May 3rd, 2007

writing

Random Thoughts: Sounds Like a Personal Problem to Me

I wrote this for my column at the paper. This was inspired by a real event, and then as I reflected on it... well, this come up. And you know, I am getting tons of people complementing me on this article. So I figured I would share it with the rest of the world! Here ya go!
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I am oblivious to the fact that people find me... interesting to look at.

My friends notice. And usually they will ask me, "Did you see that?" or "Did you hear that person?" and usually my answer is, "no, I didn't, what did they do, what did they say?"

It happened a lot in college when I lived in Huntsville and would go shopping. My friend would suddenly stop mid-sentence and stare. I would ask what was the matter, and they would tell me it was some lady staring at me like I was the freak of the week.

Not that long ago it happened again. I was leaving the store, pushing my basket, chatting with my friend and she paused and looked over my shoulder - which is admittedly not hard to do - and gaped. We got to her car and she asked if I had seen the woman as we were leaving the store. No, perhaps people need to warn me next time.

Well apparently she saw me, jumped back, and exclaimed that midgets make her afraid.

Well I quickly looked about for the midget, because that could be something serious!

I looked at my friend and busted out laughing. Could someone really say that out loud! Are there still people out there who think anyone under 5feet tall is an oddity? I guess so.

When "Little People, Big World" first came on, people seemed to be afraid to ask if I watched it. Well, yes, I do. I think the Roloff family is doing wonders for all little people all around. As they say, we are normal; we just do things a bit differently.

So the next time you see me, please do not call me a midget, I am not. A midget is a person who is unusually short, short limbs, short torso. A little person, or dwarf, is a person who has shorter limbs and a normal torso. But I do invite you to ask me any questions. I've heard them all, and have pretty much debunked a lot of the myths too.

I wonder now if I shouldn't have turned around and told her that her dislike of midgets, and of people who are shorter then she is a personal problem.

And the sad part is that I am not the only one who gets this kind of treatment. One would think, in this day and age, we would become accepting of people who have outwardly "differences."

I know children will always stare at me, and will ask their parents about "that short person," and you know what really frustrates me the most? When the parent ignores the question. How will they learn and break the cycle? How hard is it to just say, "She's like the rest of us, just born different."

Or we all could just be afraid of midgets and not know it.

And that sounds like a personal problem to me.