Marriage Material

marriage material logoWelcome to the Dating Pool, where the single life is care-free and full of selfish bliss…that is unless Mother has anything to say about it.

Though for some, marriage can be a wonderful and fulfilling experience, for others it is seen as a burden to be feared and avoided. In Marriage Material, you are this kind of person. To you, marriage signals the end of all things fun. it means dinner parties, snot nosed children, and in-laws. However, there is still hope. The path to marriage is a complex one, filled with vast Commitments that prove to your significant other that you are indeed “The Marrying Type”. Do too many of these Commitments and you may quickly find yourself…




Commitments: These are the horrific duties that focus that attention on you that size you up for what kind of spouse you might make.

The Point Value, located in the lower left hand corner, shows how important your mother believes this commitment to be. Collecting 30 of these points shows that you are marked as “the marrying type” and forever tainted. In other words you lose.

marriage excuse


Excuses: These are the only bastion of sanity standing between you and the abyss known as Marriage. You will try every sorry story, pathetic claim, and lame excuse to avoid being dragged down that marriage isle.

The Point Value, located in the lower left hand corner, determines the effectiveness of your plea for mercy. If the total point value of your excuses is equal to or greater than the Commitment Point Value, then you will be spared for now.

marriage events


These are the cosmic forces that randomly wreak havoc throughout the the dating world. Things such as relative’s weddings…Catastrophic Breakups …Unexpected news, all have unpredictable effects on life.

If one of these cards is drawn, quietly lay it down, read the card and follow its instructions. Try to keep weeping to a minimum.




Influence: Even when you are trying your best to avoid Commitments, your Mom always manages to help you out at the wrong time. Influence cards are used against opponents to make it more difficult for them to excuse themselves from a Commitment.

The Point Value located in the lower left hand corner is the level of praise that Mother has so graciously imparted onto you. The Influence Point Value is added to the Point Value of the Commitment, making it more difficult.


Separate the cards into two piles.

1) The Honey-Do pile, consisting of the Commitment and the Event cards.

2) The Cop-out pile, consisting of the Excuse and the Influence cards.

Shuffle each deck and deal out 5 Cop-out cards to each player.

Decide which player starts by ballroom dancing contests, competitive yoga, cow chip tossing, pillow fight, spinning the turn marker or whatever works best for you. The winner gains initial control over the Turn Marker, making them special.

Turn Sequence:

Take control of the turn marker to let everyone know it’s your turn and you’re more special than they are.

[Draw 2 cards from the Cop-out Pile. There is no limit to your hand size. If you are able to hoard Excuses, more power to you and good luck…you may need it.

Turn over a card from the Honey-Do Pile.

1. If it is a Commitment, weep internally, and then try to excuse yourself out of it. This is done by playing one or more Excuse cards so that their total point value either equals or exceeds the Commitment point value.

  • If you cannot excuse yourself from the Commitment, smile, take your lumps, and accept it. Remember, it takes 30 points to be Marriage Material.
  • If you are able to excuse yourself from the Commitment, it passes to the next person. You are not required to excuse yourself out of a Commitment. If you just want to add it to your life’s experiences, simply take it and the turn marker passes on to the next player.
  • At anytime someone is trying to excuse himself/herself out of a Commitment, Influence cards may be played by other players to make it more difficult to avoid the Commitment. The Influence Point Value(s) is (are) temporarily added to the Commitment Point Value.
  • After you have attempted to excuse yourself from a Commitment, and nobody has played an Influence card within a few seconds, the Commitment passes to the next player. All Excuse cards and Influence cards are put in the discard pile so that only the Commitment passes and not all the excess baggage with it.

2. If the card turned over is an Event, read the card and follow the instructions. Once completed, draw another Honey-Do card.

Once the Commitment is completed it becomes one of your life’s experiences that make you look like the potential marrying type and sits in front of you counting in your point pool. The Turn Marker is then passed on, and the next person begins a new round.

If the completed Commitment puts your point pool at 30 or more, you are out of the game. You may now sit and pout. Play continues until only one cunning weasel has managed to remain delightfully single, and unbranded as Marriage Material.

Bits and Pieces:

Two to five people can play with one deck. If you have more than 5 players, it is recommended that 2 decks be combined. When two of the same decks are combined, it is suggested that a “no duplicates” rule is instituted, since Mom will not accept the same excuse twice on one Commitment at the same time. If the Commitment happens to make it’s way completely around back to you, then you may play the duplicate excuse. After all, you could still have the same issue that you did the first time you got out of the Commitment.

In any game, if either draw pile is depleted before someone wins, simply reshuffle the discards to form new draw piles.

Special thanks to the people that helped bring this together and play tested and helped the game in degrees that we never thought were possible…Jarred Saxman, Chris Corbett, Darrell Wyatt, Kevin Weiland, Bill Jaffe, Joel Schlueter, Norm Nondorf, Nicole Bunge, Danny Procell, Rich Kummer, David Lehmann, Gabriella Lehmann, Jeff White, DeAnne White, Joyce Keller, Sara Spitler, Ted Denis, Steve Port, Kim Fall, Chris Brown, Tina Brown, Brian Check, Paul Hanley, Melissa Lepsis, Rod Demeny, John Owens, Kristin Ibarra, Carol Townsend, 5000 screaming fans from our first two games, 34 Overly Hyper Squirrels, The Fuzzy Bunnies from Outer Space Foundation, Some guy named Bob who who keeps raiding our refrigerator in the middle of the night but is still a pretty good guy, The invisible house gnomes that keep taking our stuff and hiding it, 37 Australian Sneaky Llamas, and everyone else that kept us focused and continues to keep the dream alive.

Raised in a family of brothers, Bridget learned quickly that the stereotypical girls life was not part of her destiny. At an early age Bridget took to sports and gave her brothers a run for their money in countless games of back yard football. She has yet to meet a man that can match her knowledge of sports. Only Jarred has come close to challenging her, so she keeps him around. Unfortunately there was a price for the path that her life has taken her down, and that is very clear in her cooking ability. Often known to burn water, Bridget has been linked to no less than five public health incidents where her cooking was involved. However, to date, nobody has had the heart, or courage to tell her just how poor of a cook she really is. The last time someone tried, she became so offended that she clobbered the guy believing he was just being rude.[
A true nature boy at heart, Manuel has found that he is truly at peace when wandering about the woods and talking to lizards. When away from the woods, he has been known to take on the persona as quite the ladies man. Dancing with a style all his own, it’s not unheard of for him to cause terror and pure dread in his dates. In fact, there have been times that his dates will actually ask him to take them camping…immediately, simply to escape the humiliation of being seen with him while out on the dance floor.
Mother…it’s an imposing name, one that brings thoughts of nurturing, and caring, and in some cases, nagging and control. In the world of relationships, there is no force more powerful than Mom. Whether it’s your Mom, or someone else’s Mom, they all form the secret network of Moms…simply known as “SNOM”. Working in absolute openness, Moms all over the planet plot and plan on how to push you over the edge of the single life and into the world of marriage. It’s just what they do. With subtle hints, and blatant statements, Moms bombard the willpower of those trying to hold onto their single life and ride it out for the fun of it, pushing for that married life. And as is often the case….what Mother wants….Mother eventually gets…
The epitome of a good ole southern boy, Jarred has been dodging the commitment bullet for years. Always one-step ahead of the pursuit, Jarred has lived his life with reckless abandon that only a true sports fan can. As both a closet master chef, and cartoon scholar, Jarred’s true desire in life is to just sit at home, cook magnificent meals while watching cartoon marathons all day long as he decides which professional football team he will play for. Though he hasn’t touched a football in years, he has no doubt that it’s just a matter of time before they call him up. A simple misfiling of his walk-on request just must have been misplaced, and that’s why they haven’t contacted him yet.
Gretchen’s lifestyle has been fully rooted in their middle class family. When she was a teenager, Gretchen came to the realization that clothing colors other than black were for the annoying bubbly people of the world and had no place in her life. When it came right down to it, Gretchen made it a quest in her life to not just be someone living the “Goth” lifestyle…she intended to BE the Goth lifestyle. She finds Chris amusing in enough ways that never make her bored. The thought of marriage however always sends chills down her spine. To Gretchen marriage means kids and soccer practice. It means mini-vans and dinner parties. And most distressing, it means colorful dress suits. The thought is overwhelming. With each passing day she finds her friends crossing that bridge of the single life into the abyss of marriage and the pressure for her to follow continues to grow. She can only hope that her willpower will remain strong and she can hold out.
Chris has always looked at life in a different light. Perhaps it originates from his traumatic Action Figure incident as a child; his die hard gamer mentality…or perhaps it’s just because he was raised by wolves. Whatever the case, Chris’ world is a unique and colorful place. As care-free as can be, Chris roams the tundra of his apartment with a freedom that most people attribute to a slight touch of insanity. Regardless, Chris is happy with his life and his freedom in it. Always looking for a good time, he often finds himself in desperate fear of commitment. Whenever the mere thought of settling down and inevitably altering his lifestyle invades his happy thoughts, Chris’ intense “fight or flight” sense kicks in and he usually looks for the nearest window to leap out of. Someday “commitment” may catch up to him and force him into marriage, but until that time, Chris is not about to give up his ideals of how a single person’s freedoms should be.
Kitty…that was the only polite name for the poor feline that was remotely possible. If there was trouble to be had, then Kitty was always there for it. Because of its incurable curiosity, of Kitty’s 9 lives, it’s already used up 74 of them. With its one eye, and impossibly matted hair, Kitty has more often than not been mistaken for a fake cat, only to be rudely awakened and forced to punish the person that would dare interrupt its naptime.
It’s all about business for Drew. Business is his life and his life is about business. As such, he has never truly understood the concept of a true commitment, especially marriage. In most cases, he’s seen that corporate mergers do not go well, so he can’t see where a merger into marriage would be much better. With all assets and debts falling under one new ruling entity, it’s a strange and frightening thought. Armed with his research and analysis data of the potential disaster that could be brought on by a full marriage merger, he has held it at bay. His only fear now is that a hostile takeover could circumvent his carefully laid plans.
Latisha has been a model for most of her life. During her career she’s been on hundreds of magazine covers, fashion shows and TV commercials. If there was one thing that her career has shown her, it was how to be independent. From the first moment that she took the fashion show runway, she understood that her life was hers to control and compromise just wasn’t one of her strong points, just ask her.
“Shop until you drop” isn’t just a slogan, it’s a mantra. Juanita has proven time and again that it actually is possible to shop the day away, because clearly, fashions change and need to be kept up with. There was a time when Juanita thought there was more to life than shopping and herself, but luckily she got better. For Juanita, growing up as an only child quickly and thoroughly taught her that what was hers – was hers, and what was everyone else’s should be hers. It’s a philosophy that she can live with…