On Being Short Sighted

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.

I date online. As you do these days. And the vast majority of the messages that turn up in my inbox consistent entirely of a: “Hey” or a “You’re sexy.” or a “Do you date Mexican guys?”

Is it weird that I get that same question at job interviews?

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.

The epitome of positivity.

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?!?!?

For the record, I loved the Dinklage long before Winter ever came.

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.

F**klection 2012: A Survival Guide – Don’t Worry about the Truth

With Mitt and company surely having some sort of well-coiffed, $10,000 celebration today, it’s time to consider how to get through what has already proven to be an interesting, thoughtful, reasonable, mature election cycle.

Today’s lesson: Eff Truth, brought to you by Ricks Santorum and Perry.

First, a big thank you to Santorum for reminding me why I want so badly to be an Oreo. During a pre-caucus speech in Sioux City, he reminded us just what a burden people of color are with this:

“…I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money; I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money.”

To be fair, he was talking about people who are dependent on Welfare and since 84% of the people using Welfare in Iowa are white, his quote made a lot of sense people decide they were going to vote for him after all.

There are some other niggling issues with Santorum’s recent soundbite. He said that he talked to someone at Iowa’s Department of Public Welfare…which actually doesn’t exist. There is a Department of Human Services, but anyone can forget the exact name of a government office that they’ll be partially responsible for dealing with when they’re elected to government office. Also, the Department–whatever it’s being called this week–isn’t facing any fines for not having enough people on its roster. The state gets less money when it needs less money…and thanks to recent improvements, it’s about to need, and thus get, less money.

And I’m still fascinated by the reaction to Rick Perry’s bizarrely-named and ironically-wardrobed “Strong” ad that came out a few weeks ago. In the piece, Perry said that kids aren’t allowed to celebrate Christmas.

While it IS true that teachers, principals, bosses, mean girls, etc cannot force anyone to adopt the traditions of any particular religion in a publicly-funded institution, if someone wants to ignore the teacher in favor of quietly doing Hail Marys all day or tattoo Christ onto their torso or propose a Secret Santa program, or hang Christmas lights or watch some carolers in a public square or put up a Christmas tree, gather their families and friends around and eat too much and tell stories or go to church on Christmas day or donate presents to charities or send Christmas cards or build snowmen or update their facebook status with Christmas greetings or just enjoy the chance to sleep in for once or leave their Christmas decorations up a bit too long, they were more than welcome to do so.

But look, these “facts” are unimportant details, much like the unimportant details we fudge over all the time. Not quite telling the truth is what gets us through our days and weeks. It allows us to date, to get jobs, have friends and to enjoy free food at weddings.

During those events, no one ever says things like: “look, I’m just moderately nice enough to you long enough for a bj or four, then I’m gonna peace out,” or “What I’m really looking for is a job that allows me to spend most of the day on facebook, but to also have an office,” “God, I wish you’d shut up about your stupid blog and your overzealous stance on political shit, I just want to watch So You Think You Can Dance,” or “yeah…you guys don’t really communicate well and have chosen to never work on your commitment issues…I don’t think this is gonna work out.”

And why should we say stuff like that? It’s awkward and there’s a whole bunch of inconvenient fallout that comes from being honest and plus, Americans like stories!

We spend billions of dollars to watch movies and TV shows where people rarely behave honestly or say things that make sense. I mean, imagine if just one person in a writers room half a century ago would have said something like, “Why doesn’t he just tell those girls he’s double booked and schedule one of their dates for the next night?” Sitcom history would have been changed forever. But no one said that. Because that’s boring.

So sure, soundbites are generally made of batshit and we may or may not be on the road to economic recovery and some might say it’s silly that in 20-fucking-12 we’re still wondering whether or not people should or should not have equal civil rights. But thank God for the insane debates. I mean, what would happen if the politicos and the pundits started being honest with us? We’d have nothing to get all up in arms about and fret over. And think of the example they’d set. It’s like we’d all have to start being honest…with each other. Yikes!!!

What do you think about the ramp up to the election? Whose ring are you throwing your hat into and why? Tell us about it in the comments!


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Is This Your Race Card?

BP-FrogAceI made good use of my AMA card (that’s Academy of Magical Arts in case you were wondering) and spent the evening being dazzled at Los Angeles’s Magic Castle–the Hollywood hub for all things great in the world of illusion. I learned two things on this outing.

1. When a grand illusion is augmented by a little card producing, the result is…excuse the pun, magical.

And as a bonus to the cause:

2. People of color do not go to magic shows.

Maybe it’s because historically, POC do not appreciate being tricked by white people.

But a little playful trickery in life is necessary. Without it, we wouldn’t have a political system or effective advertising.

Besides that, the whole Oreo lifestyle relies on sleight of hand, clever distraction and a well-placed trompe-l’œil. How else can we convince the world we are something that we are not?

So pull up a chair in your personal parlor of prestidigitation and get ready to say the magic words as you watch your perceived identity and their lowered expectations…disappear!