Being short

C'mon "Grinds My Gears template." Annoyance level: 3. Image: FOX.

C’mon “Grinds My Gears template.” Annoyance level: 3. Image: FOX.

It’s that time of week again, learning what currently is an annoyance in my life that I thoughtfully share with all of you wonderful people. I appreciate everyone tuning in week after week, listening to me go on and on about the most mundane — and sometimes ridiculous — grievances. Today’s grievance is something that has plagued me my whole life and can’t necessarily by fixed: being short. I loathe being short as a fully-grown adult. Buckle your seat belts, this post is going to be a whirlwind.

I’ll start with the obvious; yes, I could always opt to wear high heels to give myself a lift, but it isn’t that easy. I am as graceful as a giraffe roaming the savanna when I wobble around in heels. Wedges and stilettos alike, my feet and ankles kill me after a few minutes in them. I tend to opt for the more conservative kitten heel to take my 5-foot-2-inch frame to a more normal height of 5 feet 4 inches.

Besides, heels are only a temporary solution to an eternal problem. I was that kid who shot up early in middle school and by junior high, everyone else was towering over me. Even my friends who were in short stature would make cracks about how short I was (and still am). These friends were along the 5-feet-3-inch to 5-feet-4-inch range, by the way. Not that I’m saying anything about the pot calling the kettle black; I’m not saying that at all. Nope.

Anyway, all of my fellow diminutive folk can understand when I say the world is not accommodating to us. As I have stated before, one of my current jobs is retail. And let me be the first to say that the store I work at is not conducive to short people. Displays hang from the highest rafters, which customers aren’t meant to be able to grab the clothing from there, but guess who has to hang that merchandise on display? That’s right, the employees. (What, did you think I was going to say the short people?) Climbing that step ladder to hang things up and pull items down for customers gives me anxiety — and I’m not even afraid of heights! It’s not just the displays; clothing for sale may get put on high shelves or tall rolling racks, so certain items, like maxi dresses, have to hang higher so they won’t skim the floor. I get that. But it’s cumbersome when I’m out shopping somewhere or trying to help a customer and I have to reach an item via stepladder or grab one of those shepherd’s hook thingamajigs.

Even in the grocery store life is difficult for us short folks. It seems to work out in my disfavor that all the items and food I need tend to be on the top shelf. And if I can’t reach something, I may have to take a trip around the store in search of some worker who could assist me in reaching that box of Cheez-Its. I specifically remember a trip to the Athens Kroger with a few friends where I couldn’t reach the glass bottles of Cokes, and asked one of those friends to reach some for me. After a fit a laughter and making sure I really couldn’t reach the top shelf, that friend agreed to grab the goods for me. (You know who you are.)

It’s not just reaching items in far off places that irk me as a short person. I often get told that I look young because of how minute I am. Sometimes I feel that’s all right. I quite often use my university ID to get discounts at places even though I graduated over a year ago. However, all of you 21-and-up crowd (or 18-and-up for those across the pond) understand that this gets a little bit irritating at times. While I have been a part of the drinking world for two years now, I am constantly asked to produce my ID — at places where I am typically a regular.

Sure, sure, there are many of you out there right now saying I should be thankful for my youthful looks when I get older. When I get to that age, I will let you know. But the ultimate reason that this phenomenon grinds my gears is because of pants. I cannot recollect a time in my adult life where I have been able to find a pair of pants that not only fit my waist and hips, but also don’t drag on the ground. No matter where I have shopped, it seems that clothing manufacturers don’t take into consideration that short people come in all shapes and sizes. So a regular-length pant won’t cut it. And when you opt for the short-length pants, you run the risk of looking like Blaine Anderson wearing his omnipresent high waters. Don’t get me wrong; Darren Criss can rock those high waters, but not everyone can, unfortunately.

Of course, shopping petite collections is always an option. But many clothiers only offer petite and tall clothing online. So then you have the added hassle of trying to measure yourself to see if petite clothing will fit along with paying for shipping costs (did I already mention the dreaded high waters?). On top of that, some petite collections only go up to certain sizes, meaning not all short folk can find a proper length of pants. See where my problem is? Sure, I can always roll my pant legs, but recently I have gotten tired of always seeing cuffs at my ankles.

On my scale of annoyance, being short receives a 3. I would rank it higher, however, many everyday occurrences can have a temporary fix. Heels or hemming/rolling up pants may not be seen as an abhorrence (and sometimes actually are) but can also be rocked as a fashion statement. But other problems like having a youthful appearance or not reaching items on a high shelf are ones I don’t see to having an easy solution any time soon. I have lived 23 years being short, I guess I can find a way for my diminutive stature not to grind my gears for the rest of my life. Until then, never call me “fun-sized.”


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