Oftentimes, I am asked, usually in forms and such, to state my height. I loathe doing this because I, unfortunately, am not very tall. I don’t know what happened, but the growth genes just skipped me or something.
Not that it bothers me because I usually don’t think about my height. I mean, I have much important things to think about. Like, the reason behind Ugly Betty’s cancellation, or how long it’ll be until NASA will be catering to tourists wanting to travel in space, or why my cupcakes always look misshapen and hunchbacked.*
However, it always seems to fascinate other people. My mother is in despair over my lack of vertical-ness. When I was little, she’d tell me to go play for the school’s basketball team because apparently, that was how people got taller. When I attempted to inform her that there was no medical proof that playing basketball made one taller, she would say, “End of discussion. Go.”
I still remember, whenever we had class photos, I would always be placed in the front. I actually didn’t mind this at all, because that meant I got to sit in the chairs and that too, in the front row! In fact, the entire seven years that I was in Kuwait, I always sat next to the same people. They became my class photo buddies, and in the later years, it got to such a point that the teacher didn’t even have to measure me; I’d go to the front of the line automatically and seat myself down. Over time, I became an expert in posing for class photos: hands clasped, knees together and a smile to kill.
Anyway, I like to think that there are advantages and disadvantages to every situation. The same goes for being vertically challenged.
Advantages of being short
- I look youthful: Can you imagine, thirty years from now, when I’ll be old, people will think, “Oh my goodness, you haven’t aged at all!” Obviously, this isn’t valid NOW because it backfires horribly when you’re ALREADY young. Until a year ago, people used to think I was fourteen years old. I remember, this one time, when we went back to India for a wedding, and all these distant relatives crowded around me, pinching my cheeks and patting me on the top of my head. A lot of them looked surprised when I said I was sixteen. Many of them clutched their hearts and gasped, as if they couldn’t believe that this toddler was really a teenager.
- I can wear high heels: I love this one, because I love high heels. They are just so amazingly convenient. I feel on top of the world (literally), and the higher the heel, the better. Although there is technically no rule that says tall people can’t wear heels. Oh, damn.
- I can fit in confined spaces, like suitcases, and drawers: You guys should’ve seen me during my childhood games of Hide and Seek. I was the CHAMPION of Hide and Seek. No-one could find me on account of the awesome hiding places I chose. I know this isn’t relevant now, because no self-respecting teenager would ever be CAUGHT playing Hide and Seek, but it’s still an advantage, right?
And then there are the disadvantages:
- My neck hurts: Whenever I am in conversation with anyone, I have to look up. Therefore, constantly looking up starts to take a toll on my neck. That’s why I prefer to carry out discussions and conversations seated because then I can look them in the eye and also rest my poor neck. I feel like a flamingo, because don’t you think flamingos get tired of having such long necks? I mean, they have to support it all day, and they even sleep standing up. And they’re pink! They have it hard, those poor things. If any flamingo is reading my blog, I’d just like to say, I feel your pain you poor flamingo. I feel pity for you. My heart goes out to you guys.
- I’m like a tourist attraction: If I had a dollar for every time someone looked me up and down and said, “Oh my GOD, how short ARE you?” and then proceeded to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with me to check their height against mine, I’d be Donald Trump rich. People keep doing this to me; they don’t understand that us short people have FEELINGS and that treating us like a circus act is demeaning and insulting.
- I get overlooked and trampled upon: If I was ever brave enough to go into a mosh pit at a particularly rowdy hard rock concert, I don’t think I’d stand a chance. I wouldn’t be able to see the stage, I’d probably suffocate and it would probably smell really bad because there would be no fresh air for me to gulp quickly and, do you know how sweaty mosh pits are?
Anyway. I don’t mind being short. And if you really want to know how tall I am, the best you’ll get from me is, “I’m 5 ft 1 on a good day.”
*Here are my hunchbacked cupcakes and they might as well be from Notre Dame, because they are so misshapen and sad.