Sunday, April 21, 2013

Spousonomics

The book arrived last Monday, the one that promised to help me do less housework, win more arguments, and have more sex. Spouseonomics, by Paula Szuchman and Jenny Anderson, is no ordinary text on marital relations. This book analyzes marriage with the same scientific rigor and mathematical precision that we've come to expect from economics. By using cutting edge econometrics, couples can look forward to achieving the same sort of results that were once attainable only by top tier corporations like Enron, AIG, and Lehman Brothers.

I opened the book and jumped straight to chapter three: Supply and Demand - Or, How to Have More Sex. If you master that chapter, the rest of the book is superfluous. I thought I would learn techniques that would teach me how to use my superior intellect and in-depth knowledge of economics to manipulate my wife into delivering more of her scarce resources. Unfortunately, Spousonomics wasn’t what I expected. It's not a weapon for achieving marital hegemony, it's more like a guide on how to use economic thinking to resolve common marriage problems. Great! Now I am going to have to teach Kellie about asymmetric information and inter-temporal choice. Celibacy might be easier.

“Look, honey,” I explained, “the problem is that we're dealing with a negative sloping demand function and, like Japan, my economic package is suffering from severe long term deflation. Your job is to provide the stimulus to grow and expand the economy.”

“You’re such a dork,” she snapped, a typical Kellie reply whenever I resort to science and analytics to make my case, but I persevered.

“You have to start thinking more like the Fed Chairman, Ben Bernanke. Imagine that I’m Wells Fargo Bank and you're the Federal Reserve discount window. I’m a little hard-up for cash, so I come to you for an overnight liquidity injection.”

“You can't say the word injection in your post.”

"Why not."

"It's too crass, come up with something more cleaver."

"But liquidity injection is a well understood economic term."

"I don't care. Take it out." 

"Fine!" I relented, "I'll just delete that part." Kellie is obviously not a Keynesian.

Her problem is that she’s too much like Warren Buffet. Every transaction becomes a major acquisition requiring weeks of due diligence. She won’t commit to a merger until  she’s evaluated all the risks and benefits. I’m more of a day trader. I just want to hit that market, make a quick score and then withdraw my investment and take a nap.

Kellie made it clear that she wasn't going to handle my business or let me anywhere near her assets until I was more generous with the expense account. That's why we're going to France for two months this summer. Kellie tends to ease her restrictions and adopt a more accommodative position when we travel. I just hope she doesn't implement one of those damn European austerity programs.

Now I know why they call economics the dismal science.
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Hanging out again this week with all the fine ladies (and a few stray dudes) at Yeah Write.




71 comments:

  1. I generally detest reading about economics but this was the first thing related to supply and demand that I've understood. And it was really a fun read.

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    1. I love economics. My first blow was called The Damned Dollar, but nobody read that.

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  2. Oh, Joe!! I can always count on you for a clever AND funny read! Well done!

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    1. Emma, thanks for shout out on your FB page.

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  3. ah, Grasshopper, you are so close! It IS supply and demand economics - you are just not using the corect methodology. Tap Kellies travel requirements with your, um, "injection speciications", implement a frequent flier program and she can go wherever she wants - using her "miles" and even gain "miles" on the trip. It's a win/win! And btw, I will need an alternate email for when she permanently blocks me from your posts....

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  4. My wife is just going into the last week of 2 months, of 6 days a week, working on other peoples taxes. If she comes home and I try to fire her up with economic analogies, I'm gonna be sleeping alone for quite some time!

    And France isn't even on the table in our house.

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    1. It sounds like your wife likes numbers so you might want to try a little economic sweet-talk.

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  5. Two months in France sounds fantastic - enjoy!
    Great post, too!

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    1. Last time we were in France our passports were stolen, our car broke down and took a train the dropped us off at an empty train station in the middle of the French countryside. Yeah, so I'm not so sure about how fantastic it will be.

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  6. "I just want to hit that market, make a quick score and then withdraw my investment and take a nap."

    Okay, this is hysterical. That is good schtick. Like stand-up funny. You should take this on the road. Love it.

    Come say hi to this fine lady from Yeah Write. I'm "almost" a virgin.

    It's only my 2nd time. ;)

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  7. Your "economic package"...I'm dying. This was filled with the best and smartest double entendres. Love.

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  8. very funny! I am going to share this one! BUt I have to wonder if you remember what happened at Enron? Talk about rapid deflation.

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  9. This is fantastic and the best book review I ever read. Probably won't buy the book but still a great review.

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    1. Thanks, Mary, I was hoping the book will be fodder for a few more posts, but Kellie is not really an economics fan.

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  10. freaking hysterical. every friggin bit of it!

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  11. Ha,ha,ha! That was a wonderful way to enjoy my morning coffee.

    "like Japan, my economic package is suffering from severe,long term deflation" - hilarious.

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  12. Love it! Two months in France is awesome!

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    1. Yeah . . . I'm worried. Just take a look at the first two posts on my blog.

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  13. sooo funny!!! love it!! although i didn't understand half of it! haahah

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    1. Sorry about that. I realize that some of the jokes require a bit of background knowledge, especially the Keynesian comment, but I'm a geek.

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  14. "Fine. I'll just delete that part."
    Seems like you won that point in the end. Enjoy your time in France. Not sure how exchange rates affect supply and demand . . .

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    1. Now I'm mad that I didn't include an exchange rate gag.

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  15. This was so freaking awesome, I laughed the whole way through. I was an Econ major in college (along with Marketing) so I got every morsel you dished up here! Fantastic post and Kellie is a riot! (And I think we all get a little "looser" on vacation particularly European ones (all that afternoon wine).

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    1. Thanks Gina, I was hoping there would be a few Econ types out there.

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  16. I love that you know you have to make an investment. Enjoy France!

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    1. When Kellie is happy, I do okay.

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  17. OK, so last week I learned about Kellie’s joules and this week I learned about the family jewels. You’re killing it.

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    1. I wish I had thought about the joules jewels thing last week.

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  18. I'm fairly certain that liquidity injection is going to be the least of your worries on this post...you may be headed for the Great Depression... ;)

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    1. No worries here; it's nothing another vacation can't cure.

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  19. From Yeah Write posts that made me cry to yet another that makes me double over with laughter.

    My favorite line: "and then withdraw my investment and take a nap".

    Priceless.

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    1. Thanks, Kendra, I liked that one too.

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  20. Well done my friend, well done.

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  21. I've never though about liquidity injection in quite this way before, and I'm not sure I'll be able to hear the words again without snorting. Very funny post, well done!

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    1. I wasn't sure I was going to get away with that but the built in disclaimer kept Kellie placated.

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  22. LOL LOOOOOOVE THIS POST!!!! LOOOOOOOOOVE the metaphors and descriptions using terms of science! Brilliant!



    http://artographja.com

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    1. If you like metaphors, then You might like my Women Are Like Cars post. Well, maybe not, it's sort of a guy thing.

      http://www.livinginkelliesworld.com/2012/01/women-are-like-cars.html

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  23. Excuse me but this is the greatest post ever in life. OMG, I love this. I am forwarding to my hubs and I never forward blogs to him. Bravo! I would make a witty economics joke but I don't understand econ so just fill in the blank.

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  24. I'm dying. This is hilarious. France sounds amazing!

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    1. France is not all fun and games.

      http://www.livinginkelliesworld.com/2011/08/holiday.html

      http://www.livinginkelliesworld.com/2011/08/french-holiday-part-two.html

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  25. Hahahaha! Oh Joe, this was AMAZING.
    You are the King of smart and funny and this story shows exactly why.

    Great job!

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  26. Hilarious! I will definitely be showing this one to my hubby. :) Can't wait to read more..

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    1. Just beware, hubby can use this knowledge against you.

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  27. You outdid yourself this week, Joe!!! I'm getting this book for my husband, stat! Then he can explain it to me - as foreplay, you know! Love this!!

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    1. Nothing gets Kellie's engine revved up more than when I whisper sweet statistics in her ear.

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  28. I love posts like this. Thanks for the grins.

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  29. Two months in France? I'd give up the assets, too... Hehehe...

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    1. And it really doesn't cost as much a you would think because we do home exchanges so we're not burdened with lodging costs.

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  30. I've always been a "boom and bust" man myself, but I aspire to master the double-dip recession!

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    1. I like those. I'll have to use them if I ever get around to putting this stuff in a book.

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  31. Oh my Gah! Your entire blog is like this? I LOVE it! I will be back to read more if my eyeballs don't fall out from reading all of the Yeah Write posts. Really funny stuff.

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    1. Not the entire blog, but I do try to keep it funny. Check out my list of popular posts. You'll probably like Women Are Like Cars.

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  32. I'm not much for Economics, but this I get. Hilarious.

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  33. Well, even though you beat my friend Renee at this week's Yeah Write contest, after reading this entry, I can't really harbor any ill will. This is some good stuff, is what I'm saying (sorry Renee! I still love you BEST).

    I think I need to have my hubs read this post. 2 weeks in France sounds just about right.

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    1. Two weeks is way too short. That's why we're staying for two months.

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  34. Just visiting your blog ... and found this post/book review. A funny one I will share with my hubby. I can see why it was a Yeah Write crowd favorite.

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