The Short of It All

I’m five feet tall. Just 60 inches. I think I stopped growing in 5th grade. I’m keeping up the calcium intake because I definitely don’t want to get any shorter as I get older. No old age shrinking will be happening to this girl (hopefully). If you’re tall, read on for a new perspective. If you’re short, read on because I bet you can relate.

There aren’t many people shorter than me, but I will admit I get super excited when I see one! I will even point it out, which I realize is poor form but I do it anyways. I can’t contain myself. I’ll say, “Wow you’re shorter than me. That hardly ever happens.” Believe me, it’s not like I walk around spouting off this phrase. You don’t realize how rarely I actually get to say that.

When you’re short and have a young-looking face, people think you’re younger than you are. You’d be amazed at the number of people that will ask me what school I go to. It may seem like a compliment; however, it’s a little irritating sometimes. I’m 30. I’m not 18 anymore. I don’t want to be associated with the dumbness that goes along with being 18. So asking me if I’m on fall break is kind of an insult. I think it’s great that people think I look young, but please know I don’t like people thinking I’m 18 either.

When you’re short you may hear the phrase, “Oh, I just didn’t see you there.” I’ve had people walk right into where I was standing. They didn’t see me until I quietly moved out of the way and will turn and look at me oddly and then apologize several times for what happened. I’ve had people almost sit on my as well. Really? How can you almost sit on someone and say you just didn’t see them? Don’t you look before you sit?

When you go to the movies or a show or parade (those are the worst) it’s hard to see if you’re not in the front row. Think about it. Parents always want their kids to get into the front row because they’re small and they want them to see what’s going on at an exhibit or parade. When you’re 30 and as short as a kid no one has any sympathy that you are in the back and can’t see. You just have to suck it up.

Pants. Drama. If you’re short you will need a good tailor. Most stores do make pants for short, average and tall women; however, short doesn’t fit all. Most of the time, I wind up having to get the “short” length pants taken up because they are for women 5′ 4″ tall. That 4 inches is a lot of length when you’re only 5 feet tall! It’s a nightmare when pant come in a one-size-fits all length. To put the pants into perspective for you here’s an example: I bought some cropped pants at Express. Cropped pants are meant to hit just below the calf muscle. Cropped pants don’t usually come in “lengths”. When I tried the pants on at the store they went down past my ankle. The dressing room clerk told me she, in good conscience, couldn’t let me walk out of the store without me knowing that she thought those pants looked terrible on me and highly recommended getting them altered so they looked like actual cropped pants instead of high-waters.

The grocery store. If you’re short and needed something off of the top shelf in one of the aisles in the supermarket chances are good you’ve scaled the shelves. I have. The worst is when what you need on the top shelf is pushed back so far that you still can’t reach it even after you’ve scaled Mount Supermarket Shelves. Then comes the shame…asking the tall person to get it down for you. That just feels like admitting defeat. I know it’s perfectly acceptable to ask for help. There’s nothing wrong or shameful about it. It just feels like defeat because there’s nothing you can do about it except ask for help.

Here’s what I like about being short: I pack a lot of punch. I’m quick and zippy. I’d compare myself to a little city car…maneuvers easily, quick, and peppy. I may be short but I’m super strong and have a lot of power. I have a lower center of gravity which makes me quick. I have a compact body and that muscle has to go somewhere. It’s spring-loaded and ready for action. Being short always served me well for dancing. I’m a real powerhouse and I love that. I’m also a really fast spinner. Most of you haven’t ever really seen me dance so you probably don’t know what I’m talking about. But spinning or turning in dance is my thing. When you’re low to the ground and quick and have good spotting technique so you don’t get dizzy, you will rock pirouettes and chaine turns. Trust me! What dances am I good at? The fast ones…Quickstep and Viennese Waltz especially…because I’m quick and can fly across the floor. Dances I’m not so good at would be Waltz and Foxtrot. While I may be strong that doesn’t necessarily mean I get a good stretch across the floor like those dances require.

I’d never trade in being short for anything. I don’t try and hide my shortness either. I hardly ever wear high heels. Being short is part of who I am. That may sound strange, but it’s true. I’m quirky and cute and peppy and fun. Short seems to fit the bill for those personality traits. Serious, sleek, lanky and long just don’t fit me…literally. I would never try those personality traits on for size because they just aren’t me. That’s the short of it all.



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