I Failed the Marital Rating Scale

I recently came across something called “The Marital Rating Scale” created by Dr. George Crane, a psychologist from the 1930’s.  Dr. Crane interviewed 600 husbands on their wives’ positive and negative qualities and then assigned points for merits and demerits.  A sample of the chart is below…


I thought perhaps 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.


#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 9 year old can sew a button.   I just sort of discreetly leave the room when I suspect a potential button situation…I mean, 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 careI would just be forever grateful for one less endless 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.


Really, 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.  I mean, I guess you could just call him a Weiner (Anthony), but let’s get real.

#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?


Ok, enough with all these demerits, it’s annoying.  Let’s see where I can rack up some favorable wifely points and look at the “merits” columns.


#25  Has pleasant voice-not strident

Well, according to Merriam-Webster, strident means loud and harsh.  And I’m 100% Italian.  So I guess no points here.  Damn.

#36 Keeps husbands 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 the darning socks/sew a button situations.

#28  Writes often and lovingly when away from husband

Does this blog count?  I love you, B.

#41 Has minor children to care for (5)

Jackpot!  I DO have minor children, three of them at 5 points each!  15 points for me.  Shoot, I just realized that my oldest is 18 so she doesn’t count.  Wait…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 10 points?  I’m in a bit of a pickle with this one…my children read my blog and if I award myself the points it’s possible they will die of mortification.  On the other hand, if I don’t award myself the points, it’s possible my husband will.  I’m 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.  That’s kinda the same thing, right?

#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 a while 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 theatre (I literally fell asleep during Phantom of the Opera) and I pretty much go to museums out of obligation to raise culturally aware children.   Wow, 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 1930’s housewife, at least according to Dr. Crane.  But since being a 1930’s housewife seems like a worse job than being an armpit sniffer (it exists) I’m not too devastated.   I wonder how my husband would fare on the husband charts?  Stay tuned…

6 comments on “I Failed the Marital Rating Scale

  1. Nana says:

    Well, it seems my son married someone similar to his mother. I do have the button and sewing on my side but according to this I’m pretty much a failure. Hope Dick doesn’t realize this too soon. Our 50th is two years away and it’d be a shame to my miss that. Another great blog J.

  2. Aunt Ilyse says:

    Hilarious J!

  3. Fran Collica says:

    Janene, you are not in this sinking ship alone. Many of us have failed this horrible survey. However, I can personally say you can make any dessert better than anyone I know. You are a fabulous wife, mom, daughter and hostess who doesn’t mind having old people stay at her house. I would be proud to have you as my daughter. But next time I visit, I am coming with a sewing box just for you…….

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