Thursday, February 09, 2006

Little Women

Remember that little problem I had yesterday morning? Well, sad to say it has gotten worse. Worse in that what the hubby tried last night to fix the PC not only didn't work, it erased the information needed to do a system restore, which is how I was able to get myself back online. So I'm writing this at the library, alternately steaming and fretting over when I might be able to log on from home again. Ah, modern technology. Would you like to hear what I think about capital punishment as it relates to people who create and spread (knowingly) computer viruses?

Anyway, I walked into the library behind this little, teeny tiny woman. I don't think she was any higher than 5 feet and maybe 90 lbs. soaking wet. And it got me to thinking about the heroines out there who are teeny tiny women.

I'm fairly small myself, at least in terms of height. I'm only 5' 2". My hubby is 6', so we have hope our kids will be at least normal. But I never think of myself as "small". Maybe that's because I stopped shopping in the petite department sometime after the birth of my first kid. Just couldn't bring myself to buy the sizes I needed to feel less like a tube of toothpaste and more like a human being.

But when I read about these itsy bitsy heroines, the ones so small the hero marvels at the tiny-ness of her itty bitty body parts (except, of course, her generous breasts which are never, ever too small), I can't help but wonder what the appeal would be. Sure, I suppose a small woman might bring out the protectiveness in a big hunky man. But somehow that hints at more of a parent/child protectiveness than a male/female one, which just squicks me out to no end. When a hero can cup her entire head in one palm, I'm thinking some major disproportions that don't speak of two adults interacting.

And there is the matter of fit. Not to get too graphic, but I always think about the fact that there are no dog breeds a cross between a Great Dane and a miniature poodle for a very good, practical reason. The fit just doesn't work. Thinking about an abnormally large man (because heroes are always bigger than life) and a miniaturized woman trying to get physical just doesn't work for me. I remember countless school dances when my date would be stooping over to dance with short me. These couples would require step ladders just to kiss unless the hero didn't mind cricks in his neck. Once in bed, dang, the poor little miss would be squished like a bug.

I know small gals deserve big love stories, just like big ones do. And I know there are lots of little ladies out there in the real world very happily paired with large guys. Remember, I'm one of the shorties married to a tall guy. So I have no personal prejudices here, and I know that real life makes it work out nicely. It's when the writer goes on and on and on about the woman's diminutive stature - it becomes a defining character trait that drives the man wild - where I come to full stop. Once I know the heroine is maybe a little on the small side, any more obsessing about her petiteness pushes me out of the story into thinking way too much.

Besides, if these tiny women are taking all the big men, what are those tiny guys left to do? I mean, come on, you never read romances where the woman towers over her prospective love interest. That would just be silly.

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