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How To Rank Your Wife: Rediscovering The Oh-So-Scientific Marital Rating Scale

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In my daily perusing of the internet, I tend to come across some pretty funny things. Usually things inspire me to post a quick line or a link, but every now and then, I come across a gem that acts as the Tilda Swinton to my Viktor and Rolf, a story so great, so viral, so utterly desperate to be shared that I can't help but devote approximately 500 words and 25 whole minutes to parsing its every detail.

The other day, my friends, I found (via Tumblr), the "Marital Rating Scale-Wife's Chart." It is, according to last week's Monitor on Psychology, "a test developed in the late 1930s by George W. Crane, MD, PhD, (1901-95) of Northwestern University...designed to give couples feedback on their marriages." The test ranks wives in a variety of areas, from her love of children (5 points) to how crooked or straight the seams in her "hose" run. (But, for shame, what if said wife pulls a Julia Roberts and, well, isn't "wearin' any panty hose"? What then?!)

And before you write this off as "humorous and obviously dated," there is, according to Crane, some scientific data to back it up, with just a teensy bit of bias sprinkled on top:

His method was to interview 600 husbands on their wives' positive and negative qualities. Then he listed the 50 demerits and merits that arose most frequently. Crane, did admit to using a personal bias in weighting the items that he thought were most important in marriage.

All this in mind, and my curiosity thoroughly piqued, I had no choice but to take this test. The only problem? All that's posted is the first page. I quickly refreshed my Grade 9 algebra and figured that if there were actually a total of 50 merits and demerits, and I had 12, that meant I had 24% of the test. So -- to calculate my score, I divided all the "Raw Scores" by 24% to determine what my rating would be. Cheers to the Scientific Method! (And thanks, Mr. Hemming. I'll never forget you, or how to solve for X.)

Let's get the bad news out of the way first. The Demerits:

I'm slow in coming to bed (I've got Gossip Girl to watch!), I don't like children, and I have never sewn a button or darned a sock. I don't really cook so my aprons aren't soiled, but I do wear red nail polish (and am doing so as we speak!). I'm often late, but I don't wear any hose in which to have the aforementioned crooked seams, nor do I use curlers or face creams - let alone to bed. My feet are eternally frozen, but I take turns between warming them on my boyfriend and my dog, and neither of us have a car (it's Manhattan) from which I can backseat drive. I flirt incessantly with other men, but I'm never suspicious or jealous.

Total Demerits: 18.5

Next we have...(drumroll, please!)...The Merits:

I never actually have parties at which to be a hostess, but I'll happily offer even the homeless man down the street a beer. I'm a stickler about eating on time -- but that only means when I'm hungry. I rarely cook. I'm pretty much a genius, so I'd rate my conversation skills an A, but the farthest I got at piano was chopsticks. I don't eat, make, or dress for breakfast, and I pay a Nicaraguan woman named Norma $100 to make sure my apartment appears spotless. I have no children, and when I do, I'll probably hire someone to put them to bed, but I don't believe in going to bed angry -- why waste a perfectly good opportunity for make-up sex? As for asking my boyfriend's opinion - if he's gonna pay, he can have a say. Otherwise: zip it! I have a fantastic sense of humor (can't you tell?!), though my spirituality is undoubtedly questionable. And when it comes to letting the man o' the house sleep in - of course I do! Then again, I'm rarely up before noon.

Total Merits: 9.5

Well, how do I add up? The instructions say to subtract the Demerit score from the Merit score, so...carry the one...and...it looks like I've got an astounding -9 points! That places me somewhere in the bottom of "Very Poor (Failures)". Whee!

Also, now that I think about it, I'm not even married! I'm brazenly living in sin! Slutting it up like a modern day Whore of Babylon.

But then again, I earn my own keep and give fantastic massages. I can make a mean bolognese if I have to, and am utterly content should my "hubby" choose to have a beer (or ten) out with the boys. I'm a regular sight for sore eyes, I know how to make a man laugh, and here's to hopin' that I've never made a man cry. I'm a supportive, independent, and fiercely positive person. And as far as I'm concerned, I'm smart as hell!

And if that makes me wrong, then I don't want to be right. After all, we've got one in three American mommies ordering dessert off the dinner menu. I'd say we've got some bigger fish to fry than some measly nylon stockings. (But while we're on the topic, Dr. Crane, how many demerits is adultery? Because I'm a regular monogamous Virgin Mary!)

So, my friends, now it's your turn. How did you score? What do you think of the test? Do you think that some scientist out there is working on a modern-day version? How high do you think a Brazillian wax (and ass) would (or should) rate? Let's discuss this below.

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