Nowadays, nothing comes free - not even for a husband who wants his lunch packed, and have sex with his own wife.
A married couple in Japan have taken their relationship to a new level, and live under the motto, "It's strange for a career housewife to be providing her services for free."
Each evening, the husband finds a note in the kitchen, "Bento - Needed / Not Needed," and if he circles "needed", he has to leave ¥400 on the table as a payment for the next morning's bento (a bento generally costs ¥300-500 at a convenience store).
The husband, a 48-year-old salaryman, had one day been told bu his 42-year-old housewife: "It's strange for a career housewife to be providing her services for free - from tomorrow the lunch bento will need to be paid for." They later formalized the arrangement with a contract.
She didn't however, make their son pay for his bento.
The husband claims his marriage improved after making the deal: "Now we spend more time together on weekends." He admits he was embarrashed at first, when co-workers would say things like, "Ah, your lovely wife prepared that by hand for you didn't she? How nice."
She also apparently charges him ¥5,000 for having sex with her.
The arrangement isn't one of commercial equality - the wife actually controls the husband's salary, which is a common arrangement in Japan. She generously lets him have ¥50,000 of his own salary as an allowance to spend freely. He uses this allowance to pay her for his bento, and presumable to cover his sexual expenses.
Business comentators describe this "B2B marriage" as "win-win."
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