I enjoy people who wax nostalgic for the sophistication of the 50s and 60s, when country clubs were appropriately segregated, women were expected to wear gloves and pearls to go grocery shopping, and children were discouraged from expressing their wants and needs. It was also a time when men were truly men, and not just encouraged, but expected to have mistresses. Often, their mistresses did double duty as their secretaries, back when “maintaining one’s figure” was considered as essential a secretarial skill as typing and shorthand.
By the 70s, thanks largely to the equal rights movement, men indiscriminately sleeping around on their wives was considered less a right than a burden for women to quietly bear until either they developed a crippling Valium habit, or filed for divorce. Still, there remained one horrifying reminder of such a dark period, 1979’s 3’s a Crowd, a “game show” of sorts that ran in syndication for five mind blowing months.
3’s a Crowd was basically The Newlywed Game, with a twist: instead of just husbands and wives being asked questions about the most intimate details of their lives (particularly how often and in what places they made whoopie) to see if their answers matched, there was the added element of the husbands’ secretaries. “Who knows a man better, his wife or his secretary?” was the salacious tagline, one that promised all sorts of shenanigans, catfights, and men sheepishly shrugging, as if to say “Hey, you know how broads are when they get jealous.”