Singles Club Celebrates Not-So-Lonely Hearts Valentine’s Day

Hazel Staloff

Until COVID entered the picture, many of us took social interaction for granted. Isolation and loneliness may have been even more pronounced for those of us in SaddleBrooke who are single. As members of the Singles Club, however, we had formed strong friendships with one another and although we couldn’t meet in person during the most onerous period of COVID restrictions, we kept in contact through email and phone calls. When things started opening, the Singles Club jumped at the opportunity to reinstate our weekly Friday Happy Hour at the SaddleBrooke One and Preserve clubhouses. We also found a way to hold our annual events—the ice cream social, pizza party, and Christmas party—by incorporating a new normal twist, e.g., masks, social distancing, and temperature checks. However grateful we were to be in each other’s company during these occasions, an unspoken sense that we were living on borrowed time was pervasive. Expectations of a vaccine that could function as a way back machine—returning us to a life where human contact was something to be desired and not feared—seemed more fantasy than reality. Then everything changed. When the Singles Club got together to celebrate Valentine’s Day at our weekly Friday happy hour, a significant number of members had already had their first shot, and some had even had their second. Although the circumstances of our lives had allowed us to embrace hope, for some members Valentine’s Day was a sad reminder of what they had lost. This was particularly true for one widower whose wedding anniversary was Feb. 14—an anniversary he never forgot during his wife’s lifetime. Another man reflected on the recent passing of his beloved companion; a canine named Lady. But he was busy having carpets cleaned and scouring floors so he could offer his prospective family member—a new pup—a fresh environment all his own.

With hoped-for advances in sight, we look forward to the time when we can all sit together (sometimes as many as three or four tables worth) and enjoy the special holiday events SaddleBrooke One arranges for St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, the 4th of July, Oktoberfest, and New Year’s Eve. The Singles Club also leaves the confines of SaddleBrooke for Dine-Arounds and to take advantage of some of the unique places this spectacular state offers, such as Canyon Lake, the Dolly steamship cruise along the Salt River, the Pima Air & Space Museum, Tombstone, the Rillito Park Racetrack, and the Desert Museum, among others. If you are single, widowed or divorced in SaddleBrooke and would like to meet people who are similarly situated, we invite you to leave loneliness behind and join the Singles Club. Annual dues are only $5. 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, and now temporary closings due to COVID, check first before attending). For more information, contact David Dodd at [email protected].