I know it, no one needs to tell me or imply anything, hoping that I get the hint. I see myself in the mirror everyday. I’ve been like this since high school. And I’ve pretty much heard all the jokes anyone can toss my way. I’m short, period.
In junior high I measured 4’11”. Believe me, at that point in time, my height was the least of my worries. My then basketball coach, Mr.Morgan, had the gall to tell me to lose weight if I wanted to play point guard again in the upcoming season; so I had other issues.
I kept waiting for that ‘growing spurt’ I had heard so much about. I thought maybe I was a ‘late bloomer’ as my grandmother would say, but my chest defied that theory. I remember going to my Mother in tears because those things growing on my chest were severely hampering my ability to dribble the basketball as well as I wanted. I was patient and held onto the hope that I would start growing vertically.
And it happened. In high school I shot up to 5’0″. That was it, no more. I kept looking at my father, all 6 foot 1 of him and thought surely I could get a little bit of that. But alas, it wasn’t meant to be.
So I’ve been short for most of my life. I know no other way. It’s my normal. And I don’t feel short. I feel no different than others. Sometimes I forget, really I do, that I’m so short. . .until I see a picture of myself with other people. That’s when it hits me, “damn, I really am short.”
One evening Danny DeVito appeared on a late night program and I remember thinking he looked so little. Later on in the interview he reveled his height and I was stunned. I realized that if I ever made it on television, that’s what I would look like, really frickin’ short.
Five foot is a difficult size to be, you’re in the grey area so to speak. Technically, I could join the armed forces, except for the air force. Now come on, how secure would you feel knowing that your military consisted of soldiers who could not comfortably walk in the deep end of a backyard pool? But on the other hand, you are too tall to have a medical excuse. The cut off for dwarfism is 4’10”. See, you’re in that grey area. . .
My height, or lack there of, doesn’t bother me so why should it bother other people? I don’t get annoyed every time I go to use the car and I have to raise the seat as high as it will go, so why get annoyed at me if you have to lower the seat when it’s your turn to use the car? If I’m at a concert and I tell a total stranger that I’m okay, I do not want to be lifted on top of your shoulders to get a better look, really, I’m fine where I’m at. Why do you still feel the need to grab me and hoist me up on your shoulder? And then don’t get offended when I request that you put me down. You don’t pick-up, literally lift off the ground, people you don’t know, you just don’t do it.
Instead of focusing on the negatives, I try to stress the positives. I get to shop and shop and shop just to try to find certain items, like gloves, to fit right that don’t have cartoon characters on them. Actually, that would
be more of a positive statement if I liked to shop more. But I can buy clothes and shoes from the Boy’s section. I usually have plenty of room on airplanes. And If I put on a flat cap, I can really pass for a little Jewish newspaper boy for my Halloween costume.
There was a time, before sk, in which I wasn’t much of a dancer nor one to hug total strangers. . .unless that stranger was a taller attractive woman with a nice sized chest. The chest couldn’t be so big that I would suffocate; I mean some of those slow songs seem to last forever and a soft butch has to breathe. This was, hands down, the best part about being in that grey area and if it’s going to be like that, I certainly don’t mind being there.