Story Sent in by Larry:
I wrote to Laura online. She was short — 4'10". Her height, while notable, didn't bother me, and I wasn't going to bring it up if she didn't.
She did. She referred to herself, in her reply to me, as "Munchkin." She wrote:
"Munchkin was so happy to get your message! Munchkin is less than five feet tall, but Munchkin is pleased to make your acquaintance. Munchkin works as a nurse..."
It was a hilarious read, and I wrote her back to tell her that she didn't have to speak in the third person for my sake. She replied that she wouldn't do it anymore, but "most people find it cute." Anyway, other than that (and the fact that she signed all of her messages "Munchkin"), we had a good series of talks, and I asked her out on a date.
On the date, she repeatedly referred to herself in the third person, but kept also correcting herself, as if trying hard to not do it.
"Munchkin, I mean I, told the patient, 'Don't worry. Nurse Munchkin, I mean I, am here to help you.'"
She also apologized over and over, and I told her that she could call herself whatever she wanted. I wouldn't judge. She relaxed at that, a little bit, and slipped back into referring to herself as Munchkin at every opportunity.
Unexpectedly, after one such referral, she slapped herself, hard, in the face. Then she said, "Munchkin—" and then slapped herself again. She said, "I'm going to stop calling myself Munchkin for you. Every time I say Munchkin from now on, I will slap myself."
She slapped herself again. "I just said Munchkin again," then slapped herself again, and then grinned at me.
I said, "You don't have to do that. In fact, I wish you wouldn't."
"I have to. It's the only way Munchkin will learn." She slapped herself again, and kept smiling at me.
She slapped herself a few more times as dinner wore on. After each time, I asked her not to do it, but she ignored my pleas.
Thankfully, dinner ended and we went our separate ways. I wasn't planning to see her again, but before I left, I told her, "You can call yourself whatever you want. Just don't beat yourself up. Seriously."
In response, she gave me a big smile and slapped herself twice in the face. She then hugged me goodbye, and then, thankfully, the date was over.