I’ve never really thought of myself as short until last month. Oh, I knew I was shorter than most of my friends and family, but I just assumed they were tall. Even when one of my past boyfriends called me a pixie, I just assumed it was because he was bigger than me.
I mean, I knew I wasn’t tall – that’s been clearly evidenced. I thought of myself as, at most, slightly shorter than average, as evidenced by my mad hemming skillz from shortening the legs on every single pair of pants I’ve ever bought.
Sure, people have called me short. People call me short all the time, but they’re usually tall people – we’re talking 5’10” to 6’6″ here. And, yes, those same people have frequently used my head as armrest. Yes, they put things on the top shelf just to laugh at me. But they’re tall.
Then last month, tired of being out of shape, I joined a gym and started using the weight machines again. I really enjoy it and am already starting to shake that sore-and-tired feeling I had all of the time. But I have to readjust every, single aspect of every, single machine to the smallest or second smallest settings because I’m too small. I watch other people, even other women, sweating it out with 50 lbs or more on machines that I struggle along with 20 or 30 on.
Okay, yes, I know, I haven’t done a serious weight regimen since college and I can probably work up to that eventually. But when you have to adjust the seat, the back, the bars and other cushions along with the amount of weight you pull every time, you start to get the suspicion you’re not as close to average as you thought you were.
I mean, I should have picked up on this. My ability to buy capris and wear them as ankle-length pants should have been a hint. Having to cut 4 to 6 inches of fabric off of regular pants so I could hem them should have been another hint. And I really should have gotten a clue when I inadvertently discovered I can shop in the Juniors department. I mean, yes, I have to buy a large, but I can.
But the final nail in the coffin, so to speak, was at the dentist this week. I have incredibly sensitive teeth, which makes dental appointments very close to actual torture. (If you think I’m exaggerating, I’m not. It is excruciating to have some of my teeth poked.) I was so tightly wound, the hygienist recommended Novacane. For those of you who’ve never had it, it’s a gas piped in through a mask that goes over your nose. After messing with the mask for a few minutes, she said, “Hmm, I should have gotten the child’s size.”
So I guess I’m not only short, I’m small. It’s not really a problem, I’m more or less used to the short jokes by now anyway. I am more annoyed than anything else. I still can’t help feeling that 5’4″ should be closer to average than it clearly is.
By the way, short people, if anyone harasses you about your size, just remind them that even tall people go all the way down to the ground.