Letters From The Bay, Week 40: Progress

Last week I bought a chair.  Or, to be more precise, a project.

A project masquerading as a chair.

How nice.

It’s ugly, this chair.  Oh yes.  Only I can see its true potential. The rest of you would look at my chair and be all, “Girl, WHAT. IS. THAT.”  Or, if you’re my sweet boyfriend The News, as you’re lifting this chair into the back of the car, you just go, “This?  We’re exerting and sweating for this?” Shakes head.

What I can say?  Beneath its ugly beige interior lies a swell spirit, like Betty Draper in a house dress before she fixes herself up for her illicit lover man who is so much less attractive than Don, causing confusion and sadness among Mad Men-viewing households everywhere.

My chair might cause you some confusion and sadness too, and that’s okay, but to me, it’s just a little project.  A work in progress.

But isn’t everything?  Aren’t we all?

I put contact lenses in for the first time yesterday.  And I took them out for the first time…today.  Yes, do that math and you will know how my eyes feel right about now.  Was vanity worth it?  Was it worth it, not having to wear glasses?


Or maybe not.

My struggle with vanity? Work in progress.  

My ability to do my new job, in a city that still feels new sometimes, is a work in progress.  Is it worth it to work to be good at this job, this new job that I love so much?  Of course.

My relationship with my roommate who is also my boyfriend is very much a work in progress.  Sometimes it’s just work as we both attempt to figure out what it means to be newly dating and also sharing a bathroom.  And a kitchen.  And everything else. It’s definitely not easy, but is it worth it?  More than anything.

Even my relationship with San Francisco is a work in progress.  For all the days of bad trannys and hookers and Olympia Dukakis sightings – days that remind me why I am endlessly fascinated and entertained here – there are also days that are terrible.  Days of rain and fog, of biting cold, of no parking spots and too many tourists and $12 bottles of lotion. Days that make you long for the square state when life was easy and boring, but easy, and did we mention, it was easy?

And so, I work.  And as I work, I progress.  Into a better person, a stronger woman, a more patient girlfriend, a more careful roommate.

Sometimes this city, like the very ugly chair I’m sitting in now, causes me angst and sadness.  But just below the surface of any bad day is a swell spirit.  A lovely, swinging time in my life that, whatever the future holds for me here, I will never forget.


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