Posted by: fireweaver | May 15, 2008

how i’d crash & burn in the 30s

a few days ago, i stumbled across a post poking fun at some pencil-and-paper “marital happiness” scoring system from WAY back in the day. the fragment there was rather funny, but lo! behold the power of the internets, because someone found a full copy.

click on that super stylin’ pamphlet cover to go to the rest of the list. and hey, if ya got a few minutes, why not take the test yourself?  one point for each ‘merit’, one off for each ‘demerit’, except for the handful of bonus-point questions.

Chris scores a 52, which means he’s an ok average sort of 1930s guy (yes, this indeed frightens me). to be honest, though, not just a whole hell of a lot is really all that culturally damning for the fellas there, beyond an admonishment to avoid being “a sissy”, or a recommendation that he give his wife an ample allowance. it’s just as uncool now as it was then to “compare wife unfavorably with his mother or other wives,” and just as nice to be “a good conversationalist.” the very amusing merit number 38 gives the gentleman a 20 point (!) score for being an “ardent lover – sees that his wife has orgasm in marital congress.” on one hand, wow, who knew that 30s husbands cared so much? on the other hand, maybe the high point award is because so few did.

i, however, am at the low end of poor, coming in with a sad 30. clearly, if pastward-bound time travel was on my to-do list, i’d need to study up, big time. without that kind of unfair 20 point bonus for making sure he gets off (hey! i’m doing work here too, ya know!), i’m left with only a measly 10 for “reacting with pleasure and delight to marital congress.” i get busted for the occasional use of red nail polish, i loose 5 points EACH for my drinking, profanity, risquè storytelling, and lack of fuzzy-wuzzy feelings towards rugrats; and i certainly can’t claim the one little point that the hard working gal who “keeps self dainty, perfumed, and feminine” gets to hoard to her tightly-girdled bosom.

sheesh.  think i’ll go paint my f’ing nails “man of la mancha” or “mambo fire” or something while having a drink and not pining for my man while he’s off earning that allowance he doesn’t give me.  oh, and ask me about monkey testicles sometime, i have this hilarious story.


  1. Oh god. I’m totally failing this test. G and I will have to take this tonight! I can think of interesting ways to work off the “demerits”, but just by doing that I”m probably getting more demerits !!!

  2. I got a negative… that’s good, right?

    And yeah, if anything it’s really unfairly balanced towards fuzzy kid feelings (seriously, you get 5 pts off for not liking them and then 5 points if you do? So wrong) and keeping me in my “place” (you know the whole belonging to women’s groups, cooking, keeping myself pretty, which I lose points for because I don’t even brush my hair every day).

    Awesome. I lose… er win!

  3. ladies, me and my shamelessly red f’ing nails salute your nonconformity to the gender norms of the 30s.

    Suz, i’m way jealous of your negative score! i did substitute “dog” for “children” in the ones like “husband helps discipline children” for both of ours, but didn’t on the ones that were clearly not applicable to the dog. e.g., “likes children” and all. and apparently our place is pretty thin, too…we loose a point if we’re over 15 lbs overweight, but he can weigh whatever he wants.

    the other goofy thing? “good conversationalist” is only one little point for either partner in this story, while sex and sunday school and liking kids are all heavily weighted. apparently, the things you do EVERY DAMN DAY like simply talk to each other just weren’t that valuable then.

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