The other night I was crammed on a homebound train. It was already full by the time we reached Richmond, at which time more commuters squeezed on – with bags and phones and bad breath. I was already standing and began to move down the carriage to make room. Unfortunately, the area I found myself standing in had no chair hand grips available, and the only possible way to steady myself was to reach, awkwardly and not effortlessly, for the straphang. It was a bumpy ride, and I am not overly endowed with balance any more than I am height, which resulted in me losing my equilibrium a couple of times. I seethed until Mitcham when the bloody seats started becoming available. Fuck being short. No, I’m not petite, I’m not delicate. Just short.
It wasn’t until I was eight I realized I was short. It was when we were lining up for the class photo from tallest to shortest, and it emerged that I was the 3rd shortest girl in glass, which meant a guaranteed position in the front row. I don’t remember being bothered by it especially. That came later, when I was 12, and attempting to defend my goal patch from a towering Samoan goal keep. I just couldn’t get around her, and her long long legs and arms. It was then I was at a distinct disadvantage.
Aged 13, I would have done anything to get taller. I had boobs, and hips, but my blazer and pinafore were so big and long it looked like I was playing dress-ups. If only I were taller, it would stretch some of that embarrassing chubbiness out. All the cool girls were tall. I wanted to be cool and tall. I remained short and nerdy.
Two orthodontist appointments, between which I did not grow, were enough to convince me it was unlikely I would have a sudden growth spurt and that five foot three was all I was going to be allocated. Genetics were to blame: my mother is delicate 5 2 and my father a strapping 6 foot. I drew the short straw, it seemed.
So it seemed I would never be terribly far from the earth’s crust. In my 20s I struggled with boots and heels on a daily basis, but this was coupled with my general clumsiness, resulting in many ankle rolls.
So, just to have a whinge – some not so great things about being a short arse include:
– Not being able to get to the overhead locker on airplanes (I usually jump up and stand on a seat while people are filing out)
– Not being able to reach top cupboard, anywhere (step ladders for the win)
– Not bring able to have decent view in concert (Ridik, as I haven’t been to a mosh pit in at least 15 years)
– Having my tallest friend TPD rest his elbow / drinks on my head (quite funny actually)
– Not being able to turn the dryer on (this is annoying)
– Trousers needing to be taken up (Actually, I haven’t worn trousers in years as I look stupid. Jeans have a short length and that’s what I buy)
– Not being able to straphang on crowded trains without looking like I am doing lop sided star jumps (infuriating).
Some good stuff:
– Legroom on planes – never an issue
– Unlikely men are shorter than me (sexist, yes) (I can snuggle quite easily into LAH’s chest)
– Can fit on most couches and children’s beds quite comfortably (I used to sleep in A&Y’s then 6-year-old son’s bed very comfortably)
– Looking younger – perhaps. Was taken for early 30s down at the hairdresser. #winning.
Maybe I should just carry my 6 in heels for the train?