When the Giants won the 2010 World Series, I took my son to the victory parade. We rode BART downtown, found a spot right on the police barricade past the Sheraton Palace. My son watched the crowd, marveling at the mounted police and partying fans. But I felt embarrassed, ashamed, a traitor, standing along the parade route for the team I despised.
A Southern California transplant, I came for a visit and never went home, but I remain a Dodger fan, with a deep, genetic loathing for the San Francisco Giants. Giants in the post-season? Again?
And yet, at that victory parade, surprisingly, I felt joy. The crowd was warm, fraternal, electric. Three-and-a-half hours after we arrived, we could tell when the parade began as the streets erupted in a gradual, steady roar like a wave down Montgomery, turning the corner where we stood on Market.
Standing on that spot, in the autumn sunshine, on a crisp, fall morning, orange and black and white confetti fluttering above us like monarch butterflies -- it felt like the same season years ago when I arrived in San Francisco, out of college, how hopeful I was, looking for any job that would keep me here. I forgave myself for standing among Giants fans and decided to cheer for the city I love so much, where I matured, became an adult, a woman. I stood on the very corner where I kissed my boyfriend and eventual husband, when we'd meet for lunch or the commute home. I belonged on that sidewalk as much as anyone. I cheered for my city, so happy that this was my celebration, too.
When the players lumbered past us in trolleys, I wished my Dodgers had their own parade, but who could resist these Giants? Not even I -- those scruffy athletes, all of them looking boyishly happy, waving at us in recognition and appreciation, even the Dodger fans.