It’s Valentine’s Day again and as a singleton, it’s tough to show how “fine” you are with being “alone” on February 14th without it coming off as trying too hard to seem okay. Coupled up friends post photos of flowers they got delivered at work and post about dinner reservations, back rubs and how sweet the significant other is being (though to be fair, most of them post this kind of stuff about “date night” once a week anyway). Some uncoupled friends swing too far the other way on Single Awareness Day, exhorting us to celebrate all kinds of love and make the night special for ourselves.
Not having had a Valentine since I was a senior in high school, I’m not really into the day as a concept. I wore a red dress to work today, and there were more cupcakes and chocolates on hand. But at the end of the day, I yelled at traffic while dropping off my dry cleaning and slipped on my comfy lounge pants when I got home. Sure, I wish I had a boyfriend to cuddle up on the couch with and watch Cougar Town tonight (yeah, like I’d forget to promote that!), but I’m not going to cry into my merlot because I’m single today. I was single yesterday and I’ll likely be single tomorrow.
So, I don’t have a cutesy story about how my boyfriend and I exchanged the same book as gifts or how we’ve been together so long, we’ve eschewed celebrating (even though we’re going out to dinner and he got me flowers). Instead, my favorite Valentine’s Day is the day I fell in love with San Francisco. I had been accepted to San Francisco State and I met my parents here to take a look at the school and scout out potential neighborhoods to move to. The day I flew into town, Gavin Newsom made history. The next day, in between laying down in the street to take photos of the TransAmerica Pyramid and being accosted by a crazy Asian woman in Chinatown, my parents and I visited City Hall:
I fell in love with San Francisco that day and I couldn’t wait to be a part of a place that not only accepted ALL of its citizens, but fought for their right to love (and marry) whomever they wished. I was near tears for most of the afternoon because the love, affection and dedication I saw was too beautiful.
San Francisco and I have had our ups and downs. Muni has made my life hard more than it hasn’t and there’s never anywhere to park. Some of the denizens I interact with on a daily basis could use a polish (or a shower) and I can’t walk down Market St without feeling like I’ve taken my life in my own hands. But then there’s that bright, sunny day where it’s warm enough to be without a coat and I’m steps away from the Pacific, and all is forgiven. I love the hills, the fog and the Giants. There’s always a new place to eat, a new weird trend to mock and endless cocktails with friends. I left San Francisco once a few years ago and it was the biggest mistake I ever made. I’m lucky to be back with my City and I don’t intend on letting go.
So, on Valentine’s Day, I celebrate my relationship with San Francisco and continue to believe that there will be more good days than lonely days ahead. Of course, days like today, I thought I’d be married by now. But I’m guessing those 2600 couples from 8 years ago thought that too. And that’s the broader theme.