Teacher's a shorty, but don't tell her

Ask Amy

Amy Dickinson, Ask Amy Ask Amy

Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.

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DEAR AMY: I am petite; I've always been petite; I will likely always be petite. While it would be great to be a foot taller, I have accepted that it isn't going to happen. I am a middle-school teacher. Students often make comments on my stature because many of them are taller than I am. I know how to respond to a rude comment from a student, but I'm at a loss on how to respond to my co-workers. Several times a year, someone will tap me on the shoulder to tell me that he thought I was a student. I realize it's natural for people to think that, but it's rude to share that thought with me. I can take a good-natured joke from someone I am good friends with, but when an acquaintance or total stranger says this to me, it is bothersome. Some of them even ask my height, which I think is as rude as asking someone their weight. I don't know how to reply.Petite Teacher

DEAR TEACHER: I agree that your colleagues should not behave like middle-schoolers.

Silently nodding and smiling might convey a neutral reaction that also says, "Yep. Here we are. Again." When someone asks your height, simply tell them. You will definitely make more certain progress in retraining yourself, rather than educating others.

DEAR AMY: I was bothered by your response to "Bothered," the woman who didn't want to attend a wedding when she wasn't asked to be a bridesmaid (her husband had been asked to be an usher). You chastised her. Why should this person attend a wedding where she won't know anyone?

Also Bothered

DEAR BOTHERED: "Bothered" does know people who will attend this wedding. She knows the bride and groom -- as well as at least one member of the wedding party.

Her worry that she wouldn't have fun at this event is what set me off. Weddings are not about guaranteeing entertainment for the guests.