Day 45 – V-Day

14 02 2010

It’s Valentines day. This day has not been the best for me – starting in 1997.

That was the year I had to have a simple surgery to remove a oversized gland in my neck. Something went wrong during surgery and the oxygen beneath the draped flared while they were cauterizing blood vessels and my face was burned. After visiting multiple plastic surgeons and eye doctors within just days of the event to see if I would require skin grafts or if I was going to lose sight in my eye. Neither ended up being the case, and for that I feel extraordinarily blessed.

Ever since that year Valentines Day, or right around that time, has meant bad things for me…

One year I woke up with two flat tires on my car. Another year I had massive food poisoning while in Costa Rica. Another there were layoffs in my company which included the best manager I’ve ever worked for and my best friend. Another year I learned that I guy I had dated a month earlier had also been dating another girl I worked with and, when she found out about it, she told every girl in the office exactly what he had done and brought my name into it. I was devastated and embarrassed… eventually he left the company and she was let go due to poor work performance. And I have never had a ‘Valentine’ on Valentines Day…

This year I’ve had enough with the number of people leaving and me trying to cover their projects. I’ll be spending most of my day off on the 15th working to catch up for the week.

For dinner I decided to head out to grab pizza from a small pizzeria in North Beach – Cinecitta. It’s a small family run business with great service and perfectly crispy Roman style pizza. I tried to call in my order ahead of time, but couldn’t get through – come to find out their phone line had been cut that morning and, due to the holiday, no service trucks were being sent out. I left early (5:35pm) which would have gotten me to the restaurant before 6 and home before 6:30pm, but 45 minutes later I hadn’t even made it 1 mile. And I was noticing tons of people walking around me carrying pillows. Weird. Come to find out it’s the “Great Pillow Fight” happening at 6pm in front of the Ferry Plaza… right where I needed to drive to get to the pizzeria. So, I didn’t make it to the restaurant until 6:45pm – right in the middle of Valentines Day traffic. I eventually found a parking spot 3 blocks away… on one of those streets that are so steep you have to park at a 90 degree angle and there are stairs built into the sidewalk to help people walk up and down them safely. Lovely.

Cinecitta did not disappoint. The owner, a happy blond Italian lady who obviously loves her business, took my order right away and I added a glass of wine for while I waited. There was only two other tables full – one a group of women talking about being single on this day, and another a family of 4 enjoying a variety of different pies. The place it just small enough to only be able to seat 2 groups of 4 and a few additional 2 tops, plus the bar. It has a great warm environment… This is the kind of restaurant that most people walk right past – I know I did for the first few years of living in that neighborhood. I actually only found it the night I moved out. I remember having the cheese ravioli – which is lightly fried and filled with ricotta and herbs… Really wonderful! The pizza, once I made it home, was wonderful – thin and light with a fresh sauce, melty, gooey cheese and a sprinkling or artichoke hearts (my favorite topping).

So, while I ran into quite a few obstacles, and while I will be working most of my day off, this year’s Valentines Day has not been too terrible for me…

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