In early October, 16 members of the Singles Club, evenly divided between men and women, gathered in the beautifully manicured backyard of the club’s president, David Dodd, for pizza. While the host supplied soft drinks and beer, several attendees brought wine they generously shared with others. Although our weekly (if socially distanced) happy hours had returned, this was only our second opportunity to meet as a large group since March.
People were beginning to re-engage more in their preferred activities, albeit in a new normal manner. Two spoke of the requirement of making reservations to use the pool and the gym, but were happy that those facilities were now available. One devotee of line dancing expressed her gratitude that classes had been reinstated, but regretted that so few people showed up, and that sessions were only two or three times a month—insufficient time in which to compensate for all the extra eating that the lockdown had accommodated. Another guest recommenced his participation in Latin and Ballroom dancing classes. When asked whether he could see himself on “Dancing with the Stars,” he expressed scorn at the show’s declining standard of artistry. In earlier seasons, couples danced, now they just throw each other around.
Two guests mentioned that they were now venturing out to nearby restaurants, Clare’s and Sunny Side Up, for breakfast. Many agreed that it was important to support local businesses as well as the HOAs.
Some were starting to travel again. One woman escaped the brutal heat of three record-breaking months here by spending a week at Pinetop, where lows were in the 50s and highs were in the 80s, inspiring another guest’s internet search for Pinetop rentals in preparation for summer 2021. One man expressed looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with his family on the East Coast after so many prior plans with them had been cancelled. Another guest benefited from others traveling—her dog-sitting business had started to pick up.
Although strong friendships are created across genders in the Singles Club, there exists a stubborn group of males who tend to sit together in a manner reminiscent of the Little Rascals’ “he man woman haters club.” When a woman ventured to crash their table, she was rewarded with an interesting tidbit. One of the men revealed that a tablemate’s new normal included a new girlfriend whom the snitchee described, in a term not often heard in SaddleBrooke, as sophisticated.
Then there was the member who put the rest of us to shame. Inspired by her interest in genealogy, Virginia Hegseth is completing a book (her fifth) about an ancestor of royal lineage, John West, who settled in Virginia in 1618 and became a prominent landowner and office-holder.
SaddleBrooke Singles meet weekly for happy hour, Fridays at 4 p.m., at the Agave Lounge at SaddleBrooke One, and during the warmer months at the Preserve (due to prior bookings, check first before attending). For more information, contact David Dodd at firstname.lastname@example.org.