Over at Jezebel, Tracie Egan Morrissey treats us to dozens of images of a singles-bashing card game that traces back to the 17th century. She also offers some observations about how the images of that particular single person have changed over time.

Who is the single person in question and the name of the card game? That's too easy - it's the Old Maid. (Don't click on this link to the awesome picture gallery until you've tried your hand at the quiz below.)

For more of a challenge, see if you can match the version of the Old Maid with the time period when that depiction seemed to be most popular:

1.      Earliest versions

2.      1930s

3.      1950s

4.      1960s

5.      1980s

6.      Contemporary versions

7.      These versions never go away (pick two)

a.      Stuffy and sad Victorian women

b.      Well-off women in straw hats with flowers

c.      Not so stuffy, sometimes not human

d.      Glasses, witchy-looking

e.      Old drunks

f.       Creepy cat ladies

g.      Into knitting

h.     The literal version: elderly women with feather dusters

[answers are beneath the image]

1d

2e

3b

4g

5h

6c

7a, f

For the historians out there - professional or amateur - why do you think this card game has lasted so long? How do you make sense of the pattern of changes?

[Thanks to Natalya and Molly for the heads-up about the Old Maid gallery!]

Most Recent Posts from Living Single

The Marriage Narrative: Will We Look Back in Shame?

The story we tell about single and married people is embarrassing

Does Happiness Really Come From Within?

What you miss by only looking within

Promposals: The Darkness Beneath the Cheer

Glorified prom proposals can shame students who do not participate.