Remember the Old Maid, the long-nosed and less- than-lovely lady on the card you didn't want to get stuck with?

AP 09/07 10:03 EDT V0011


Copyright 1993. The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. 

   CHICAGO (AP) -- Remember the Old Maid, the long-nosed and less- than-lovely 
lady on the card you didn't want to get stuck with?  
   Two women have discarded the Old Maid and replaced her with the Old 
Bachelor. He combs his hair over his bald spot, keeps his
mother's picture on his dresser and has a thick "little black
book."  
   "It's Old Maid for the '90s," said Jane Johnston, who developed the game 
with Debby Eisel. They are Chicago-area editors for legal publications.      
Old Bachelor went on sale recently at 75 area
stores for $10 a pack. Gone are the lumberjacks, skiers and gold- diggers seen 
in some versions of the game. The new characters
include a cardiologist, a stockbroker and a rock star.      And
they're all women -- except, of course, for the Old Bachelor, a
preening type in a tweed suit, bow tie and pocket handkerchief.  
   Both women said the Old Bachelor is meant to be a figure of fun, rather 
than the cruel caricature they saw in the Old Maid.  
   "Everything in the traditional game was based on the Old Maid's 
unattractiveness," Eisel said. "We wanted to eliminate that."      "We didn't 
want the Old Bachelor to be misconstrued as a put-down of any kind of man," 
she added. "He's kind of from another era -- out of step."      "He's 
basically a nice guy, but something's
lacking," Johnston said. "He doesn't have an interesting job like the other 
characters, and he's more interested in himself than
what's going on in the world. I think I dated him two or three
times, at least."  
   The women said the idea for the new game came to them five years ago when 
they were playing Old Maid with Eisel's daughter, now 11. 
    "We noticed that all the male characters were supposed to be
fairly competent, but the female characters weren't," Johnston
said. "And there was a particularly ugly Old Maid."  
   And the women always appeared in very traditional roles, such as librarian, 
schoolteacher and secretary.  
   Eisel and Johnson created a whole new set of characters with
names like Josephine Judge, Consuelo Cardiologist, Primrose
Plumber, Stella Stage Manager and Ann Archaeologist.  
   An artist, Susan Wise, made wry illustrations, using women from various 
ethnic and age groups as models.  
   "The point is to show girls they can do whatever they want to
do," Johnston said. 


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