Little Person At The Strand

Posted: September 8, 2010 by S. Trevor Swenson in Observations
Tags: ,

Yesterday after being driven from the park at Union Square by aggressive and noisy Born Again Christians I wandered over to one of my favorite stores in the city; The Strand Bookstore on Broadway. The Strand advertises “8 Miles of Books”, and their prices are amazing. The only problem with my favorite stores is that I can tend to spend too much money in them.

I was looking for some birthday gifts for some friends and family, and maybe a book to treat myself after the rough week I had been having. I went to the back of the store to the film and theater section of the store. I was looking around to see if something would catch my eye, perhaps a book on cult films. This is another problem with my favorite stores, sometimes I am not certain what I want, which leads to impulse buys, which in turn brings us back to spending money I can’t really afford on books I don’t really need. I will state for the record that I showed a rare level of restraint and only picked up two gift books and a biography on Woody Allen for myself that was only $6. (Hardcover…retail price $25)

Anyhoo, I was in the film and theater section, scanning the rows of books on the huge shelves. At the end of the film section was an attractive little person. I really prefer the term “midget”, but I am trying to be a kinder, gentler and more sensitive Scotty these days. I read in an article about a year ago that little people refer to “midget” as “The “M” word” . . . so suffice to say they really don’t care for that word. For the sake of simplicity I shall be using the term “LP”.

As I said this LP was quite pretty. She had a pretty face and really nice natural ash-blond hair. She had a nice outfit on too, and I tend to think that LP’s might have difficulties in finding fashionable clothes. Do they shop in children’s sections or are there special LP clothing catalogs and websites? I have so many questions about LP’s and I don’t have a single LP friend, so there is no one to ask. I have black friends I can ask about black people stuff, and gay friends I can ask prostate, anal sex and decorating hints, but not a single LP friend, so until I make one I am forced to ponder these questions.

The pretty LP or “PLP” if you will was checking out books on Clint Eastwood, which were on the lower shelves or more precisely LP eye level. I finally found a book I wanted on one of the top shelves. I was forced to avail myself of one of the Strands many ladders. I grabbed the nearest ladder and felt awkward about using it right next to the LP. I don’t know why, but I felt like I was somehow mocking her. I was also thinking about how cool it would be to pick up the PLP and hold her up to grab my book. Would that be offensive? I mean if I asked politely, would that be considered bad form? I’ve had little old ladies at the supermarket ask me to get things for them that they couldn’t reach. I never got offended. In fact, it made me feel good, like if my moms was watching me assist some strange little old lady she’d have one of those maternal flashes of pride . . .”That’s my Scotty, he’s such a nice boy” I also make it a general policy to ask mothers with strollers if they need help getting up or down subway stairs. More than half the time they accept my offer. There’s no weirdness or suspiciousness in these exchanges. These mothers don’t act as if I’m going to get to the top of the stairs and sprint away with their baby and stroller, or remove the baby as I don’t like children, run off with the stroller and sell it on craigslist or eBay. So, is it really so wrong to ask for a solid from a strange PLP? “Miss, I’m sorry to ask, but would you mind getting that Woody Allen bio for me? I can’t reach it, but I think I can lift you up there . . . I’d really appreciate it . . . Really? Oh, thank you I really appreciate it . . . it’s that one up there . . . no . . . no to the left of the Hitchcock . . . that’s it, you got it . . . can you check the price for me? How much is the one next to it? OK grab that one . . . got it? Thanks.”

Then I would put the PLP down gently and thank her again. Then I would seize the moment once the ice was broken and talk about film. If she showed interest, I’d invite her to coffee and take things from there. If she wasn’t romantically interested, at least we could be friends and I’d have someone to ask all my LP questions to.

Suffice to say I didn’t ask to pick her up. I got a ladder, grabbed the book I wanted and we went our separate ways.

  1. Tallkronan says:

    This is sooo sweet! I wonder what she was thinking. “I wonder what it’s like to be a man. I should just ask him to go for a coffee.”


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