Being short doesn’t always stack up
Iconsider myself to have drawn a not completely terrible card in the genetics department. I’ve got no glaringly obvious family health risks and I’ve got some pretty great eyelashes, courtesy of my Portuguese heritage (so I’m told).
However, I did draw the short straw in one department. Literally, the short straw.
At 5’2’’, I was not so blessed in the height department.
When you’re short, life forces you to get creative in order to reach new heights, while also providing, what is probably entertainment, for those around you.
Supermarket excursions can be interesting.
I’ll have you know that the top shelf of the aisle is not completely unreachable, but we’re moving into potentially dangerous territory where someone has already taken the most-forward item on the top shelf, forcing you bat out the one behind it with something long, therefore extending the reach or your arm.
There’s a reason I’ve carried a long wallet for the past 10 years.
But there are days where I honestly can’t be bothered and just ask the person closest to me to reach the item before saying thank you and scurrying over three aisles to live out my embarrassment without their amused face looking on. The safety of your own home isn’t much better or less judgmental.
Just last week Mother Dearest looked on in horror after I got a gravy boat off the top of our kitchen cupboard by using the end of a wooden spoon through the handle of the porcelain to ferry it out.
What she didn’t realise was that this has been my method for some years for reaching things that a) I can’t reach, b) that have a handle on the end of them and c) can’t be bothered dragging over a chair to the cupboard to climb up on.
A few years back, I was invited to one of my best friend’s family reunions (of the three children, it was her turn to bring a friend – it’s not weird).
Jetting off to Chicago, it was my first visit to the land of the free and the home of the brave, before an angry apricot was running the show.
Now, America is a big place; heck, even the sky looks bigger (I know it’s not but it just does, OK?). Adding to that sense of scale is the fact that my best friend, who is the shortest of her siblings, comes from a family where no-one is shorter that six feet.
I was, by an extremely large margin, the shortest person at the entire reunion.
As we headed off to do various activities, usually in crowds, the phrase ‘‘where’s Briar?’’ was usually spouted out at least three times a day, only for me to actually be quite near everyone, just out of their line of sight they were so used to, answering with a ‘‘here I am’’.
This was also a common gripe I had from a flatmate at university when we’d head to the supermarket. Our local was one where some of the aisle stacks were shorter so you could see the heads of most people making their way down the aisle if you were on the other side.
Said flatmate would quite often ‘‘lose’’ me because the top of my head didn’t come near the top of the aisle, and even once nearly left without me because he thought I’d already headed back to the flat.
I also remember quite clearly the terror I had as a young child the very first time I went to Rainbow’s End in Auckland, terrified I wouldn’t meet the minimum height requirements for the roller coaster and Fear Fall. Luckily, I just scraped through and spent the day screaming my head off as the adrenaline of being dropped 18 stories in mere seconds made its presence known.
With all this in mind, I’m sure you can imagine my glee when I went to the doctor recently and he took my height, informing me that I was 3cm taller than I thought I was.
Now I don’t need to lie about being 5’2’’, because I actually am 5’ 2’’. It’s the small things in life. Snort.