By 6 p.m. at the Chances Are Lounge in Scottsdale, Buicks and Lincoln Town Cars slowly fill the parking lot. Inside the Sixth Avenue club, Sister Sledge’s "We Are Family" gives way to Nat King Cole’s "Unforgettable."
Eddie Lundeen, 75, Barbara Blakemore ("We’re senior citizens") and Lillian Miller ("I’ll never tell"), have seats with a view, happy hour snacks and a round of drinks.
Being senior and single is no different than being 20 and single, all three women said.
"Some of them are nice, and some of them are . . .," Lundeen said. "They’re no different. Men don’t change."
There are almost 11,000 single seniors in Scottsdale, with almost 6,000 older than 75. And women like Blakemore, Lundeen and Miller outnumber men 4-to-1.
"The guys who are left are treated like kings, because there aren’t that many of them," said Tim Miluk, human services manager for the Civic Center Senior Center in Scottsdale. The center’s current singles discussion group is going into its fifth year.
"When I was widowed, I thought, ‘Oh, God, I’ve got to go through this again,’ " Lundeen said. "It’s like high school and college. It really is."
Blakemore and Lundeen are both members of Who’s Who Singles Arizona, which has existed for 30 years. Membership in the 230-strong group comes by referral from current members. Ages range from 45 and up; one member who died last year was 90. Some are retired, and some still work.
Most gatherings of Who’s Who "tend to gravitate to Scottsdale for some reason," said president Bob Haley, 60.
Who’s Who has four to five major dances each year, many black tie, as well as golf, bridge and trips to Kartchner Caverns and the Verde Canyon Railroad.
"We can’t be all things to all people, but we give it a go," Haley said.
"Every once in a while they run off and get married, and we kick them out. We’ve lost a lot of good members that way."
Single seniors in Scottsdale tend to seek others all over the East Valley. They know when the big RV resorts in Mesa have events at their activity centers, Miluk said, as well as hitting both Scottsdale senior centers, Chances Are and the Jet Lag Lounge on Chaparral Road, another hot spot.
Sun City is not a hot spot.
"If they can find a woman 10 years younger, they don’t want to limit themselves," Miluk said.
The Civic Center Senior Center’s singles discussion group meets 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. every other Sunday at the center, 7375 E. Second St.