I'm short -- 5-foot-6 in my socks.
Being short has its advantages.
I am closer to the ground, making it more likely I'll spot a quarter lying in the road. Also, I am less likely to be struck by lightning than members of, say, a basketball team. If it ever comes to it, I can shop in the kid's aisle and save loads of money.
Many actors are my height -- Tom Cruise, Dustin Hoffman, Al Pacino. Their small statures don't keep audiences from gobbling up tickets to their movies.
Unfortunately, being short is seldom a good thing when you are a single man signed up with a dating Web site. This I know from experience.
Growing disenchanted with the local dating scene, I did what any unattached guy with an Internet connection would do: I looked for romance online.
Joining no less than two Internet dating Web sites, I posted my profile, photo and -- gulp -- height.
The height thing, I learned too late, was more than a little problem.
A girl from Bay Village who is 5-foot-9 captured the attitude of many women with her profile posting.
"I am 5'9, and I like to wear (heels) on occasion. Bonus points if you are a head taller than me. Being much shorter than me unfortunately can be a deal breaker," she writes.
Another woman -- a 23-year-old from Willard -- also requires her dates to be at least 6 feet tall.
These are not isolated incidents of romantic shortchanging.
Even pint-sized women seek tall guys. They unapologetically display their prejudices outside of the love shack reading: "You must be this tall to enter."
This is one of the inherent hazards of online dating. Users are asked to share a good deal of information, any bit of which can turn out to be a deal-breaker.
Things which might be forgiven in person -- income, height, weight, food preference, exercise habits or education -- can instantly disqualify a relationship-seeker online.
Similar to employers who are inundated with resumes, subscribers to match-making sites can avoid considering realistic prospects for candidates, because they feel there are tons of profiles to peruse.
People often have impossible standards online and screen out candidates immediately for one small deviation from expectations.
Click, click, nope -- too short.
Click, click, nope -- too big in the hips.
Click, click, maybe -- they are tall and thin, but oh wait, they are from Michigan, so nope.
People can be as picky as they like online because they don't have to meet any of these people in the flesh. Going on actual dates makes people more likely to accept small disappointments in character and appearance.
"Well, they like Michigan football, which is unfortunate, but hot diggity dog, they're funny. They'll do."
All of this helps explain why a Cornell University report published in 2007 found that more than half of men studied lied about their height (they were shorter than advertised) while more than 65 percent of women lied about their weight (they were heavier than stated).
Guess that's one way to avoid being cut early on. Appear to be everything a mate would want.
"Did I say I was 5-foot-6? I got that backwards. I'm 6-foot-5. I got distracted because I was thinking about the millions of dollars I make writing dating columns. Let's meet."
In the end, setting unrealistic expectations is a good way to stay single.
People are often short, too big in the hips or say things like "hot diggity dog."
Deal with it or plan on spending a lot of time behind the computer.