What makes a marriage last has long been a topic of fascination for professionals and laypeople alike – probably because those of us who are married would like to know what the trick is, so we don’t have to do it a bunch of times before getting it right.
While today we recognize that there’s no definitive answer, back in 1939, Dr. (PhD and MD) George W. Crane thought he had it figured out. He created these charts where you give (and take) points for certain key behaviors. But be careful! There are separate charts (and standards) for husband and wife.
Because of course.
For the husband:
My personal favorites here:
Demerits: Belches without apology, or blows nose at table (I give demerits in my house for these actions, too) and snores (because obviously he controls that).
Merits: Reads newspaper, books, or magazines aloud to wife (heaven forbid she read them to herself!) and leaves car for wife on days she may need it (how will he get to work to be a good provider??).
Demerits: (Full List)
1. Stares at or flirts with other women while out with his wife. (5)
2. Reads newspaper at the table.
3. Fails to come to table promptly when meal is ready.
4. Brings guests home for meals without warning wife.
5. Doesn’t phone when late for dinner.
6. Compares wife unfavorably with his mother or other wives. (5)
7. Publicly praises bachelor days and regrets having married.
8. Criticizes wife in public. (5)
9. Belches without apology, or blows nose at table.
10. Leaves dresser drawers open.
11. Leaves shoes in living room.
Merits: (Full List)
1. Gives wife ample allowance or turns pay check over to her. (5)
2. Courteous to wife’s friends.
3. Frequently compliments wife re looks, cooking, housekeeping, etc. (5)
4. Remembers birthdays, anniversaries, etc. (5)
5. Helps wife with dishes, caring for children, scrubbing.
6. Polite and mannerly even when alone with his wife.
7. Consults wife’s opinions re business and social affairs.
8. Has date with wife at least once per week. (5 per date)
9. Reads newspaper, books, or magazines aloud to wife.
10. A good conversationalist.
11. Steady worker and good provider. (5)
12. Leaves car for wife on days she may need it.
For the ladies of the house:
Favorite demerits: Often late for appointments (I would be so screwed) and fails to sew on buttons or darn socks (how even does one darn socks?). Also, red nail polish??
And best merits: Lets husband sleep late on Sunday and holidays (even though she and the children had better be at church!) and can play a musical instrument (I knew I should have kept up with those piano lessons, dammit).
So, there you go! How did you and your spouse stack up? I’m afraid I didn’t do too well…if only they didn’t deduct so many points for not being dressed for breakfast. And, you know, not cooking breakfast.
Oh, well. The good thing is, it’s not 1939 anymore! At least, not for most of us.