Eating Granola Alone on Valentine's Day: a Narrative

m cafe

I’m a single person by choice. It’s been that way for most of my life. And for this reason, I did not have Valentine’s Day plans this year. In fact, I was on vacation in Los Angeles.

The morning of February 14th comes, and I need breakfast. My friend recommends M Café to me, adding that it’s a good spot for celebrity sightings. M Café describes itself as “a pioneer of contemporary macrobiotic cuisine.” Most of their offerings are vegan, but they also serve fish. I look up their breakfast menu and decide that their matcha granola looks perfect.

I Uber over, walk in, and order from a super friendly girl at the counter. The café is pretty empty on this Wednesday morning, total shocker. I seat myself near the window as love songs play overhead. My order comes in two bowls: matcha granola in a small shallow one, and coconut yogurt with seasonal berries in the other. I marvel at the portion size– it’s so tiny! But maybe that’s the way it should be? Maybe I’m not actually supposed to eat as much as a typical American restaurant serves me. The price of my breakfast should be lower, then, if that’s the case. Whatever. I don’t spend a lot of money on alcohol– health food is my vice. Plus, the cool thing about small portion sizes is that you truly get to savor your food. I eat so slowly that it’s as if I’m learning to move my mouth again after having my jaw wired shut for the past three months.

From across the café, I eavesdrop on an Australian girl having a meeting with two older men. It seems like she’s pitching something, and that they are her current or potential investors. She talks about a “reset cleanse” and a “meal plan giveaway.” I surmise she must be a wellness influencer and wonder what that’s like.

I shift my gaze out the window at sun-soaked Melrose Ave, ruminating on how lucky I am to be here, today, healthy. (So deep! This is what organic food does to your brain.) I page through the issue of Cereal magazine I picked up the day before. I write in my planner. I scroll Instagram. I’m calm, happy, stress-free, and inspired by the magazine’s subject matter.

So what’s the point of me eating granola alone at this bougie spot and then writing about it? The point is that I’m f*cking comfortable. This is the best Valentine’s Day I’ve ever had and it’s not even noon yet. I just shoved a heart-shaped strawberry into my mouth. It was delicious. You know the whole reason I came to LA this specific week was to meet up with a guy who ended up bailing? And you know what else, I don’t even mind. I’m alone on Valentine’s Day and I’m eating expensive granola in sunny Los Angeles and I’m content af.

For the next 20 minutes, I continue to page through my magazine. I then take my final sip of coffee and leave to spend the afternoon at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, happily solo.

Danielle Kocher