I had a doctor appointment yesterday morning. Nothing serious. No big deal. Just a check up with my arthritis doc. (and in case you wondered, same old, same old). But anyway, as is usual at most doc appointments, they insisted upon weighing me (sigh) but as is NOT the usual, they also checked my height. I don't think anyone has checked my height in a very long time.
If anyone ever asks how tall I am for one reason or another, I tell them the last thing I ever heard. The height I have been since I was about 14 years old. I say that I am 5 foot 2 because I am. Or at least I was. As it turns out, I am now 5 foot 1. Dang. Somewhere along the line I seem to have misplaced an entire inch.
So we know two things. One, that I am short. And two, that I am getting shorter all the time. Ratz!
The world was not made for short people. As you can see in the photos above, it seems like everything is over my head. 1) The Microwave oven is dangerously too high. To put things in is no big deal, but taking them out again? I'm liable to spill very hot stuff every time I ever so carefully bring it not just out but down to my level. Yikes. 2) The house phone is on a cabinet in the living room, and it is well over my head. The first challenge for me in answering any phone call is not my hearing issues, it's reaching the doggone phone! You can see the the phone is teetering on the very brink of falling off that piece of furniture. That's so I can reach it. 3) All door frames are dusty on top because without a stepstool I cannot reach them. I don't see it, I don't dust it, is my policy. As you can tell, door frames are WAY over my head. 4) I can just barely reach the pull cord for the overhead fans. That's my tippytoe face apparently and 5) Sadly, even the television is taller than me.
So ok, everybody knows about short people and trying to reach things that are high up like cabinet shelves and closet shelves and well most things in a house. It's probably why stepstools were invented. But, if you are a person of at least 'normal' height (and I use the word normal loosely) you have no idea about some of the other problems that we shorties face.
Like trying to buy a dress or a pair of pants without also having the added expense of paying a tailor to adjust the hem. Oh occasionally I find a pair of pants that are marked "short", but not very often and dresses and skirts? Forget it. I do not sew well enough (I should say that I don't really sew because that is the truth of it. Instead I do something that will stand in for sewing upon rare occasion but it's not pretty) And I'm too cheap to pay the additional cost of a seamstress or tailor to adjust the hem to my height sooooooo I just wear things the length that they come. As long as it's not dragging on the floor, it's all good in my world.
Being a short person in a crowd is so awful. We height challenged folk cannot see out! The world becomes a sea of shirt pockets, cleavage and belt buckles. I'm a little claustrophobic anyway, but you put me in a crowd and I'm this close to a full fleged panic attack! I cannot see the corridor or entry or hallway or door or whatever it is I'm supposed to be heading toward so the crowd just sort of carries me along. It's an awful feeling.
Looking people in the eye while standing up. Nope. That's not going to happen. Having a conversation and looking at the person I'm conversing with usually ends up with me having a sore neck. I believe strongly in making eye contact - comfortable eye contact - during a conversation. But since most people are taller than I am and some of them are a foot or more taller than I am, I am often stuck looking up their nose rather than in their eyes. Not really an effective communication method. I have asked people to sit so that I can comfortably converse. I have! I can be kind of nervy at times.
Dancing looks ridiculous. It's not that I'm called upon to dance on a regular basis. But now and again at a wedding or other festive occasion, cutting a rug as they used to say, is appropriate to the occasion and Tim will coax me out on the floor. Now Tim is more than a head taller than I am, so I'm a little tippytoe when we slow dance but it's not too bad. However, I have danced with guys who are in the six feet plus range and let me tell you, that is some ugly dancing. Either the guy is bent in half or, even more ridiculously, as one fella did, he just wrapped his right arm around my waist and lifted me. We danced with my little feet dangling in the air. I laughed like a lunatic throughout and declined any further dancing opportunities.
And speaking of dangling feet, it is nearly impossible for people such as myself to sit like an adult. Most chairs and sofas are clearly made for taller people. When I sit down properly, with my back against the chair back, my feet do not touch the floor 9 times out of 10. Not only does it look silly, it feels silly and actually makes it harder to get gracefully off of that piece of furniture. Not that I'm all that graceful to begin with but hey! Still a valid point.
The list continues but I will stop. It's not as if there is anything anyone can do about it anyway. I suppose I could walk around on stilts but that's not very practical.
On the other hand it's not all bad. In fact, there are two distinct advantages to being short. First, if I fall, I'm not that far from the ground. I'm less likely to get hurt. And Two, if there is a twenty dollar bill on the ground I will absolutely get to it before you.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.