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January 05, 2015

Little Orphan Annie would just like to be called Annie, please.

Um, hey, guys. So I hate really hate complaining and I totally agree with that whole “children should be seen not heard” thing it’s just … this has been kinda bothering me lately — do we really need to call me “Little Orphan” Annie? I know it’s what you’re all used to and I know it’s how I was introduced but, guys, c’mon. This is just unnecessarily cruel to a little girl who, I’m sure you all agree, has already been dealt a pretty rough hand in life.

My name’s Annie. Just Annie. I don’t know why everyone insists on reminding me that I’m an orphan. I promise you — I haven’t forgotten and I live with it every day. It’s not like if you just call me regular Annie I’ll assume I’m some privileged girl with loving parents. I know I don’t have those and kinda resent the constant reminder. I promise I’m not trying to be difficult. I could MAYBE understand “Little Orphan Annie” if there were like multiple Annies in the room and you needed to differentiate. So if you were like, “The Annie I’m referring to is Little Orphan Annie.” I’d be slightly more OK with it. But to be totally honest, even then I’d still prefer to be called, like, “Annie B.” or something less degrading. (But, for real, this whole thing is a moot point because I am always the only Annie in the room. Calling me Little Orphan Annie is ultra specific and always in a situation where specificity isn’t needed.)

I didn’t ask to be an orphan. In fact, it was quite the opposite. When my parents dropped me off I clearly remember being like, “What are you doing? Please don’t do this.” I know this is my lot in life but to have that fact be adopted as a full legal name is super uncool. Also, you just made me type the word “adopted” and that’s uncool too cause I really wanna be. It’s not even like I mind a nickname. It’s just that there are PLENTY of other interesting things about me. “Little Red Head Annie.” “Wears The Same Dress Every Day Annie.” “Sung the Sample in Jay Z’s ‘Hard Knock Life’ Annie.” These are all super unique characteristics that none of you feel are more important than capital “O” ORPHAN. I am more than my lack of my parents. I invent and sing a new, REALLY GOOD song every day. Usually with choreography!! Why don’t people care about that? “Here comes Singin’ and Dancin’ Annie!” Ugh, that would be sweet. And not to split hairs but Christina’s just as much an orphan as I am and she gets to be “Beautiful Christina.” Like, I know I’m not as pretty as her in the conventional sense of the word but even “Average Looking Annie” would do a world of good for my self esteem. Actually, you know what? Average Looking Annie has a terrific ring to it and I’m gonna see if I can make it stick.

Look, I’m only 10 years old. And I’ve already had a tough life. I only eat mush and I’m always cleaning the orphanage. I sing about my parents coming back but I clearly know they’re not. The ONE bright spot in my life is this dog with fleas that I’m pretty sure is only pretending to be my friend to get closer to Beautiful Christina. And it’s just like — I respect you all enough to call you by your actual names. All I’m asking for is that same respect. Oh, and parents! I’m also asking for parents.

Average Looking Annie