoughts for blogging. So I did what any good blogger would do in the face of writers’ block – I stole an idea from Carol at If By Yes.
Behold! The wholly-awesome and thoroughly scientific Marital Rating Scale, written & published by Dr. George W. Crane, Ph.D., M.D., after interviewing 600 couples about their spouses’ “flaws and virtues”:
(Please click on the image to find your very own blank, printable version so you can play along at home!)
When Carol and her husband did it, he came out “very superior” and she came out “poor”. Ouch. Now, hubs and I have joked for years that he got the better bargain when we married, and we both know that he was really joking and I was really not. Finally! Here is an empirical and totally not subjective, weird, and probably-tainted-by-the-good-doctor’s-own-marital-dissatisfaction method for proving that each and every day hubs should thank his lucky stars that he found me.
We got our pens and started the quiz.
And it became painfully clear that I was going to get hosed by Dr. Crane.
Five demerit points for telling risque or vulgar stories? Further demerit points for wearing soiled clothing around the house, having crooked seams in my hose, and wearing pajamas instead of a nightgown? Still more for putting my cold feet on hubs to warm them, but then also losing a point because I walk around the house in my stocking feet? IF I’M NOT ALLOWED TO WEAR SOCKS, HOW ELSE AM I SUPPOSED TO KEEP MY FEET WARM?
Bah. By the time hubs was done, I had 31 demerit points. I haven’t scored so badly on anything in my life.
Then came my merit points. Here we go, I thought. My chance to shine. Right? RIGHT?
I picked up an easy 20 points by “reacting with pleasure and delight to marital congress” and “being faithful and true to my husband”. Missed out on the 10 points I could have gained by making the kids go to Sunday school (and attending myself) – although I would argue that since I married an atheist I should get the 10 points for not getting the kids involved in religion, but whatever. An additional 10 points (5 points per child!) for having the care of minor children. I thought I was doing pretty well. And I scored a total of 82 merit points which, if you’re keeping track, means my total score is 51.
Fifty-one. According to Dr. Crane, I am “average”.
Well, I thought. Whatever. Average is good. It’s better than bad, anyway. Now we’ll see! Now we’ll tackle hubs’ score, and if I’m average than surely he will be too and kittens and puppies and rainbows, hooray!
Demerits. Well, let’s see. He does snore, belch without apology, leaves dresser drawers open, shoes in the living room and clothes hanging on doorknobs. All of those things together total five demerit points. Or the exact same number of points I lost for telling vulgar stories. Wait a second…
Being addicted to gambling, leaving lights on, and kissing me after I’ve put on my makeup are each only worth one demerit point. Now, hubs does have a tendency to leave lights on. And he does kiss me after I’ve put on makeup (which only happens, like, twice a year, but still, it messes up my lipstick.) But neither of those things can even come close to being a gambling addict (which he isn’t. I’m just sayin’, that’s… an odd thing to equate). I’m thinking that should be minus five points at least. Maybe ten. Dr. Crane, is there something you aren’t telling us about your hobbies?
So in the end, 35 demerit points for hubs. Which is more demerits than me! Only four more, but more! I AM SO GOING TO WIN AT MARRIAGE.
Merit points! This should be fun.
And wham! Just like that, my points advantage is erased. Apparently being “an ardent lover [who] sees that I have orgasms in marital congress” is worth a staggering 20 points! Add 10 points for being faithful and bam, he’s got 30 merit points on only two questions.
Five points for the kids being happy to see him when he comes home. Another five points for keeping me “equipped with modern labour-saving devices”. Five points for playing with his own damn children!
Dr. Crane, I gotta say, I don’t think you’re being all that objective here.
Total up the merit points and it’s 110, for a final score of 75, or “superior”. Only one point off of “very superior” which, I pointed out, he could gain merely by putting his shoes on the goddamn shoe rack just inside the door instead of in the middle of the living room where they always are. Which I guess explains why I lost five points for using “slang or profanity”.
This quiz has totally rattled the power structure of our marriage. Now I am the one who apparently should be down on my knees thanking God for bringing this superior man into my life and making him stay, even though I am a foul-mouthed slattern who doesn’t hand over the car keys often enough.
This quiz was written in 1939. As Harry said at the end (he was listening in and killing himself laughing – it was actually a good, teachable moment about how gender roles have changed) – “boy, things sure were different in the olden days, mom!”
If you and your spouse decide to do this, please post your scores in the comments or link back to your own blog. I can’t wait to hear what some of the results are.