Thursday, June 18, 2009


As promised, James Lileks has posted the second half of the 1933 marital quiz he discovered in an old newspaper. The first half allowed women to pass judgement on the quality of their men. Now the husbands, boyfriends, partners and friends with benefits can evaluate the modern woman and see where she's falling down.

Most of the demerits are a little more timeless than those for the gentlemen. However some of the entries may still require a little elucidation:

31. Fails to wash top of milk bottle before opening it.

The filthy slattern! There's grounds for divorce right there.

33. Saves punishment of children for father at night.

So if the kids do something wrong, it's Dad who gets spanked. If he's lucky.

35 Wears pajamas.

You know who else wears pajamas? Communists!

37. Puts stockings to soak in wash basin.

As opposed to what? Soaking them in the oven?

But women thrive on compliments as well as criticism. A man should also award his woman points when she does the right thing:

29. Writes to husband's parents regularly.

"Dear Helen and Carl, you'll never guess what your worthless lump of a son has done now..."

41. Has minor children to care for.

As opposed to being entrusted with the really important children.

44. Insists on driving the car when husband is along...

...and not even all that drunk.

45. An active member of some women's organization.

Like NOW, Code Pink or the Indigo Girls Fan Club.

But life isn't all epistles, sitting in the passenger seat and caring for unimportant children. Tomorrow we'll be checking out the merits and demerits of 1930s motherhood.


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