My Dearest San Francisco…

Dear San Francisco,

I approach this testament of undying affection with equal parts sincerity and anguish. I love you, I do, but you need to get your shit together if we’re going to make this a long-term thing.

I won’t lie. I’ve been seeing other cities. Tidy little suburbs like Los Gatos and Palo Alto. We’re having a little fun on the side, but they play hard to get and they’re even more punishing to the pocketbook than you are. And you’re no cheap date, not by a long shot.

But, San Francisco, these girls shower regularly, and they still take great pride in their appearance. You always smell like you’ve just urinated on yourself or someone has urinated upon you, and in many cases I fear this is the literal truth. You collect trash like a Velcro dumpster, and you do little to prevent lower companions from poking around your most beautiful features, frightening money-bearing tourists and locals alike. I know you think it makes you “alternative” and “colorful”, but it really just makes you ugly. People talk about you behind your back, and on the Internet. They tweet things, terrible things.

I love you from afar, where I can't smell you.

I know you sometimes get confused about your role in this crazy world, and that keeps you from being the best girlfriend you can be. You’ll never be as sexy as Paris or as invigorating as New York or as overpowering as London.

I’ll never again have a full head of hair. We all must evolve and adapt. You need to age more gracefully. Be unafraid of shedding your tawdry past and present while moving headlong into a future state of renewed civic pride and regeneration.

The economics of this unique area we call The Bay tell the whole story. You are a world-class city, thus desirous of every penny I earn, yet the modest ladies surrounding you are even more expensive. They are in higher demand. This is because you are unfit for raising children. You and I couldn’t properly educate or keep our brood safe unless we were to ship them off to fancy boarding schools.

You force me to date the younger, money-grubbing pumas around you. You’ve driven countless former lovers so insane that they’ve sprinted south and north and decided that $1.5 million is a reasonable price for a 1,600-square-foot ranch home in need of serious repairs. Oh siren, you’ve made us mad! Mad!

Look, I don’t want to dump you. But you never do the dishes anymore, or buy me groceries, or contribute anything new to the conversation of our relationship.

Sure, you’ve still got fantastic qualities buried beneath the besotted surface that remind me why I fell in love with you in the first place. You are a living postcard. Culture and sport and food and adventure abound within you. Jack Kerouac lived here, and that’s the hyper-shallow reason I chased after you in the first place.

But from the get-go, you were colder and more foreboding than what I expected.  You revealed yourself to be a filthy gold-digger that talks big but never grows up, never solves hairy problems, never enters that next realm of wondrous attractiveness that is so near your grasp.

I’m not telling you to get plastic surgery, San Francisco. But take a bath, join the gym, get your brows done, and take out the damn trash. I’ll pay for it.

And then maybe, just maybe, I’ll stay.

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3 thoughts on “My Dearest San Francisco…

  1. I only ever go to SF to see a musical or go to Chinatown these days. Definitely too expensive to do anything else on my college-student budget.

  2. Oh, Matt,
    Brilliant! Thanks for your love letter to SF.
    We too, were lovers there once. But too many men peed in our front yard, our backyard, on the cars, on everything … and worse …
    The smell was so awful, all our out-of-town visitors complained. And we lived in a nice neighborhood, near SF MOMA.
    When we started encountering take-out containers of human waste on our sidewalks and bus shelters almost daily, we realized our love was unrequited. We paid and paid and paid for our closet-disguised-as-apt. but, alas, had to leave a city that couldn’t figure how to clean up without bleeding her lovers dry…

    1. Indeed, our lady of SF makes it hard on those of us who love her so. I know my whiny blog won’t do much, but hopefully some folks in the new regime on Van Ness can get some things done. Not holding my breath…actually, I am, because of the smell.

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