I was deleting old pictures from my computer today when I came across the one shown here. This photo was taken at my son John’s wedding almost three years ago. That’s my husband Fred on the left and my daughter-in-law Cheryl’s parents, Chris and John, on the right. The short one in the middle is me.
Now I know I’m height challenged, but gee whiz! Why didn’t I think to stand on a box when the photographer took this picture? I look like an elf surrounded by giants!
Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against tall people, especially the three in this photo. I don’t mind craning my neck to look up at them. (Considering my husband is 6’ 2", I’ve been doing exactly that for forty years.) And I don’t mind that they talk over my head – physically, not mentally – when we’re conversing. I don’t even mind being shaded like a weed by a stand of pine trees, me standing in their tall shadows while they get to enjoy the nice summer sun on their backs. Years of being patted on the head by my taller sons has taught me to overlook such minor drawbacks.
But being short does have its disadvantages. Take slow dancing for example. When I dance with my husband, I get a wonderful view of his shirt buttons, and that’s about it. Oh, sure. Cuddling up against his solar plexus is fun for a while, but hey! It gets warm down there! Breathing isn’t too easy either when he’s holding you tight and your face is squished up against his suit jacket. Every once in a while you’re forced to back off just to grab a bit of air. And try stealing a quick kiss from the guy. You’re liable to throw your neck out of joint before your lips even meet his.
So all right, short folks like me don’t spend every evening slow dancing with their SOs. But there are other handicaps we endure. Try shopping in any food store. Everything on your list just happens to be on the top shelf at least three inches out of your reach. Have you ever balanced one foot on a shopping cart and the other on a row of canned peas while stretching for a bottle of cooking wine? I have, and I can tell you, contorting yourself in that manner isn’t pretty. I felt like a rejected acrobat from Cirque du Soleil as I lunged for the wine while my cart slithered sideways across the aisle. There I was, doing the splits just so my husband could have Beef Stroganoff for dinner.
Ah, yes. We shorties do face some unique challenges in life. In order to help my compadres face those challenges with grace and dignity, I’ve decided to form a support group for folks 5’4" and under. The name of the group will be S.H.O.R.T. People, which stands for "Stout Hearted Order of Relatively Tiny People". We will meet annually in February, the shortest month of the year, in Florida, the state reputed to have the highest population of short people. Only people wearing short shorts will be allowed to attend the meeting, which will end shortly after it begins. By a vote of 1-0 (mine being the only vote since there's no one else in the group yet) Danny DiVito will be honored at the meeting as Short Celebrity of the Present and Napolean as Short Celebrity of the Past.
If you’d like to join the S.H.O.R.T. People support group, just add a short comment below. I'll get back to you shortly.