Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Crazy Confession Time

I know you all just love it when I uncover yet another of my random quirks.

I have had a fascination with little people for a long time. I don't mean the plastic Fisher Price toys - I mean people who are actually dwarfs or midgets.

There is a difference: A midget is a normally proportioned small person whereas a dwarf has a regular sized torso, but stunted appendages. And within those two categories, there are many different kinds of dwarfism.

These days, little people prefer to be called little people as opposed to "midget" or "dwarf".

When I was in fourth grade, we had a substitute teacher who was a dwarf. All of the kids just loved him. He took the time to show us his modified car and talked about how his house was modified, too. His wife was also a dwarf and they had no children, because, as he told us, genetically, there was a chance they would have a child who did not have dwarfism and they weren't certain they could handle that.

He was tiny and I remember him climbing up the wooden teachers' chair to sit. He was fascinating and very patient with the kids and all the inevitable questions. After he had subbed a few times, the novelty wore off and he was just a regular old sub.

If there is a show on TV about little people, you can bet I will be a captive audience.

I wonder, "Where do they shop for clothes?". I can only assume that being a little person today is moderately easier than being a little person even 20 years ago. Not that I can even imagine how difficult their everyday life must be. But, with the internet, etc., at least today they have access to online shopping and plenty of medical resources.

Sadly. many of them are born with additional health problems which can serve to shorten their life span.

I used to watch the soap opera "Passions". One reason I got hooked on the show was because one of the stars was a little person. He had been born with a heart problem and needed surgery. The show gave him a hiatus. On the day the show "killed" him off (not really, but that's what we were supposed to believe), he died for real on the operating table. He was young - only 19 or 20 as I recall... It's been years ago.

I was at Kroger the other day and I saw TWO little people - not in the same shopping party. I almost couldn't believe my good fortune!

It's not like little people just exist on every street corner. I think that's what I find most interesting - it's a rare condition.

I wish little people everywhere knew how much I love them.


  1. So you watch that show "Little People, Big World"? I think it's on TLC...

  2. I never really thought about little people that much and then I saw the Roloff family on TLC. Then of course I saw that little person stripper.... Now I think about little people more and more....

  3. There is the nicest 'little person' that works at our local hardware store. He is always really sweet to me, but my husband says he is a real jerk to him. I tend to think it's because my husband is 6'4 - my husband is a very nice person, and I can't figure out the little guy's 'beef' with him.

  4. Lauren - I have seen it a few times. I'd watch more often if I could figure out TLCs scheduling system (I'm not much of a TV watcher, so if it's not on X day at X time, I forget it).

    Ron - Hey, even little people have to work....

    Gigi - I think it's a female in the local hardware store (i.e. damsel in distress syndrome LOL). I get better treatment in our hardware stores than the Evil Twin does. The employees probably figure that the guy customers should just *know* stuff.

  5. I caught the TLC program one time...and I too, am fascinated.

  6. I often watch the show on TLC, too. I am amazed at how well they run their lives, despite having physical problems and some normal-sized kids.

  7. Don't mention this to JC. She'd get the heebie jeebies for sure.

    There's an achrodroplsic dwarf swimmer in the paralympics. A Medal Winner too!! Amazing.

  8. themom - It's amazing when you think of what they must go through on a daily basis.

    Kenju - having the average-sized kids has to be challenging.

    Efen - I know. That's why I'm riveted to it.

    Tiff - I'm always in awe when people can rise above physical challenges.

  9. Timmy! That was so odd that he "died" the same day he actually died.

  10. Matt Roloff (the dad on Little People, Big World) is on my daughter's ever growing crush list.

    She has adored him since the show began.

    I think it's because he's a Daddy, through and through.

  11. I enjoy Little People Big world, though not on a regular basis. This may sound horrible to say out loud, but I like that the dad gets on my nerves just like any person would. I don't feel like "he's a little person and I'm mean if he annoys me." They are just a regular family - and the show does a great job of erasing stereotypes.
    That said I am 5'0 and I actually answer to "midge" (short for midget) It's one of my nicknames.

  12. Laura - poor Timmy!

    Momma - seriously?

    Renn - I've said it before, I'll say it again: Nooze is a girl after my own heart.

    vinomom - I should try to catch the show more often. My biological mom is 4 foot 11 - so much tinier than me (at nearly 5 foot 10).

  13. I once watched a documentary about little people and found some ways they dealt with their smaller stature very ingenious. However, it has to be maddening in some ways.

  14. I know I'm way late getting to this one, but I had to respond. I once had a little person for a boss. He wasn't just a little person, he was a hunchback little person with one leg shorter than the other (and the shorter leg had the knee on sideways so he had to use his hand to push that leg to walk). He was one of the meanest people I ever met. In retrospect, maybe the hunchback was an actual chip on his shoulder.

    Part of the job was to sell ads. Whenever someone left, he would scoop up their customers with a sad story about how you just couldn't find dependable help anymore. After a while, I realized he wasn't mean so much as he was greedy and he wanted people to quit (so he'd get their commission).

    You should have seen him in action with clients. He would pull out every maneuver that might gain him some sympathy because he could always translate that sympathy into a sale.