If you’re ever visiting the Chenery Mansion, just say yes — and wear as little clothing as possible. (Courtesy Christine Brokowski)

If you’re ever visiting the Chenery Mansion, just say yes — and wear as little clothing as possible. (Courtesy Christine Brokowski)

When in doubt, just say yes


Just say yes.

It’s a hell of a motto and, in a way, almost revolutionary. We spend so much of our lives being responsible and talking ourselves out of doing things we want to do. “I can’t because I’ve gotta clean the house.” Or “I’ve got work to do.” Or “I gotta go to the gym.” But nearly all of the best moments in my life have been when I just said “yes.”

Granted, it’s easier for me since I don’t have kids or a mortgage to worry about … I can already hear you grumbling and fumbling around, searching for your torches and pitchforks. But all of us could say a little more yes in our lives and a little bit less, “Well, you see …” Last Saturday, all I did was say “yes,” and it turned into a magical San Francisco day.

It started when I got a morning text from Amy, inviting me to brunch with her and Dan. I had planned on working on a few articles all day, because that was the responsible thing to do. But it was beautiful out, and I wanted to be with good people, so I said “yes” and headed out to meet them.

After tater tots done up like nachos and a few margaritas, they asked if I wanted to go to Dolores Park. That was the moment the day hinged on. I could go home and work all day or I could say “yes” and see what adventures my “yes” had in store for me. Obviously, you know what I chose.

Dolores Park was a kaleidoscope of flesh, blankets and booze, and we tucked in with Molly for her birthday picnic. Sitting on the grass, slathered in sunscreen, telling dirty jokes and drinking wine is one of the best things you can do in life — and that’s what we did. After a couple hours, I remembered it was Morgan’s birthday pub crawl in North Beach, so I headed that way.

Arriving at Tupelo, I was greeted by people decked out in wigs, sparkly leotards and other weird costumes. A drink was shoved in my hand, and a blonde wig was plopped on my head. We floated amongst North Beach drinkeries ’til the birthday girl went home. I wandered down to Specs’ to see what other things I could say “yes” to.

Two women at the other end of the bar yelled down at me, “Hey! You’re Broke-Ass Stuart!” to which I replied “Yeah! Wanna see my boobs?” When they agreed, I lifted my shirt and obliged. Then, I walked over to them, and they bought me a drink. Shortly afterward, Christine sent me a text: “I’m at the largest private estate in San Francisco. You should come, like now.”

Of course, I said “yes” and hopped in a cab. The Chenery Mansion is the largest private property in San Francisco. Bob Pritikin made a buttload of money in advertising back in the day and built the place in the Outer Mission in 1981. Weird and wonderful statuary, part of his purported $40 million art collection, sprung up all over the property. We weren’t actually allowed in the mansion though; a couple of Christine’s friends live in the apartment attached to it, and they had thrown a little party. Drunk 20-somethings weaved amongst the tree house and metal sculptures. One of the girls had a 13th-century tapestry hanging in the room she rented. As the oldest and most responsible person there, I decided to take off my clothes and wear nothing but a little yellow apron, my underwear and my socks. Eventually, I put my clothes back on and drifted home to go to sleep.

We’re all busy, I get it. But sometimes you just have to say “yes.” Every adventure starts with just that one word.

Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, TV host and poet. Follow him at BrokeAssStuart.com. Broke-Ass City runs Thursdays in the San Francisco Examiner.Broke Ass CityBroke-Ass StuartSan FranciscoStuart Schuffman

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