Citizen of the Month

the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

My Life as a Short Man Fraud

The year was 2005. A female friend was dating a guy that she liked, but ended up breaking up with him.  Why?  Because he was short.   I called her an idiot for being so superficial, and wrote a post on my blog titled “What’s So Wrong with Dating Short Men?

I was a newbie blogger at the time.  I had no idea that a post could take off in unexpected ways.  My tongue-in-cheek rant turned into an online forum for short men looking to express their frustration with women in the dating world.  Six years and almost five hundred comments later, I still get at least two comments a week on this post.

This blog post also was my introduction to the concept of “branding,” even if I didn’t know what the term meant just yet.  Readers were making assumptions about me based on my writing and my subject matter.  I received emails from men applauding me for “coming out” as a short man.

When I attended the first BlogHer, several women were surprised when they met me.

“I thought you were going to be much shorter,” said The Redneck Mommy.

I didn’t understand why women assumed I was short.  Did I sound like a short person in my comments?

It took me several months to figure it all out.  A woman in the Midwest who I never met took a liking to me.   She texted me, wanting to meet in a hotel.   She confided that she preferred dating short men because they spent more time bringing her to orgasm.

“And short men like you can do things taller men cannot.”

My post was being read as a personal statement.   Why else would I care about this subject unless I was a short man?

But I was a short man fraud.   I’m really over six feet tall.

I turned to my childhood friend, Barry, for help.   He’s always been shorter than me, and it never stopped him from meeting women.

I told him about the post and that some of the men in the comments seemed to considered me a leader in the short men community.

“Should I tell them the truth about my height?” I asked.

“Absolutely not,” he said. “You are doing an important service for the community. You are giving these men confidence. If they learned that you are really six feet tall, their world will come crumbling down.  Stay short for them online. For short men everywhere.  They need you.”

I took my friend’s advice, and for years, I have been a blogging version of Tootsie — a tall man acting like a short man online, and playing it better than an actual short man.

Last week, I was feeling isolated in the blogging community. I’m not a daddy blogger.  I’m not a humorist. I have no niche.  And then, like manna from heaven, I received an email that would change everything.

It came from a extremely popular, well-established online site that focuses on relationships and sexuality.  Someone from this online magazine was impressed with one of my posts and wanted to do an exclusive interview with me.

I was thrilled by the offer. I had finally climbed the ladder of blogging success.

I emailed back, asking about the interview.

“What will the interview be about?” I wondered.

The response:

“”Sex Tips From a Short Man.”

Based on the your 2005 post “What’s So Wrong with Dating Short Men?,” we think you would be the PERFECT person to share sex tips with other short men.”

Yes, I have finally found my blogging niche.   I am a short man.

Editor’s Note:  I emailed them back and told them the truth — that I was really six feet tall.   They haven’t returned my email.

20 Comments

  1. LOL… you really made me laugh. As a tall teenager (5’10” without shoes) I was always being hit on by shorter guys and I could never figure out why they would bother to ask. I now realize that I needed to have had more self-assurance than I did to allow me to feel confident in dating a shorter guy. However, I was always attracted to tall guys, the taller the better.

    I know there are lots of shorter men out there who are smart, witty, good conversationalists, etc. and I should never have let their height be a deterrent. Live and learn. I apologize to all the shorter guys I turned down.

  2. Oh sure. Throw *me* under the bus.

    For the record, I love short men. I’d never date one, but I still love them. In a platonic kind of way.

  3. Absolutely what Judy said.

    Sorry you didn’t get the interview. It could have been very funny, and very enlightening.

  4. I think my favorite part of the post is the old school photo. Do you remember why you were marching that way?

  5. This is so funny. Having not encountered the 2005 post (having met you, in the online sense, in 2007), I had never formed an image of you as short. Actually, I don’t think I’d even formed a height-based image of you.

    For that matter, I am pretty bad at noticing height. I do often notice whether people are shorter than me, or taller than me, but usually not in a particularly fine-grained way. So maybe I just missed the cues from your writing that would have given your height away.

    Also, for the record, my first serious relationship was with a man who is 5 foot 1. (I did, in fact, notice that he was short. I can’t remember what tipped me off.)

  6. Oh, you slay me! I can’t get enough of this story.

  7. Fraud! I’m glad I met you in person before I knew your blog, so that I wouldn’t be fooled.

  8. Funny, your Klout profile doesn’t say anything about you being an authority on shortness. Can we +K you on that?

  9. Fantastic. 🙂

  10. Too funny! I love short men, and my dad was short, handsome and charismatic. As long as they are taller than me, it’s all good. Although I *have* to admit, that while I am only 5’3″, my husband *is* 6’1″. It just worked out that way – honest. 🙂

  11. Being a good two inches shorter than you, you’ve giving me a real boost. And something else for My Love to be worried about.

  12. Hi Neil. This is the first post of yours I’ve read and because you made me laugh I’m adding you to my Google Reader. As a generalist in search of my niche, I was so heartened when you wrote that you were “feeling isolated in the blogging community. I’m not a daddy blogger. I’m not a humorist.” I have a feeling that your short man sex tips would have been well informed – after 500+ comments, you have a clear view from the therapist’s couch if not the patient’s. ~Virginia

  13. Can I just say, 500 comments on a post??? Bowing to my hero!

  14. I thought that I’d comment on what Ms S has said:

    “Too funny! I love short men, and my dad was short, handsome and charismatic. As long as they are taller than me, it’s all good. Although I *have* to admit, that while I am only 5’3″, my husband *is* 6’1″. It just worked out that way – honest.”

    Now we take heightism a bit more seriously, but the above comment is typical of women who don’t want to appear heightist, but are. And I am a bit surprised that you are an above-average heighted person. It’s good that you are not against short men dating women. That’s very egalitarian of you. I guess I should be grateful that you are not opposed to a short man having a girlfriend or even a wife. Some people are against short men living in the first place. I suppose we should be giving thanks that a Tall Man believes that short men actually have some rights in the world and is willing to state it on his blog. Keep up the good work Neil.

    webmaster
    http://www.supportfortheshort.org – a website about heightism

  15. I’m totally confused. Not because I thought that Niel was a short guy. His picture is on the masthead of this blog and (even though it’s only a head shot) he never appeared to be short to me. I’m confused at all of the comments saying that “this is funny” or some variation thereof. Where is the joke? I don’t get it.

    It makes sense that people assume that only short men stick up for short men because height bigotry is an acceptable social prejudice. What’s “funny” about that?

  16. Is that a Jewish ‘over six feet tall’ measurement? Because my experience with Jewish men is they tend to adjust their height by 1.5-2.5″.

  17. I remember that post very well and how the men who’d found it through a search engine would gush about how happy they were to have found this “forum”. I felt bad for them, knowing they’d stumbled over a humor blog, but I always thought how cool it was that you never closed comments on the post. You let those visitors meet and greet and find support in one another. Just like your old blogger matchmaking posts, that “forum” was a source of my great admiration for you.

  18. So… you were writing about being successful as a short man, yet… you were tall…

    Probably wouldn’t have been so successful if you were short… discrimination and all that…

    So basically, you’ve shown even to be a successful, short man… you have to be tall…

    That alone is worthy of study.

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