I don't know the meaning of "I could use a good wife" and also this sentence "you couldn't afford one" in this passage:

She: “Well, I took your suits to the laundromat and got them cleaned and pressed. And I got a great present for your secretary’s birthday. Oh, your Mom called, and I told her you were too busy to go out to dinner this week, but I would take her to lunch Friday.”
He [distracted as he looks through the mail]: “Oh, yeah, thanks. . . .”
She [miffed as blood pressure rises]: “I could use a good wife!”
He [startled and angered by her sarcasm, responds in kind]: “You couldn’t afford one!”

closed as off-topic by ColleenV, FumbleFingers, Em., Brian Tompsett - 汤莱恩, M.A.R. ಠ_ಠ Aug 10 '16 at 19:28

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question should include more details than have been provided here. Please edit to add the research you have done in your efforts to answer the question, or provide more context. See: Details, Please." – ColleenV, FumbleFingers, Em., Brian Tompsett - 汤莱恩, M.A.R. ಠ_ಠ
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.


She, as a good wife, has done all these tasks. She feels so overworked, that she wishes that she herself had someone to do these things. "Obviously" (sarcasm) that person would be a woman, a good wife!

He, having been provoked, and not realising/appreciating the extent of effort that gone into helping, responds with a put-down that draws attention to the quality of life the wife has (in material things) which is expensive to provide. You could not afford to pay for a good wife!

I infer that this relates to a relationship where the man earns the money and the wife has no independent income.

  • thanks..so u mean .she wishes to have a servant? – user40058 Aug 10 '16 at 15:00
  • @user40058, In effect, yes: the man clearly treats his wife as a servant, and she sarcastically says that she needs a wife (as a servant). – JavaLatte Aug 10 '16 at 15:11

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.