Don't read this unless you're at least 50 years old.
OK, 49 will do.But any younger than that and you might not be able to withstand the teasing of Rhonda Lee, the president and co-founder of Prime-Time 50-Plus Singles/Social Club.
Formed almost two years ago, Prime Time 50-Plus is as lively and vigorous today as its 100 or so members, who say they have found a new way of enjoying life more fully.
"It's a way to meet people and get acquainted with folks in their own age group. There are so many older people who are alone," said Lee, a friendly, Southern-accented woman who says she is fiftysomething.
Though not exclusively limited to singles, the club is primarily comprised of once-married people whose spouses have left them through death or divorce. Such people often get "left out in the cold" by their old friends, said Lee, was has been divorced since 1984.
Lee said the club is conducting a publicity drive this month before the holidays hit.
"There's a lot of suicides during the holidays. People get really lonely. We just want them to know that there's a place they can get friendship and encouragement. They don't have to be alone."
Besides friendship and encouragement, Prime Time 50-Plus members just have fun, Lee said.
There are at least 10 sub-clubs, such as the Forget Me Knots, whose members tie quilts sold for charitable causes. Sub-clubs can also be found with interests in bowling, bridge, horseshoes, dancing and even mall walking.
A Needy and Homeless sub-club works with a local talk radio station in gathering and distributing food to needy families during the holidays. Last year the group gathered toys and furniture for Russian immigrants, Lee said.
"Whatever they're interested in, there's a group for them. If not, we'll make one. I'm trying to get a theater club together," said Lee, who would likely play the lead role in any play dealing with clowns.
"I'm a big tease," she said. "I tell people that we're here to make new friends and have fun. I say, `Do anything you're big enough to do but be willing to face the consequences.' I tell them not to get pregnant. Makes them all feel like teenagers."
The whole club also meets regularly for dancing, picnics, monthly birthday parties and holiday celebrations.
"For some people, this is the only activity they have outside their church," Lee said.
The club was never intended to be a matchmaking service, Lee said, but already five couples who met in the group have tied the knot. "If it happens, it happens."
Membership is a mere $5 plus $1 per month in dues to cover facility rental, food and monthly newsletter costs. Members hold an election every year to select a president, who then chooses his or her cabinet.
For more information about the club, call Rhonda Lee at 266-7128.