Alyssa Vs People That Remind Alyssa of Alyssa

My boss/landlord came down the stairs to my in law studio underneath her house to ask me if I was interested in joining her family for dinner that evening. Totally unprepared but intrigued I jumped at the opportunity for a free dinner. She mentioned that her cousin’s daughter was 22 years old and contemplating the move to San Francisco from a small college town in Vermont.

This could be a chance for me to take an SF newby under my wing. If not for reasons of her moving at lest for the week she was visiting. I WISH I had some 24 year old eager to show me around SF when I first moved here.

Committed to setting this plan into motion, I carefully planned out my outfit after work to give me an “I’m surviving this city flawlessly and with so much elegance, but I haven’t let it get to my head” kind of vibe.

Top knot, check.
Light makeup, check.
Trade my chambray shirt and leggings for an LBD, check.
Add neutral granny cardi, black tights, and boots, check.

When I finally met this girl at dinner, she had this awkward coolness to her that most 22 year old soon to be college graduates have. It’s like they have this air about them that says they are ready for the world, but are willing to admit they know nothing and absolutely are not willing to admit they’re scared shitless. I know, I was there 2 years ago myself. Jk, still there.

She talked like a teenager that was allowed to cuss in front of adults and used public speaking hand gestures which was just unnecessary. She came to San Francisco on an unusually warm day and didn’t get the memo that she would need a coat in the evening to go over her short, white dress that was paired with a plastic chunky orange necklace and combat boots.

Turns out she’s a gamer chick. Not the programming kind that you’re likely to meet, but more on the business side. That didn’t bother me, though. I grew up with an older brother who passed down gaming consoles to me which I think has lead me to be that girl who will forever need approval by game playing men by attempting to play the games myself. I’m not good by any means, but I know my way around those kinds of people. More on that emotional trauma later.

She spent one full day in the city and automatically assumed she knew more. I haaaaate that.

“So, Dad, instead of taking a taxi over here I took this thing called Lyft. Alyssa, you should try it. You know the fuzzy pink mustaches? That’s Lyft. My driver was so cool. We had a great conversation about the city and its like getting a ride with your friend. It’s better than a taxi and would probably save you guys money. It was cool too because my driver drove his own car I think.”

Without seeming defensive (which is hard for me), I dropped my knowledge. I explained that all Lyft drivers drive their own car and that Lyft is more of a community and not to be compared to a taxi because they provide different experiences for the passenger. I also tried to discuss the war between Lyft, Uber, and the taxis and mentioned that, in my opinion, there’s room for everyone.

I could’ve said “Yeah, I know Lyft.” and left it at that, but I just HAD to show her that her “discovery” was something I knew way more about than she ever did. She didn’t seem interested in the discussion, so I dropped it knowing I succeeded in my immature display of “I know more than you know” and sat with it.

The rest of the evening went surprisingly well after that. I could now move forward with original plan of making her my San Francisco protege and casually offered my number in case she wanted someone to show her around the city the next day since I had the day off. She thanked me for the offer and said she would text me in the morning.

The next day she sends me a text explaining that she knew a lot of people who were visiting as well and a few of them were going to take her and her dad around the city and asked me if I wanted to “tag along”. Tagging along isn’t really my thing and definitely wasn’t why I gave her my number, so I kindly declined and once again offered my assistance if she needed it or if she wanted to hang out at all before she left. She replied with another invitation for the evening to a “secret tech party at a dive bar” and finished with the sentence “not sure if that’s your scene, but if you want to try something new let me know.”

Not my scene?

I’ve been known to drink a whole pitcher through a straw on a bet in a bar full of cigarette smoke. I swipe “yes” on Tindr if a guy has two computer monitors in the background of his photo. I’ve been to bars where gaming is going on specifically to pick up the techy ones. I’m broke, I live in my chambray shirt, and I KNOW WHAT THE FUCK LYFT IS.

Girl, bye.

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Babies, man.

Only until recently I’ve had a destain for (fear of)  babies. They are uninteresting, easily breakable, and they all seem to be starving when they are handed to me. Seriously, I’ve had a lot of boob enthusiasm throughout my dating career, but a grabby infant is a whole different ball game. Apparently yelling “NO! STOP!” seems a little dramatic to most mothers.

I think the destain comes from my mother never letting me hold them without me sitting down with her sitting close by, practically holding me while I’m holding it until I was 20. Eventually I decided it wasn’t worth it and resorted to uncomfortably smiling and staring from several feet away.

“Do you want to hold her?”
“Um.. Not really.”

When they did get old enough to start smiling and giggling, I DEFINITELY wasn’t your girl. I never felt more judged by anyone than by a baby not smiling at me while I’m reluctantly looking like an idiot just to show the parents (who were usually friends or my brother) that I cared about it. Am I really this shitty at tickling? Why is it glaring at me? Oh god, I made it cry.

A year ago I started working at a home and design store that sells gifts, real human furniture and, you guessed it, baby furniture. Not only did I have to learn how to have tact around pregnant women, but I also had to be kid friendly.

Two things I’m naturally awful at.

It started a little rocky, but once every toddler you’ve ever known gives you the once over and briskly walks/crawls away from you, putting up with it from the ones you don’t know is a breeze. You don’t think I’m funny? Fine. You hate paddy cake? I totally understand. You don’t like to be tickled? Cool, me neither. Then, something magical happened.

You know how when you pick up a guy from the bar for the first time, and then the second time and finally it’s like riding a bike? Well thats what it was like making babies smile.

I had finally made one smile and before I knew it was being left alone with them without noticing. I was in baby attention heaven. I could make them laugh, I could make them clap, I could even make them DANCE. After a while I was even entertaining them in twos and threes. I tried four kids at once and accepted the fact that everyone has a limit and it was okay that that was mine.

Then, one Monday that seemed just like any other, in stroll two 6 month olds. There by the rug section they sat and there I stood. Everyone staring. I start with the usual greeting while bent over to show them I’m on their level.

“(in a voice very, very similar to my mother) HIIIII THERE!”

Silence. They just sat there, staring at me.



Don’t panic. You can still recover. Peekaboo. They can NEVER resist peekaboo….

These babies cried. They cried hard and loud in the middle of my place of employment while I’m standing there still bent over opening and closing my hands over face wondering if I had something in my teeth or was just at a weird angle. The owner of the children gave me a look of confusion that quickly turned to pity.

“Oh, they just woke up from a nap. Don’t take it personal. Haha.”

I did. It was personal. Pretty soon the babies that came into the store could smell my fear and hesitation right off the bat. They were all staring, once over-ing, briskly walking/crawling away, and crying the second I came near them. What’s worse is the parents were just never interested in anything I had to say.

“Hi! How are you all doing today?”


What’s even worse than that is my lack of tact in front of pregnant mothers started to diminish as well.

“How far along are you?”
“4 months.”
“That’s it? Are you having twins?”
“What?! No!”

True story, unfortunately.

If there’s anything I’ve learned from this, it’s that eventually your good streak ends and you’re trying to impress someone who just woke up from a nap and just isn’t interested in your game of peekaboo.

So here I am. Alyssa, recovering baby/mommy offender; recovering bar slut. 24 years old.

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