Family Life

Read an Excerpt by Bill from the Little Couple’s New Book

In this excerpt from the Little Couple's new book, Bill tells the story of how he met Jen and why he knew he was ready for a serious relationship.
posted: 05/18/15
Little Couple book cover
Courtesy Howard Books, a Division of Simon & Schuster

If Jennifer had met me when I was twenty, there would have been no way she would have dated me, let alone married me, and if by some mistake she had, she certainly wouldn't still be with me now. I mean, most people aren't very adult when they are twenty. They make mistakes, think they know everything, and do some downright dumb things. Ideally, by the time thirty one comes around, they have grown out of that reckless or self-indulgent behavior.

I used some of this wisdom that comes with age and reflecting on my parents' divorce. I could see how things in their lives changed, how their circumstances changed, and how their behavior changed after they got married. Even what was important to them had changed. I was disappointed about the divorce for a long time, but I don't hold a grudge against my dad. He has been married to his second wife since 1987, close to thirty years. Debbie, my stepmother, was a part of my upbringing, and my stepbrothers have been my brothers for a long time. When any one of us is discussing a "brother," we have to wonder which of the four others he is referring to. Regardless of how the circumstances had changed between Mom and Dad, Dad always kept the interests of his children front and center. Looking back, I am sure some of my bad behavior toward my father and Debbie was an attempt to aggravate them simply because of my frustration that things had changed, that things were different and stressful. I saw my mother in so much grief, and I was hypersensitive about protecting the woman who had created me and taken care of me every day of my life.

My initial contact with Jen was like the modern-day version of the way my parents made contact. They had been pen pals, but strangers, learning they liked each other through their communication. Jen and I first started "corresponding" on a site called DateALittle.com, an online dating site for single Little People.

I had been a member of the site for only a short time when I came across Jennifer's profile (circa December 2005). I recognized her as the girl that Diane, Dr. Kopits's nurse practitioner, had been so enthusiastic about ten years earlier. Since then, I had heard updates on her progress, from when she was at U of Miami throughout Johns Hopkins medical school and beyond. She was kind of a celebrity in the Little People community because she was one of the very few who became practicing physicians. I loved her profile portrait. She was very pretty, with long blond hair combed perfectly straight and funky, pointy cat's-eye glasses. I wrote to her immediately, but she didn't write back. I shrugged it off, thinking that she was seeing somebody, or that I did not interest her. I couldn't dwell on it, so I moved on and "talked" to other people instead.

About a month and a half later, a "New Message" arrived in my Inbox. It was from Jen, who had sent me a lame note. "Have we met at a Little People of America convention? You look familiar." I chuckled, because I hadn't been to a convention in twenty years! So this was Jen's corny, innocuous pick-up line. Of course, I had to write back. "No, probably not," was the way I started my reply. I didn't elaborate too much on the subject, quickly moving toward a more formal introduction, a bit of background about myself, and a barrage of questions that I had, hoping to learn more about her. She never mentioned my earlier message to her, and I didn't ask, although she later claimed she never received a communication from me, and that if she had, she hadn't seen it. She also talked about some property in the Everglades she wanted to sell to me!

I also later learned why she had written that goofy pick-up line. She and her best friend Lakshmi were in their early thirties and despairing that they didn't have social lives and never had dates, being too busy with all their medical training. Jen was living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and working in excess of one hundred hours a week at the hospital where she was doing her fellowship. Over a glass of wine one night, the two had decided they were each going to join a dating website and write to one person to see what happened. Jen chose DateALittle.com and out of all the profile pictures she saw, she picked mine. I think she liked that I was wearing little round eyeglasses and was driving a speedboat in my "mug shot." Lakshmi was not a Little Person, so her candidate came from the average-size-people dating site, Match.com. Unfortunately for Lakshmi, her initial efforts with Match.com didn't produce anything long-term, although there was a happy ending for her when she found her husband-to-be not long after Jen and I started dating. They are now married with two boys!

To find out how this chapter ends -- and to read even more from Bill and Jen -- click here to learn more about the book and where it's available for purchase.

Read the book's introduction and an excerpt from a chapter by Jen.

show more details
New Season and a New Book
More on
Little Couple