Your Ancestors Probably Played These 20 Awkward Party Games
Your Ancestors Probably Played These 20 Awkward Party Games

Your Ancestors Probably Played These 20 Awkward Party Games

Shannon Quinn - October 28, 2018

Your Ancestors Probably Played These 20 Awkward Party Games
Young couples would agree to get “married” during a game to help one another figure out their perfect match. Credit: Framing the Victorians

2. The “Marriage” and “Marriage and Divorce” Games prepped young people for their futures.

For young people who can’t seem to figure out what the opposite sex is looking for in a mate, the “marriage” game was a good way for teenagers and people in their 20’s to talk about what they look for in relationships without burning their own egos. The girls in the party talked about the names of various male celebrities and even fictional characters, wrote the names down, and put them in a bowl. The boys would draw a name, and they would have to take on the persona of that man.

Next, the man would ask a girl to marry him. She would have to say “yes” or “no” based on the characteristics of the character he was playing, not the boy himself. Then, they had to explain to the whole group what her logic was for her decision. For example, if a young man had to take on the persona of the fictional character Dorian Gray, the girl might say, “No, I don’t want to marry Dorian Gray, because he is too arrogant.” He has to move on to the next girl, and ask for her hand in marriage. Sometimes, a girl might say “yes” and give her reasons for why she would marry that person or character, even if others would not.

It was actually a great lesson for young folks that different qualities are attractive to different people, and that even if they are rejected by someone they like, there is still someone else out there for them.

Another similar game was called “Marriage and Divorce”, which was kind of like speed-dating. A young man and woman would come together for the night to get to know one another, but they were forced to talk about the serious issues that only married couples get into. If they realized they were not a good match, they could choose to “divorce” them.

Your Ancestors Probably Played These 20 Awkward Party Games
During a paper sack party, people would cover their faces. Credit: ActiveRain

1. You could hide a bad hair day going to a “Paper Sack Party”.

Yet another strange 1900’s game required party guests to wear a paper bag over their head during the entire party. Each bag had a number written on it. The object of the game was to have people talking to one another without knowing who was behind the paper sack. They would have to guess the identity of the person based on the conversation. Each person had a notepad where they would keep track of who they thought the people were. One would hope that they could recognize the voices of their friends, but maybe trying to disguise your voice was part of the fun in messing with people.

 

Where did we find this stuff? Here are our sources:

Party Fun: Wholesome Party Games From Around The World. Helen Stevens Fisher. 1938.

Weird Parlor Games Played Before TV Existed. Stephen West. Listverse. 2013.

Victorian Christmas Parlor Games For Adults. Victorian-Era.org

9 Victorian Parlor Games That Sparked Romances. Joan Vos MacDonald. MentalFloss. 2016.

Advertisement