On Being Short SightedJuly 18, 2012
For those who were there, this might sound familiar. For those who weren’t, this is a story I shared at The Moth a few weeks back. The theme of the night was “Small World”
I hate to admit it, but there was a time when I totally let a guy’s height influence whether or not I would date him.
So when I get an actual email with actual words in it, I get very excited. And this one guy’s email had actual words and actual phrases, so I was very excited.
I clicked on over to his profile for a quick “any signs of crazy” check. And for the most part, things looked good.
I looked at his main picture–a headshot. He was no Ryan Reynolds, but I am also not Ryan Reynolds, so that was okay. He had a job and was pretty articulate and a little funny, so hooray. I wrote him back.
He wrote me back that same night and his email actually made me laugh out loud, so I was extra excited! But before I was going to invest the next 7 minutes writing him an email, I decided I should spend another hour or so over-analyzing his profile and potentially talking myself out of a perfectly nice thing, as you do.
Back on his profile, there were some flags. He was a smoker. Not a deal breaker per se, but not ideal for me. He had a job, but he didn’t seem to have many big aspirations. I’m a very ambitious person, so I kinda want to date someone who gets that part of me. He was a little cynical, which is fine, but I’m prone to feeling needlessly upset about things, so I’m kinda looking for someone a little naturally more positive.
But then one sentence caught my eye.
“The box is correct. I am that short.”
The “box” is a list of personal bullet points–sign, religion, pets, kids, height. For his height, it said “4 feet.”
I clicked on the picture tab to see all of his shots. He was correct. Dude was a dwarf. He wasn’t just a “smaller guy” or “someone with a slight frame.” He probably had paperwork somewhere about his height. And as I looked at his pictures, one thought kept running through my head. I realized…I don’t know any dwarves. Ohmygod, I DON’T KNOW ANY DWARVES!!!
(remember the part about me feeling needlessly bad about things)
And I started to panic about why I didn’t know any dwarves. Was I accidentally racist…or whatever…about dwarves? All of my friends are totally regular-bodied. I don’t have any friends in wheelchairs or who are deaf. I’ve got a couple of Crohn’s sufferers, but only one of them is missing any of her intestines, and I think she’s only missing like an inch or so. I had no idea I was so close-minded!
I also started so see this guy’s profile in a whole new light.
Of COURSE he’s a smoker, OreoExperience. It’s probably been very stressful being a dwarf, I’d probably be a smoker, too! And so he’s a little unambitious. So what? You know what’s probably insanely difficult, OreoExperience? Getting the leverage necessary to do brain surgery on a rocket ship when you’re only 48 inches tall! Oh, and he’s a little cynical. Give the guy a break, OreoExperience, how do you think you’d feel about the world if every day someone probably asked you if you knew Peter g-damn Dinklage! As much as you hate to admit it, you’re a minority, too! You know what it’s like to be judged on how you look. Why don’t you give the guy a break and go out with him?!?!?
So I happily wrote him back and I started to fantasize about the beautiful, progressive relationship we’d have. How we’d become UN Ambassadors for love and change the world through our tiny, cafe au lait colored children.
But then I got his response. And it was a little much. Like three pages a little much. And rambly. And spent maybe too many words describing how often he gets distracted at work because he’s too busy constructing fantasy lives for all his clients instead of just listening to them.
So I didn’t write him back.
But not because he was short. But because he was crazy.
Which might make me a jerk. But at least I’m not racist…or whatever.