Guest Blogger, Lists

Guest Blogger: A Not-So-Short List of Rules on Interacting with Short Ninjas

[Admin Note: Today we hand over the carpet to VSB commenter, Dara Mathis. Be nice, and enjoy!]

five_tiny_ninjas_by_ihni-d3hhsirNote: I fully expect PJ or Champ to pepper this with short jokes. I’m ready. (PJ Note: No.)

The first and last time I almost punched a white woman, she had it coming. (I know that 99.9% of black women can beat me up, which is why I specified the race. There would’ve been no punch attempts on a Michelle Obama).

(PJ Note: Okay, I’ve got one comment…that opening line was everything. If this blogging thing doesn’t work out, she should consider writing a book and starting it with that line. It has to be used somewhere; an album cover, a bar mitzvah program, old Civl Rights literature. El fin.)

I was taking my final tour as a grad student through my university’s book store, when the store manager stopped in front of me. I was almost 25 and she was fairly middle aged, dressed in an appropriately old lady suit with a skirt.  She proceeded to lose her mind. Maybe it was the backpack slung over my shoulder or the lack of makeup on my face. Either way, something foolish possessed this woman.

She crouched before me with her hands on her knees, until her face leveled with mine, as if she were my first-grade teacher. A molasses smile spread across her face and she drawled, “Can I help you with something, dear?” (Why yes, ma’am, you can help me with deez nuts!) I had not asked her for assistance or even glanced in her direction.

I told her no. Punching a university employee might put my graduation at risk, so I held back. Most students on campus were adults. She had no reason to think I was a child or treat me like one. But I knew why she insulted me like that; I’m 4’10” and I’ve been shortchanged on respect my entire life.

Ignorant as she was, it is only a drop in the bucket of ridiculous behavior I’ve witnessed. Short people (especially black ones) are supposed to be witty to fend off jokes that are not really jokes. I’m no Kevin Hart. So I have mastered my fake laugh, but still give people the benefit of the doubt. I like to think that folk forget how to treat short adults because they have no home training. My mama gave me plenty, though; consider this my each one teach one. If you’re looking to date, wife, cuff, befriend, or not get shot by chill with a short ninja, here are a few ground rules.

  1. Do not pick up and carry/body slam/tickle a short person. Don’t do it! They don’t care if you can bench press them (yes, someone actually said this to me), and they don’t need a demonstration. Bruh, if you want to show me how strong you are, help me move my living room furniture around, so I know it’s real. It impresses no one when you pick up humans the size of a 9-year-old and strut. And you might get assaulted once you put them down. It’s not safe.
  2. Shorty or Shawty is not the default short girl’s name. Non-negotiable. You are far dumber than you think you are if that double entendre makes you feel clever.
  3. Make no assumptions about their bedroom prowess, like: “Oh, I don’t date short girls because their box can’t take all this,” or, “Short guys can’t handle all this donkey. You need to be 6-feet-and-taller to ride.” First off, whenever someone refers to their body parts as “all this,” it’s seldom “all that” anyway. Second, the horizontal hustle does not come with height requirements. Vag to height correlation is a myth. People of all sizes, can, um, get it in.
  4. “You mad low to the ground” will not work as a pick up line on short women. Nor will any other insult compliment about being short. Conversely, for short men, telling women that you’re long where it counts only makes it sound like you have a Napoleonic penis complex. Approach like you’re not height-conscious and it won’t force others respond in kind.
  5. Stop treating shortness like a disease. It’s cool if you prefer not to date short people. But the sound effect “Ugh!” preceding “I don’t date short ninjas” implies that there is a value deficiency in being short. There isn’t, by the way. Short ninjas deserve respect, too, even if you’re too tall to see them from up there.
  6. If you live with a short ninja, let them keep their dignity and wait until they ask you for help. My husband is 6’2” and has a “three strikes” rule before he reaches over my head and hands me the plate I was jumping for. But he lets me try and I appreciate that.
  7. And finally, never ever, ever, ever crouch down (hands on your knees) and tell a short person “get on my level,” or some other condescending bull better left repeated 50 times on a Trillville song. Trust me.

Following the above instructions may or may not snag you the short ninja of your dreams. But it’ll certainly save you the embarrassment of being coldcocked by someone who is the legal height of a Little Person. Govern yourselves accordingly.

-Dara Mathis

Dara Tafakari Mathis is a freelance editor who secretly counts the dots in your ellipses to make sure there are only three. She writes about life, race & culture, and nerd activities on her blog daratmathis.wordpress.com. You can tweet her @dtafakari.

Filed Under:
Damon Young

Panama Jackson is pretty fly for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future.

  • Oshun

    Imma let Obsidian finish…….

    • T.Q. Fuego

      But Dtafakari had one of the best short ninja perspectives of ALL TIME…lol

      • http://daratmathis.wordpress.com/ dtafakari

        bwahahaha! tag team! lol

  • http://brown-c6h12o6.tumblr.com/ AfroPetite

    Yay Dara!

    As a fellow shorty, I approve of all this! Also an aside, Congratulations Shamira! 1-6 up in dis bih!!!!!

    • Oshun

      I read that as Yay DRAYA (from basketball wives)! I’m like, draya comments here, since when?

    • Shamira

      I know thats low key shade but I dont even care, I CANT SLEEP IM SO HYPED. FIRST ROUND ON ME THURSDAY. ASHFIWEHRWEIRHWEIRWEHR

      …alright I’m going to bed now.

      • http://brown-c6h12o6.tumblr.com/ AfroPetite

        No shade. I’m genuinely glad you guys pulled out with the win.

        • Shamira

          :-D

        • JayIzUrGod

          Giants love..awww.

    • Todd

      One word: GROW. I’m not one for the R. Kelly swag! :)

      • http://brown-c6h12o6.tumblr.com/ AfroPetite

        Ya daddy loves it *flips hair*

        • Todd

          Unless you been on that Sammy Sosa and I ain’t even know it, and are 40 years older, that can’t be you. LOL

          • http://brown-c6h12o6.tumblr.com/ AfroPetite

            It is. That money coming in from SS goes straight to me.

  • Originalcutie

    Great job Dara. I’m a fun-sized ninja and I live it. People work my nerves when they think they’re original with the “how’s it going down there” or dudes utter “hey short shawty”…Sigh.

    • http://daratmathis.wordpress.com/ dtafakari

      “How’s the air down there?”

      Seriously…lol

    • SuperStrings

      Do these kinds of things really come out of people’s mouths? What is wrong with people?

    • SuperStrings

      Wow. People really let this kind of stuff come out of their mouths? What is wrong with people?

      • Originalcutie

        You’d be amazed at the idiocy that comes out of folks’ mouths. This dude who was like 6’6″+ tried to holler and he actually said OUT LOUD that he thought my mouth was sexy because it was so close to his…well, you know. Man, I cussed that dude out.

  • Shamira

    GIANTS BABYYYYYYY *SOUNDS DANCEHALL BULLHORN*

    Dara, your post was lovely, as is your writing in general. I will give it the fully fleshed out comment it deserves in the morning when I regain my sanity.

    • Sahel

      Just support the Jets and be a true New Yorker

      • Shamira

        Sahel, you gon be here on Thursday? Cuz I’m making a list of people that need to get the fade on sight and I need to make sure its accurate.

        • Sahel

          Am not good with crowds Miss Ibrahim. And NY is last on my tour so i hope you know how to read coordinates because i was warned about burner phones not being what they used to be

          • Shamira

            mmhmm.

            And the last name though? Its like that?

            (I was gonna ask you how the h*ll you knew it but I just realized its in my email profile. I should take that down)

            • Yoles

              i don’t know bout yall but i have had enough of burn unit sahel and his super duper top secret they are watching me identity… who also just shouted out your gov’t online… where is the respect?!?!?

              he needs to give up some real info… this has gone on too dar sham wow…

              • Sahel

                What do you want to know

                • Yoles

                  what is your country of birth?

                  what is your current country of residence?

                  why so secretive sir?

                  no one would be on you like that if you didn’t make it level 902863498562304659024386 classified information!!!

              • Shamira

                right! now I gotta keep a low profile on these e-streets. Might be time for avi removal.

    • Val

      Thanks for the good news about the Giants. I wasn’t going to check tonight. I hate going to bed sad.

    • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com/ Tristan

      Oh they won, i couldnt find a damn to give about that game….

      • Shamira

        this is why we cant get married, Tristan. Well, that and you’re a dirty Pats fan.

    • http://daratmathis.wordpress.com/ dtafakari

      aw, thanks Shamira. Congrats on leaving the Winless Club! Now if only my Bucs could notch one… :(

      • http://brown-c6h12o6.tumblr.com/ AfroPetite

        You’re a Bucs fan? Booooo. No matter, you shall come out of Thursday’s game winless still.

        • http://daratmathis.wordpress.com/ dtafakari

          I’ma tell you just like I tell them Dirty Birds…holla at me when ya’ll actually HAVE a Super Bowl ring instead of just failing to get one. The Bucs have bad seasons, but the rest of ya’ll just have bad franchises.

          http://images.wikia.com/glee/images/4/47/Hair_flip_Santany.gif

          • Yoles

            them dirty birds don’t deserve any respect… you tell em D

          • http://brown-c6h12o6.tumblr.com/ AfroPetite

            Wooo wooo woooo. How about yall get above 0.000 in THIS SEASON

    • Asiyah

      but it wasn’t the superbowl Shamira lol

      • Shamira

        do not take away my happy Asiyah!!!

        • Asiyah

          I’m a Cowboys fan. We got beef.

          But I won’t take your happy away any longer. Romo is pretty useless and well I like ya lol

          • Shamira

            I’m just gonna ignore your first sentence, for the sake of our friendship, lol.

  • nillalatte

    “First off, whenever someone refers to their body parts as “all this,” it’s seldom “all that” anyway.”

    This. And, why does it always have to be a clueless white woman? smdh.

    • http://tripsixes.com/ Trip

      At least you know what’s up Nilla. We’ve had our differences, but you’re FAR from clueless.

      • nillalatte

        We’ve had differences? I thought we was all cool and sh*t especially when we took old school for a spin. What differences do we have? You act/sound like I’m gonna come right through this computer and seduce you. What’s wrong papi… you scurred? LMAO.

        • http://tripsixes.com/ Trip

          Nil for a moment we weren’t drinkin’ together anymore, but don’t sweat that now. Daddy’s gonna have to give you a good spanking for being so forgetful… No belt tonight, I have to put hands on you… and maybe something else too for good measure. =P

          • Yoles

            i’m watching this exchange… closely

          • Oshun

            well, alright!! me likey the both of ya’ll and your flirtytudeness.

  • http://tripsixes.com/ Trip

    Nice to see this piece Dara! Love the shorter women, but never called them outside of their name (unless we’re on THAT level). I’ve always liked your contributions and now your blog has been bookmarked! Good bit on AP too- You put many of my jumbled thoughts into words on that one.

    • http://daratmathis.wordpress.com/ dtafakari

      Thanks! I’ve been steamed about AP since they started “coverage” on the side story .

  • DG

    Heyyy, one time for the short folks…

    [URL=http://gifsoup.com/view/188083/mj-emmanuel-lewis.html][IMG]http://stream1.gifsoup.com/view/188083/mj-emmanuel-lewis-o.gif[/IMG][/URL] [URL=http://gifsoup.com]GIFSoup[/URL]

    • Mr. SD

      Webster went innn! He prob was like the same age as Mike in this gif..lol

  • Sahel

    So all this time of seeking short women was for naught..dang. And how come i have never heard of this bench pressing thing…

  • Val

    How about forehead kisses?

    • Sahel

      Euphemism ?

    • http://daratmathis.wordpress.com/ dtafakari

      Those are alright :)

  • blackphilo

    Whatever struggle short women experience hardly compares in intensity and consequence to the struggle experienced by short men. Ironically, and for some reason, the “rules” include supposedly “converse” advice to short men not to present as if they have a “Napoleonic” complex. This counsel is hardly original, since it’s stereotypically condescending.

    I’m not a height-challenged man myself. Just observing.

    • http://tripsixes.com/ Trip
    • Todd

      Oh so true. LOL It’s funny to see it happen.

    • Michelle

      There are times when it is a pain in the patootie dealing with people as a tall woman. I am the shortest woman in my family, at the height of 5’8. The tallest woman is 6’6 and she’s my sixteen year old cousin. It’s annoying (and almost de-humanizing feeling) when people treat us like we’re the stereotypical men.

      • Todd

        Would I be wrong is I started a countdown to 18 clock for your 6’6″ cousin? Jussayin’! :)

        • Camilleblu

          Yes.

        • Michelle

          yes!

        • Shamira

          bruh….weren’t you JUST saying you were fearful of a chris hansen intervention???

      • blackphilo

        The very tall woman struggle is much more akin to the short man struggle. That some men one happens to know don’t mind a taller woman is neither here nor there overall.

        I am such a man–though, to admit, I couldn’t handle around 6’6″. But we know of an eligible brotha who can.

    • http://daratmathis.wordpress.com/ dtafakari

      I agree with you; I’m definitely not here for the oppression Olympics. Short men face different challenges than short women. I think, in both cases, though, short men and women face a struggle to be taken seriously.

      Apologies for any condescension, though! It wasn’t my aim at all. My biggest point was that nobody needs to be a d0uchebag to short people.

      • blackphilo

        Along with everyone else, I understood your main point. It’s still not clear that you grasp how out of place the “Napoleonic” comment is–which constitutes being the thing (to short men) you’re cautioning against. Nothing personal.

        • http://daratmathis.wordpress.com/ dtafakari

          Nothing personal taken! Charge me as guilty of poor word choice and contributing to the short male bias on that one.

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1 Perverted Alchemist

      The only struggle short women have to face is seeing over the dashboard in the car.

      *shots fired*

      • http://TheNewEve.com/ Bunni

        Go back to sleep son.

        • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1 Perverted Alchemist

          Too late! I drank Red Bull and a Cappucino, LMAO!!!

          • http://TheNewEve.com/ Bunni

            Play nice or I will be forced to thrash you :-)

            • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1 Perverted Alchemist

              Oooooh…kinky, LOL!

      • http://daratmathis.wordpress.com/ dtafakari

        No struggle; they got engineers for that!

        ETA: I laughed, though!

        • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1 Perverted Alchemist

          They have engineers for it? Do tell…and it wouldn’t happen to be the same engineers that make SUV’s, would it? LOL!

    • Rachmo

      To be real, once maturity sets in the height thing starts to go out the window. Plus a man’s height is not really an issue once you’re horizontal.

      • SuperStrings

        Around what age would you say this “maturity” sets in? Like 50? lol

        • Rachmo

          For me it was around 19 which was when I dated a guy that was my exact height. Following that the range had been 5’4″ to about 6’5″

          • SuperStrings

            Come on Rach, you can’t go including yourself in the general population. You’re like the character/personality equivalent of the 6’8″ guy. ;-)

            • Rachmo

              STOP MAKING ME BLUSH! Also, my bestie is 6’1″ and her fiancee is 5’6,” so maybe I’m just chilling with anomalies.

        • Joel

          A quarter past never.