By Jane Ganahl
Sunday, February 13, 2005
San Francisco Chronicle
Happenings, musings and other Valentine’s Day flotsam and jetsam:
If you’re in a couple, you’ll most certainly be thinking about that all- important gift purchase. But for those who find themselves date-free on Feb. 14, a Yahoo Personals survey found that Valentine’s Day is not all about waiting for Cupid to strike with chocolates and flowers. More than one-third of respondents (35 percent) plan to treat themselves to something special on Tuesday. It’s for them that this list is intended. Read on, rock on, celebrate the lack of romantic conflict in your life:
The Bay Area’s very own homegrown movement, Quirkyalone, will be holding parties and such for like-minded souls (quirkyalone.net/qa/events.php). (Are you a quirkyalone? Note the Web site’s definition: “We are the puzzle pieces who seldom fit with other puzzle pieces. Romantics, idealists, eccentrics, we inhabit singledom as our natural resting state.”) At 7 tonight, at Pegasus Books’ Shattuck Avenue site in Berkeley, and at 7:30 p.m. V-Day at Modern Times Bookstore in the Mission. Readings, toasts, confabbing.
Gifted comedian Scott Capurro will be doing a show titled “Scott Capurro’s Throbbing Arrow” — presumably one sent off by Cupid — at Cafe du Nord Monday night. Perfect if you’re feeling black and snarky about love. 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. (415) 861-5016. Tickets are $13. 21 and up. (www.cafedunord.com).
On the other hand, if you want to be inspired by musings on love, go to the Commonwealth Club for an appearance by hot author Andrew Sean Greer, who will be in conversation with Good Lit series director Barbara Lane. “Questioning the Nature of Love, Time and Humanity,” will certainly use as fodder Greer’s luminous book “The Confessions of Max Tivoli.” As Max says near the end of the novel, “It is a brave and stupid thing, a beautiful thing, to waste one’s life for love.” Brave and beautiful? Always. Stupid? Sometimes. Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., second floor, San Francisco; 5:45 p.m. reception, 6:30 p.m. program. Free for members, $18 for nonmembers. (www.commonwealthclub.org).
Human love may come and go, but, oh, the love we have for our critters! And what better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than to mingle with other animal lovers? The Omni San Francisco Hotel is hosting single pet owners and their dogs in the Valentine’s Day Yappy Hour. Complimentary wine, cheese and Cloud Star Minty Madness Buddy Biscuits will be served. Fifty percent of the $10 admission fee will be donated to PAWS San Francisco, a nonprofit organization dedicated to keeping people with HIV/AIDS and other disabling illnesses together with their companion animals. From 6 to 8 p.m. at the Omni San Francisco Hotel, 500 California St. at Montgomery (www.pawssf.org).
On the same score, how about a fun V-day read? I recommend “The Pig and I: Why It’s So Easy to Love an Animal, and So Hard to Live With a Man,” by Rachel Toor. Any woman who’s ever loved a pet (or 10) will love Toor’s beautifully written memoir chronicling her love affairs with a series of unusual pets (a mouse, a rat, an ass, a pig, a dog, etc.) — sometimes at the expense of her boyfriends.
For a good laugh, I also love “2gether 4ever: Notes of a Junior High School Heartthrob,” by the Bay Area’s own Dene Larson. It’s a collection of actual love notes from the junior high years of Larson, who was apparently a player in the making in his preteen years. The book is divided into chapters that include “I Like You, Do You Like Me?” “Will You Go With Me?” “Make-Out City” and “We’re Breaking Up” If only real life were still this simple.
If you’ve also been devastated by a bustup, try reading “I Used to Miss Him … But My Aim is Improving: Not Your Ordinary Breakup Survival Guide,” by Alison James. If nothing else, this hilarious first-person testimonial will make you laugh, which is, as they say, halfway to feeling cured.
And a new magazine is hitting newsstands that is all about love and relationships. Tango (www.tangomag.com), a good-looking, glossy publication, promises both fun and edge, with articles ranging from “Sex and the Single Closet,” which limns how people’s closets both reflect and perpetuate their love lives, to features on the relative wholesomeness of S&M in a loving relationship.
More than anything, if you’re blue about being partner-free, indulge yourself if you can! A trip to a local spa or a night out with friends might be just the ticket. And look at it this way: There will be no arguments over flowers versus jewelry.