I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of conversation that was bubbling up.
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And at the end of five minutes, it was almost a struggle for Davis to get the daters to move on. Davis rang a Bavarian cowbell that was given to her by a German exchange student, which signaled the women to move clockwise to the next table in the circle.
The 10 or so small round tables were filled, and some women stood up to jump in the mix. With no guarantee of an equal number of men and women, some had to wait a few minutes to start dating, while others finished their round before everyone else. Davis said the Over 40 group is where she sees the most action.
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Members of this age group often have more problems meeting singles like themselves. It can be really scary and difficult for them to be single again after years of marriage. Which is why Davis says her club is so important. She coordinates a number of events for the plus members in Red Bluff, Chico, Paradise and Marysville. Although she says people initially join in hopes of meeting a mate, Davis likes to emphasize to her members the fun of being single.
As the Over 40s wrapped up, I sat waiting for the men in my age group. Davis could sense my nervousness and looked over reassuringly. Her motherly advice did re-energize me—which is probably why the warm and humorous Davis has had so much success in bringing people together. I met Allen, a smartly dressed man from the Over 40 group with brown hair that had just a hint of gray, who was one of the daters attending that night. His friendly personality drew me in.
Allen told me how he had initially signed his daughter up to attend the singles events and that he was concerned about her traveling for dates. She came to a dinner that Davis hosted, and on that first night met the man she now calls her husband.
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Allen was hoping the luck would run in the family, and as he chatted with me, two women sitting nearby looked on, hanging on his every word. I retreated back to the dating area just in time to begin. Three men and six women had arrived to begin speeding through their night. None matched my conceptions of creepy, unattractive shut-ins. They actually all looked relatively nice and friendly.
I sat down at the first table, a little awkwardly, and introduced myself. Brad was my first date of the evening. Sure, it was a bit odd to know that in a few minutes I would be moving on to someone else, but we glided through small talk with ease. When the bell rang I moved over to Jamie, who knew right away that I was a reporter—I guess scribbling in my notebook was a giveaway. The trust he showed in me was endearing, and I was a little disappointed when I had to move on. I watched the other women finish up and almost felt a pang of jealousy when I saw some laughing and connecting with the same men I had just spent time with.
But it quickly faded as more of us finished up and talked among ourselves. Davis said the friendships among women are a huge by-product of the club. I was too scared to put my matches in the basket. Day 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th 15th 16th 17th 18th 19th 20th 21st 22nd 23rd 24th 25th 26th 27th 28th 29th 30th 31st Month January February March April May June July August September October November December Year I am Man Woman.
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