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Rant - Dealing with the short end of the stick

July 11, 2006|by ELIZABETH KRAMER

Has anyone ever walked by you and said, "I feel really tall today"? Well, it happens to me just about every day, or really anytime someone walks past me. As you can imagine, this gets pretty annoying.

There are so many more reasons to dislike being short, like never being able to reach anything, which generally involves alternately reaching and then glaring at the object, jumping, scouting for something to stand on, or, in most cases, just biting the bullet and asking a friend with normal height to get it for you. In most cases, they will laugh, perhaps for days or even weeks afterward.

And then, there are remarks, which, although good natured, are so annoying. Such as: "She's so short, she has to reach up to tie her shoe laces," and people always jokingly ask, "Want to play basketball?"

And, as my friend pointed out to me, I should have been in a car booster seat up to the beginning of seventh grade, since I was still shorter than 4 feet 9 inches tall. And I wouldn't be able to sit next to the driver until a few months ago, as Maryland law says you should be 5 feet 2 inches tall in the front seat, and I am just over that now by a mere quarter of an inch.

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People also develop the habit of using my head as an armrest, and in movie theaters, there is always a tall (or normal-sized) person sitting in front of me. I realize this happens to everyone else as well, but they seem to be able to see over the other person's head. Not I.

People also tend to think that vertically challenged people are younger, which results in always having a "random" height check at amusement park rides. People also talk to me like I am younger, and I end up being treated like a 2-year-old.

Since most people are at least a head taller than I am, they always tell me my part is crooked, and try to fix it. This is also incredibly annoying.

So what can the petite population do? I have found that there are two solutions.

1. Ignore the obstacles.

2. Wear heels.

Taking option No. 2, I have acquired 4-inch platform heels, otherwise known as my "monster boots." While this is useful in the winter, when I can wear a pair of jeans over them, they aren't exactly the kind of thing I can wear with shorts in summer, so I have to stay my height.

While I have seriously considered stilts, they pose the same problem. The only thing to do is to wear skinny heels, and if you've ever tried summer activities like playing capture the flag or even going to the pool in stilettos, I hope you are still in good physical and mental health.

The only ways to solve my problem that I have discovered are to laugh at myself and to have tall friends.

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