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Annie’s Mailbox: Teenage boy sad about being short

Marcy Sugar and Kathy Mitchell Creators Syndicate

Dear Annie: I am a 14-year-old high school freshman who is depressed about my future. As a result of my premature birth, I have a heart defect and lung problems and am very small for my age.

What really depresses me is the thought that I’m always going to be smaller than my peers. My doctor estimates I probably won’t grow taller than 5-foot-1. I want to be a normal teenager. I want a girlfriend and to have fun hanging out with my friends.

Our school is having a freshman dance. I want to take a date, but every girl I have asked has turned me down, and some have even laughed at me. One female friend told me girls think I’m cute, but they’d be embarrassed to be seen with me.

I am scared this is how things are always going to be for me. I don’t want to live a lonely life. I want to have kids someday. I have had fleeting thoughts of suicide, but I would never do that to my family. Any advice on how I can make myself taller so girls will stop seeing me as a little kid? – Too Small

Dear Too Small: We won’t lie to you. It is more difficult for men of small stature to attract women, but it isn’t impossible. First, you have to meet girls who are more mature than 14-year-olds who are overly concerned with appearances. You’ll have better luck out of high school. In the meantime, develop your personality so you are attractive to someone who is interested in a kind, decent, intelligent guy with a good sense of humor, no matter how tall he is. And for inspiration, consider all the male celebrities who are not exactly towering over you – guys like Prince, Jon Stewart, Tom Cruise, Martin Scorsese, Kevin Hart, Josh Hutcherson, Ringo Starr, Dustin Hoffman, Spud Webb, George Stephanopoulos, Paul Simon, James Madison and Seth Green. Their height didn’t stop them.

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