Marital Rating Scale

May 14th, 2008, 12:13 am PDT by Greg

Boing Boing just had a post on a 1939 marital rating scale for wives. The obvious question in a case like this is: how does my wife score on this scientific rating?

Only one way to find out… (Points up for grabs in square brackets. Points given at end of commentary. )


  1. Slow in coming to bed—delays till husband is almost asleep. [1] Generally goes to bed before me. Does that count? Probably. -1
  2. Doesn’t like children. [5] She kind of does, but I don’t. Again, the condition is pointing in the wrong direction. I’ll take off partial points: -2
  3. Fails to sew on buttons for darn socks. [1] Never. -1
  4. Wears soiled or ragged dresses or aprons around the house. [1] Two words: flower pants. Taking extra points for those. -2
  5. Wears red nail polish. [1] Nope. -1
  6. Often late for appointments. [5] “I’ll meet you in five minutes.” Yeah right. -5
  7. Seams in hose often crooked. [1] Not applicable? She does have that one pair of sweatpants that don’t sit right (because they were “cheap”). I think that falls under number 4, though. 0
  8. Goes to bed with curlers on her hair or much face cream. [1] There are a lot of creams, but not visible when going to bed. 0
  9. Puts her cold feet on husband at night to warm them. [1] Oh god, how do feet get that cold? Extra demerits: -2
  10. Is a back seat driver. [1] Only complains when I say things like “gonna die” while in the process of a dodgy left-hand turn. Reasonable since she’s the one exposed to oncoming traffic in that situation. 0
  11. Flirts with other men at parties or in restaurants. [5] Any flirting likely negated by mine. 0
  12. Is suspicious and jealous. [5] I will give her this one: I’m a tool, but she trusts me. Giving a point back. +1 [N.B. Her trust is well-deserved.]


  1. A good hostess—even to unexpected guests. [1] Yeah, she’s good like that. It’s the Filipino side. When left alone in the house for extended periods, I can only offer unexpected guests delicacies such as filtered water and ketchup. +1
  2. Has meals on time. [1] Not particularly. Sometimes I even have to cook! 0
  3. Can carry on an interesting conversation. [1] Often goes on about boring science stuff, but is generally interesting enough. Tie goes to the runner: +1
  4. Can play a musical instrument, as piano, violin, etc. [1] Her mother bought her a piano, and then she decided she didn’t want to play. For her mom: 0
  5. Dresses for breakfast. [1] Pffft. 0
  6. Neat housekeeper—tidy and clean. [1] Better than me, but not particularly so. 0
  7. Personally puts children to bed. [1] Not applicable. I’ll give it to her: +1
  8. Never goes to bed angry, always makes up first. [5] We’re not big fighters. Sure, why not? +1
  9. Asks husband’s opinions regarding important decisions and purchases. [1] Hrm. A real split decision here. She often buys crap (and more crap) without telling me (or actively hiding it from me). These are rarely “important” purchases, though. I’m nothing if not generous: +1
  10. Good sense of humor—jolly and gay. [1] I’ll leave “gay” alone. She’s a funny one. +1
  11. Religious—sends children to church or Sunday school and goes herself. [10] Oh, you hate to see that many points slip through her fingers: 0
  12. Lets husband sleep late on Sundays and holidays. [1] I often wake up before her, but I suppose she would let me sleep in. +1

If I’m doing the arithmetic right, that comes out to -6. Ouch.

The brief article doesn’t provide any guidance on how I’m supposed to interpret the results. You probably have to pay for that: that’s how they get you. The negative number can’t be good, though. [Edit: Oops… it’s in the original image.]

I’m sure that if I really worked at the scores, I could get her up to zero. Frankly, I’m too tired (and a little drunk) to do that now. Too bad, because I am actually rather fond of her.

[Kat: Please note that there’s an implicit demerit for beating your husband to death after assigning you a score on this scale.]

Edit: Somebody posted the full booklet on Flickr. On the analogous first page of the husband’s scale, I’d say I come out perhaps slightly better. Go me!

7 Responses to “Marital Rating Scale”

  1. Eunice Says:

    What a glorious blog post to start my day. I’m not entirely sure Kat would agree with me though (*is still laughing*).

  2. Katrina Says:

    I’m only in the negative because you got stuff wrong! -10 points for you.

    If anything I’m fast at going to bed because I get sleepy. +1
    Why do I get points off for YOU not liking kids? +5 for me!
    The flower pants are not soiled or ragged – they’re just ugly (but oh so comfy!). +2
    I sew on buttons, just not yours! +1
    I wear red nail polish on my toes. +1
    What the hell kind of scale takes points off for warming your cold feet on your husband! What’s the point in having a husband if you can’t have warm feet? I get those points back! +2
    I CAN play the piano! +1

    Yay! I’m up to +7! You have such a good wife.

    OMG. I just looked at the husband scale. It’s hilarious. Greg would male a fairly mediocre 1930’s husband. I think that means I can stay home and not work! YES!

    How many people think that Greg now needs to go and buy me something pretty. I mean, I did score a +7 on the first page. Okay Greg – off you go to buy me something nice…

    … NOW! (+10)

  3. tina Says:

    I LOVE the men’s check list. Number of demerit points for publicly praising bachelor days and regretting having gotten married = -1.
    Staring at women while out with the wife: -5.

    Wow. Those staring husbands – what bastards. 😉

  4. Kelly Boyd Says:

    I’m totally with you on the cold feet issue. Really, what’s the point of a husband if it isn’t to keep you warm at night?

    And I also agree that Greg should go out and buy you something nice. 🙂

  5. Lisa Says:

    If it makes you feel any better, Kat, Eastwood only gave me a 2. AND I got extra merit points for having cold feet instead of demerits. (His feet are always too hot, so it works out) Maybe that’s why we’re not married…

    Eastwood, on the other hand, earned a 14 on the good husband scale and a 10 on the good wife scale.

  6. Curtis Lassam Says:

    “Reads newspaper, books, or magazines aloud to wife”

    Hooray for living in an era when basic literary skils are expected, nay, encouraged in women.

  7. Katrina Says:

    Heh, I missed the religious one. I am religious – my religion is materialism and my church is the mall. I’m very devout. Another +10 for me!