The One About a Wedding.

I haven’t blogged for a while. PERHAPS IT IS TIME TO AT LEAST WRITE SOMETHING.

My bestest friend of 18 years got married a few weekends ago in Michigan. It was a lovely wedding and I was so glad to be a part of it.

I was maid of honor and wrote a toast that I read at the reception. I’ve been given the okay to post it here 😉

This is the third draft of my toast. First draft was the brainstorming session and had far too much profanity to be appropriate. Second draft was a poem because why not. Turns out, I’m just a horrible hack of a wannabe Dr. Seuss. It was bad.

So here we are. Third draft. It is what it is.

Cathy and I met in 7th grade at Walnut Hills. We were 12. Shy, awkward, and had no idea who we were as people yet.

We were in the same science class and watched Mr. Jackson put himself to sleep on a daily basis. We also ate lunch together every day and did so throughout all six years of Walnut.

We studied in the library after school several days a week. She in her sweaters and matching hair bows, and me in my argyle sweater vests and skateboarding shoes. We were the epitome of cool for sure.

Over the years, neither of us have dated much. So when I started to hear about Blake, I knew it was a big deal. And when I met him for the first time when they came down to Cincinnati for a visit, I was positive. Blake brings Cathy out of her shell and totally gets her.

I met him and realized I didn’t have to worry if she was happy up yonder in the foreign land of Michigan where 50% of the drivers are deranged lunatics. I saw and knew she was happy with a guy who was worthy of her genuine, caring, loving heart.

So here’s to the Snow White who befriends all of the squirrels and birds off her balcony and the prince who continues to let her buy bags of birdseed at Costco.


The One About Dwarfism “Awareness”

October is Dwarfism Awareness Month. Several of you already know my opinion of this month. The rest of you will now find out. This my be unpopular with some of my LPA friends. Apologies. It’s probably time to discover that I’m actually an asshole.

When October started, my therapist asked how I was handling it. No lie. I have a yearly rant. I need to work on being less predictable.

My issues with this “awareness” month:

  1. The word “awareness”. It makes it sound like dwarfism is something everyone needs to be aware of lest they catch the horrible disease. No one will catch it. You’re born with it. This isn’t cancer or Zika. No one needs to be on fucking alert.
  2. Basically the only way everyone spreads “awareness” is through daily posted facts on Facebook. Sweet Jesus, your friends either have dwarfism or know you in real life and likely already know most of what you’re posting. You’re preaching to the choir. The inherent lazy person in me can’t compute your wasted effort.
  3. No. I don’t want a silicone “awareness” bracelet or a t-shirt. Most of us are just fucking short. It’s not a goddamned death sentence we need to advertise.

I won’t discount that education is important. People with dwarfism are frequently still treated as novelty and sub-human by the idiots of society. Your cute daily facts will never reach these people, unfortunately.

I obviously don’t have an alternate solution to this ridiculous awareness month. Just know I hate it and find it annoying.

My only dwarfism-related facts I will be sharing with you today: I snore like a freight train and I wipe my ass with a tool.

You’re welcome. I am the most benevolent of fact-sharers.

The One About Midget Jokes.

Tonight I went to an open mic night at a local comedy club to watch people attempt to be funny. Harsh, but accurate for the most part. Going into the evening, I steeled myself since I figured there’d be a chance that there would be at least one midget joke.

And sure enough, there was. He mused about how much midgets peed. That’s not even fucking funny, you ingrate.

The short-statured population is one minority that is still socially acceptable to make fun of. I don’t understand it. As a society, we shame those who make racial jokes and sexual orientation jokes, but it’s still okay to make fun of disabilities?

My other beef with midget jokes is that they’re cheap. They are cheap thoughtless jokes that get cheap laughs. It’s not even quality comedy. You are a bullshit hack.

I won’t let this deter me from my comedy research, however. I will continue. Even if I have to sit through crappy jokes.

This is a short blog post. It seemed appropriate.

The One About #LIFEGOALS.

Last we chatted, I was in the throes of my yearly funk. I have exited for the most part. Progress.

Forcing myself to leave the house and be social is a big part of that. I’m also trying to go on more adventures. New experiences will hopefully spark more creativity and I can figure out how to harness my lunacy into something productive.

I’m pretty sure something in the comedy world is where I need to be—either as a writer or a performer of some kind. I’ve been creeping on all the late night show writers on Twitter lately and they appear to be my kind of people.

I took improv comedy classes last summer and auditioned for one of the local groups over the winter. I did terribly. I don’t think improv is my path. I over-thought everything and wasn’t able to just fearlessly jump into scenes.

As an experiment, I want to try standup comedy at an open mic in town soon. I won’t know if I can do it unless I just do it. I just want to go watch a few before I figure out if I have the balls to try. If anyone wants to join me in my research missions, please let me know. Adventures are more fun with friends.

One of the first times I remember someone telling me that I needed to be somewhere in entertainment was in Art History AP class in 10th grade. Mr. Lerch particularly enjoyed asking my opinions of modern art. I despise most of it and usually openly told him I thought it was garbage. If it’s a red canvas with a black dot on it, it’s not art. If my shitty artistic talents can counterfeit it, there’s no way it’s actually art. At one point, he announced: “Mizz Coopahhhh, someday you will have a TV show and I will be your guest stahhhh!” Mr. Lerch talked like that. Other Walnut Hills grads can verify this. He was fantastic. He’d definitely get to be a guest star.

In the meantime, I’m getting out of the house and attempting to have fun. I’ve been trying to take advantage of activities in town. I’ve been going on road trips. Ann Arbor and Columbus have already happened. Later this month I’m going to Knoxville. The weekend before Halloween I’m going to Chicago. Marge the Unlarge Yaris and I are in a committed relationship now. I love her.

I’ve also been considering adding more things to my YouTube channel or starting a new one altogether.

I’m not going to reactivate any of my dating apps anytime soon, but I’m going to start going through the annals of screenshots I have from over the years. I feel like they need to be discussed in a video. Because shit got so weird.

All I got right now are wishes and dreams. Time to make it happen. Hold me accountable, you assholes.

The One About Mental Health.

I haven’t blogged for a while. As with all of my projects, I have great initiative but shitty follow-through. It is to be expected.

And since this is my blog, I’m writing about what I want to write about. We’re talking about motherfucking feelings and emotions. Feel free to discontinue reading. You’re probably an asshole anyways.

Once a year, I hit a serious funk. I’m in the middle of my yearly funk at the moment. It is not pleasant. Everything makes me anxious. The thought of going out in public and talking to people (even people I know) makes me anxious. Thinking of everything I need to do around my apartment makes me anxious. Thinking about the list of things I have to do at work makes me anxious. And when I have anxiety, I get the poops. Like seven times a day. Like to the point where I’m so dehydrated from being in the bathroom that I’m dizzy.

I make myself ill and then I curl up in my bed for hours and cry. This is not normal, I realize. At least it’s only once a year. I feel the upswing coming, so I think I’ll be okay soon.

I think this downward spiral started right when I got back from my trip to Seattle. I had fun in a real city. And then I came back here. I’m stagnant. I’m slowly working on changing that, but it’s hard.

Social anxiety is also something that I routinely deal with. There is a reason that all of my closest friends are people I’ve known for over a decade. Once I lock you in, I keep you forever. It helps that all of my oldest friends are the best people. Smart, funny, and passionate.

Meeting new people blows and is terrifying. I’m not good at it. It takes a while for me to really trust anyone. When new people turn out to be shitty, I’m never really surprised. My expectations were not high to begin with.

I’m also going to have to discontinue my dating app adventures for a while. I get the grossest messages. It’s funny at first, but slowly it starts to eat away at my self worth. I am largely only an embodiment of a fetish for many guys. It’d be nice to have a genuine interaction occasionally. I have met up with two guys from OkCupid ever. One was with the intention of being friends. We’re still friends. He’s good people.

I’m going to go eat a donut now.

The One With a FITNESS Update.

I’m still going to the gym a few days a week. I still hate it with an undying passion. I still want the building to burn to the ground every time I get on the treadmill. I’m not sure that I will ever achieve anything other than a sense of foreboding every time I pull into the parking lot.

But persevere I will. Because I have almost regained enough flexibility to successfully shave my legs again. I attempted the other day for the first time in probably two years. It wasn’t entirely successful. I sat on the floor of the tub and kept sliding back towards the drain. I’m not coordinated enough yet to do the the one foot propped up maneuver that is necessary for a complete shave.

I have hairy stripes on my legs and it’s good enough for now. I almost couldn’t stand up getting out of the tub because my ass kept sliding and I struggled to get a good enough grip on the edge to hoist myself up. The curtain rod was almost a casualty. I survived, and so did my curtain.

Thursday I’m playing racquetball with my 6’3″ friend. I don’t run and there is a 2’1″ height disparity. This can’t be anything but a hilarious event to witness.

The One About LPA Conferences.

The most recent Little People of America national conference is coming to an end right now in Boston. I was not there. I have not attended an LPA event since 2010.

The very first LPA convention I attended was in 1996 in Indianapolis. It was and is still a surreal experience. I’m the same height as everyone! I can make eye contact with other people with little effort!

I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with the conferences. As a kid attending, I had very few friends. Some years, I never hung out with anyone and just watched the spectacle. The kids are clique-ish and aren’t particularly welcoming to newbies. Everyone (even adults) really just attend each year to catch up with the people they already know. I totally understand it, but it sucks since I’m an awkward person initially and am not particularly good at barging in and introducing myself.

The other popular use of the conferences is as a week-long dating service. I only attempted to participate in that mission one year and it blew up in my face. Never again! I’d rather be single or find someone in the real world.

Friends often end up dating exes of their friends since the pool is pretty small. As a kid, I remember watching adults all over different people each night at the dances. I always thought of it as a delightfully fast paced slutty game of musical chairs. There’s obviously a good number of chaste interactions as well, but being a kid, I mainly just remember watching all the horniness on the dance floor in fascination.

It took me until the 2005 Orlando conference or so to hit my social stride. I finally had a handful of friends that I kept contact with in the months between. I had a small posse of sorts and it made the week way less awkward and pathetic.

2010 in Nashville is the most recent conference I’ve attended. It’s probably also the one I had the most fun at. I went balls out and sung a song in front of a huge ballroom of people at the talent show. It was terrifyingly exhilarating. I had never sung publicly like that before. The reactions and recognition in the days following were worth the terror. I am not so secretly an attention whore.

That 2010 conference was also the last I got to attend with my friend Monica before she died in February of 2014. I miss her every day. Losing her is one of the many reasons I’ve been hesitant to make plans to go to another. Not seeing her face there will make it more real that she isn’t here anymore. Most of my favorite ridiculous memories involve her and it’s hard knowing that it’s not going to happen again.

Having a primarily virtual long distance friendship is odd enough. When your friend dies, it’s hard to process. I still feel like I can send her a Facebook message or an email. Over two years later, I still have our last text exchanges saved to my phone.

I don’t know when I will attend my next conference, but you can be assured that I will probably be a sloppy mess the entire week. Even without the inevitable copious amounts of alcohol.

The One About FITNESS.

Today was the beginning of the second week of my attempt to join the population of semi-healthy humans. Gyms are the handiwork of the devil. The only thing I look forward to is the abundance of air conditioning. I’m currently taking my relationship with the gym slowly and only committing to the treadmill. Even though I feel like a hamster on a wheel. The scenery never changes and the cage smells vaguely like Satan’s taint.

My weight has been a constant battle for years. It’s easier for me to get fat because of my height– a few bad decisions equal a few gained pounds that I immediately feel. Once I start gaining, I keep gaining because it gets harder and more painful to move.

Before I know it, I’ve gained 50 pounds and even my feet get fat enough that I can’t wear my cute shoes anymore. And that’s a tragedy. I need red suede flats and tan saddle shoes back in my life.

I’ve observed over the years that other little people seem to maintain their weights with really strict portion control. Exercise sometimes isn’t an option because it’s not that physically feasible. The only thing stopping me from exercising is my complete disinterest. I’ve been fortunate that I have had no leg, hip, or back issues that have necessitated any medical intervention.

I’ve tried medically supervised meal replacement diets and Weight Watchers. I’m a belligerent asshole and don’t particularly like when people tell me how to live my life, so any success I had did not last that long.

The only way for me to get unfat again is to commit to a reasonable meal plan and start exercising little by little. Wiser food choices are starting to happen. I’ve eaten enough fruits and vegetables at work lately that a few of my cubicle neighbors have been visibly shocked. I walked 45 minutes on the treadmill today. Ten minutes in, I wanted the building to burn down to the ground. By the time I hit minute 30, I came to terms with reality and sucked it up.


The One About Potential Mortality.

In April 2009, I could have died. I didn’t *almost* die, but I *could* have if I had delayed a hospital visit by much longer.

The school year of 2008-2009 was a mess. I was an RA in a residence hall on campus at the University of Cincinnati. My boss absolutely despised my existence and made no pretense of otherwise. That’s a story for another day…

By the time April rolled around, I had a new boss who was great. He genuinely cared about our RA staff and wanted everyone to be happy. Unfortunately, the Boss from Hell had already destroyed all good staff dynamics.

I was fat, unhappy, and a mental health disaster. Sometime in the beginning of April, it began to become more difficult for me to take deep breaths and I was feeling my heart work really hard anytime I moved. One afternoon, I called my parents to let them know I wanted to come home for the evening because I didn’t feel well and I wanted my mommy. I never showed up and stopped answering my phone.

When I wandered down in my robe to my floor’s bathroom to shower, I started to feel even worse. I felt dizzy and confused. Apparently, when you’re dizzy and can’t get a good full breath, you lose control of your bodily functions. I may or may not have left a turd trail through the bathroom. Sorry, 3rd floor Siddall residents of 2008-2009…TWAS I, THE POOP BANDIT.

After desecrating the bathroom, I got into the shower. I immediately felt even worse due to the steam. I sat on the disgusting concrete floor with the water running to try to catch my breath enough to be able to stand back up. It never happened.

After not hearing from me after an hour or two, my dad came down to campus to find me. He located me in the bathroom and I was coherent enough to agree that perhaps I needed to go to the hospital to figure out what the hell was going on.

My dad and the dorm staff called for an ambulance since I was weak enough that there was no way I was going to be able to walk out of the building. Once the EMTs got to me, they tested my oxygen. It was low. Their best guess was that either I had pneumonia or blood clots in my lungs. I remember thinking that I really hoped it was pneumonia. Because sane people wish for pneumonia.

They launched me onto the gurney and wheeled me onto the elevator. All of this happened during dinnertime, so I’m pretty sure there were lots of residents in the lobby who saw me not so modestly covered with my robe. It is what it is.

They turned on the sirens of the ambulance and sped to University Hospital. The sirens were a highlight of my trip for sure. I like knowing that I’ve caused chaos in my wake.

Once they got me into the ER, asked questions, and ran some tests, they quickly came to the conclusion that I had blood clots in my lungs that were cutting off oxygen to my brain and making my heart pump harder.

I was on Yasmin (birth control) to regulate my periods and make my hormones get their shit together. A nasty little side effect of that is that it can cause blood clots that can kill you. The doctor in the ER was livid when she heard what I was on. She mentioned that it needed to be taken off the market because I was not alone in my experience. Other countries have banned Yasmin. It’s still prescribed in the US today.

After a heparin drip, spending two nights in the ICU, and a few more nights on a regular floor with the wackos of University Hospital, I was released.

For the first week or so, I had to inject myself in the stomach with Lovenox. I gave myself a nasty skin infection that I had to get an antibiotic for…because my body likes to keep things fun.

After that, it was six months of warfarin and weekly blood tests. Everyone always fails at drawing my blood on a good day, and while I was on blood thinners, it looked like I got into weekly street brawls with how bruised I would get.

Once six months passed, it was determined that I was fine and did not need to continue blood thinners for the rest of my life. I was not genetically susceptible to blood clots. Mine were purely caused by the birth control.

Moral of the story? Don’t take Yasmin unless you like dropping deuces in dorms and showing too much skin to college freshmen.

The One About Rude People.

Over the years, I’ve begun to learn about the kinds of places I can comfortably live without worrying about my safety.

Cincinnati is alright. There’s a good number of white trash crackers who feel like it is their collective responsibility to make me feel as objectified as possible. Their spawn usually like to comment on my weight as well as my height. “Look at that lady! She’s fat AND short!”

Really, fat is the thing you notice first? Really?

Bigger diverse cities are where I feel safest. I’m no weirder than the other weirdos. I think that’s one of the many reasons why my high school experience was ideal. Walnut Hills High School is diverse in many ways- racially, economically, and socially. There was a place for everyone. It also helped that it’s college prep so everyone is smart enough not to be raging douchebags.

After high school, I lived for a year and a half in Amish country south of Cleveland while I attended The College of Wooster. The townies I had experience with were low class rednecks who enjoyed driving through campus to harass anyone who looked even remotely different. One notable event was when one of them screamed “MIDGET!” at me out a car window before shooting me in the forehead with an airsoft gun. That was the most heartfelt welcome I have ever had.

Being short-statured in Europe appears to be different than living in the United States.  When I went to Greece the summer of 2006 with my friend Amanda (also a dwarf), it was bizarre. Many people (particularly shopkeepers) did not hesitate to approach us, get overly friendly, touch us, pinch our cheeks, and in general make us feel like children. At least they weren’t mean? But dude. Don’t touch me.

When I studied in Munich the summer of 2008, I probably felt the most secure in myself and my safety. I didn’t witness too much staring or whispered nudging conversations directed my way. I just figured all the Germans had better things to do than worry about what I looked like. My differences did not matter in their busy days.

The only thing in regards to my height that I remember was a little boy on the U-Bahn (subway) who turned to his mother and very calmly said “Eine kleine Frau!” while pointing over at me. Yes, young man. I am in fact a small woman. Your polite observation is correct. If he had been here in America, he would have jabbed his mother in the arm and said “MOM. MOM. MOM. LOOK AT THAT FAT MIDGET.”

In a perfect world, I will figure out a way to move to a bigger city. Chicago, NYC, LA, and Atlanta all have appeal. I just want to get somewhere that I feel like I have a chance of blending in. I will never truly be able to be anonymous, but I’ll try.