Its been a while since I have felt vertically challenged. At 5 feet nothing, I’m the shortest in my family, and mostly, the shortest in class/workplace/any damn place. It took me a while to shrug off the mindset that there was something amiss in me because I wasn’t tall, or even of average height. There were constant comparisons between cousins, schoolmates from kith and kin that would leave me wishing I were the female version of Mr. Fantastic. It dented my self-esteem… a lot!
But then college began and I found new friends, some of who were as short as me, or shorter than me, and I saw that they were ‘whole’ in every possible way. And I shunned this deprecating habit. I learnt how to embrace my smallness and enjoy it, laugh about it even. In most cases, I realised, that those who did call me short or poked fun at me were just doing it for fun or did not say it to hurt my sentiments. But when the other day, at a grocery store, the gentleman ahead of me took a step back and bumped into me, and said “I’m so sorry I didn’t see you… You’re so short…”
I. Was. Stunned!
I didn’t know if this 6 feet something uncleji was out of his mind, or if he was thinking aloud, or was he just generally rude to everyone like that.
I will admit I felt bad, when I should not have. Not after all these years of having achieved a lot in other ways. I tried to shrug off the feeling of being deformed in someway, I really tried. But the incident kept repeating in my mind. I kept going back to why he must have said it, how I should have reacted, and why I did not react. Back at home, I thought about all those times when I clearly remembered feeling bad that I was short or small. But then sanity clicked in and I returned to normal, and I laughed about it, and then I thought of other short girls in the world and then I thought – I need to put this out of my system…vent it out, all those times when it’s happened to me, or to someone else who’s short. This may not be new to you, but each of these have happened to me…seriously. I even have witnesses in most cases.
So here are the Short Girl Peeves on the Tall Order of the World:
- Yes, you are tall, I’m not. So, please hang the mirror in the bathroom a little low so I can see something more than my forehead. Short people exist too, y’know.
- I know I’m short. You don’t have to point me to the kiddy section of the store. If you don’t have my size, your store sucks! (On the upside, I have two sections of the store open to me – kids and adults. There is a God!)
- I’m not a hand-rest for you lamp-posts.
- Why are the kitchen counter and the overhead cupboards so high…always? If I’m the one who has to cook, better customize it to my size.
- Why do I always have to trim shirts and pants to fit my limbs? Ugh!
- Hey bartender…Gimme that drink! I’m not 15, I just look like it.
- Why are you getting a footstool? Its not me… this bike/bus/horse is too high.
- Why won’t you take me seriously… I’m not a kid, I just look like one.
- Stop calling me cute, like I’m a chihuahua.
- I should stack some more books on the driver’s seat… can’t see a thing except the sky.
- I just got a crick in my neck looking up at you, Your Highness!
- Yes, my legs can’t reach the floor when I’m sitting on a chair, so I’ve folded them under me. Sorry if its too unladylike for you. Oh you mind it so much? Fine, I’ll swing ’em.
- Husband/Boyfriend/Girlfriend dearest, please stoop a little lower. I cant reach you…even on tiptoe.
- Haaaaalp! I’m drowning in the shallow end of the pool.
- Oh, is this a group photo? Damn, I’ll have to stand in the centre again.
- He/She/They did not just call me almost a woman.
- Oh they rejected the rishta (an offer for marriage in India) because I’m too short for their son? Thank you sooooo much!
- Oh you wanna sit on the passenger side of the car because you’re only one inch taller than me and you need extra room…Ooookaaaay!
- No, I dont’ want to go on that toy-train. This ticket is for my daughter/niece/sister. And the worst…
- Oh my God! You did not just ask me which school I go to… I’m the one getting married today!
Picture Sources: http://www.wsource.me/