Bliss quiz

We who labor on the home front often get so busy with deadlines and child care and computer crashes that we neglect the care and feeding of the ones who make our stay-at-home lifestyle possible -- our working spouses.

Our mates come home from a hard day at the office, and we greet them with complaints and teeth-gnashing instead of caresses and kisses. We carp about overflowing toilets and Science Fair projects and stubborn children and dog-chewed shoes.

This is not what the working partner needs. The home may be our workplace, but to them it's sanctuary, a safe harbor after being tossed about the stormy seas of office politics and ringing phones. We homebodies need to make the house a warm, welcoming place so our hard-working spouses will keep returning there after their long days of toil. Otherwise, they might dump us and we'll have to go out and get real jobs.

Here then is a self-scoring quiz aimed at making sure you're doing your best to keep your working spouse happy. There are no right answers, but perhaps these questions will make you stop and think whether you're doing your best for domestic bliss. Remember: The household income and health insurance and that 401(k) may depend on whether you're succeeding.

Question: After a hard day at the office, the thing your spouse needs most is:

A. Warm greetings and a hot meal.
B. A massage.
C. A shot of bourbon.
D. Valium.

Q. When you meet your spouse at the door, you're wearing:

A. Nice clothes and a fresh hairdo.
B. Sweatpants and three days' growth of whiskers.
C. Threadbare pajamas.
D. Saran Wrap.

Q. Your favorite pet name for your working spouse is:

A. Darling.
B. Sweetheart.
C. Hey, stupid.
D. Sugar booger.

Q. The first question out of your mouth when your spouse arrives home from work is:

A. "How was your day?"
B. "What's wrong?"
C. "Where have you been for the past three hours?"
D. "Is that lipstick on your collar?"

Q. When your spouse complains about his/her boss, you respond with:

A. "You poor thing!"
B. "Is there anything I can do to help?"
C. "You think you've got it bad? Today, I had to drive to two soccer practices. Then I had to call the plumber, and you know how much he charges. I don't know where we'll get the money. Then the dog . . . "
D. "Let's kill your boss."

Q. Working spouses are often hungry when they get home. What kind of meal can your spouse

A. Roast venison with shallots and an expensive bottle of wine.
B. Chinese takeout.
C. TV dinners.
D. Cold Spaghetti-O's.

Q. The first sound your mate hears upon entering the house is:

A. "Welcome home, sweetheart!"
B. Screaming children.
C. Weeping.
D. Repeated flushing.

Q. Your children usually greet your spouse with:

A. Hugs and kisses.
B. A litany of the latest playground injuries.
C. Demands for money.
D. Derision.

Q. On special occasions, your spouse can expect:

A. Flowers delivered to the office.
B. A babysitter and a night out on the town.
C. A night out on the town WITH the babysitter.
D. What's a special occasion?

Q. Most evenings, your mate can expect several hours of:

A. Television.
B. More work brought home from the office.
C. Complaining and bickering.
D. Sex.

Q. Overall, the best thing you can give your working spouse is:

A. Comforting words and a shoulder to cry on.
B. A clean house and a hot meal.
C. Sex.
D. A divorce.

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