The SHORT end of the stick

Being 5’0” is honestly a living nightmare. I have wracked my brain for years, but I still can’t think of any advantages to being nearly as short as my 8-year-old sister.

I know what it is they say. I’ve heard it all before: the grass is greener on the other side, we all want what we can’t have, etc etc bla bla. I don’t care; I want to be tall. If the ubiquitous “they” dumped one of those miracle pills out onto the market — like Viagra, but for height — I would swallow them without a second glance, regardless of the fact that the list of side effects would probably be six inches long and contain warnings like urinary incontinence and epileptic seizures.

I just really want to be tall.

I would settle for average, though. Or even slightly below average; maybe 5’4”. At least it would be better than being so short my feet don’t touch the ground when I’m sitting at my desk. When I stand up, the first thing people say is usually something along the lines of “WOAH. I did NOT realize how short you were!” Wow, thanks. Asshole. You know what the benefits are of being child-sized? You get to shop in the children’s department, for one thing. You know what’s great about that? Nothing. It’s embarrassing. I’d rather be caught buying condoms by my mom.

I’m not exaggerating, either. I can typically squeeze into a large-xl in the kid’s section. That may sound great (after all, children’s clothing is dirt cheap!) but what children’s clothing can I really wear in public? A t-shirt from Target with a patchwork-owl on the front and the phrase “Whoo’s Owl-dorbale?”

It’s not just that I can fit into the little girls’ section; it’s that the clothing designed for my age range doesn’t fit me. T-shirts look like weird potato-sack dresses on me, crop tops fit me like regular shirts. I have to wear every pair of jeans rolled. Most dresses and skirts hang somewhere around my knees, and jacket sleeves are always swallowing up my hands. Hats fit me though. Also scarves.

Similar to the way that people who have easily-mocked names constantly get the same jokes parroted back at them, I am constantly getting the always-clever “Oh look, I can use the top of your head as an armrest, aren’t I funny?” thing. It’s undignified to walk down the hallway with someone’s bony elbow balanced on your head. Don’t do this to me. I will not be your friend for it. Also, patting the top of my head and petting me as if I’m a dog is not cute — it’s creepy. Keep your hands to yourself.

Worst of all, when I complain about the struggles of being abnormally short, I inevitably receive the usual “Well at LEAST you’re a not a guy” comment. What does this even mean? Just because I’m not having some masculinity crisis over the fact that every other girl towers over me does not mean it is worse to be a short dude than a short dudette. You’re probably scum if you have ever said this to someone. I still have to use one of those red and blue plastic step-stools from Toys-R-Us to reach the top cabinet of my kitchen. No one thinks that is endearing, I promise.

Please do not tell me I’m lucky because I can receive piggy back rides, because I can cheat my way into theaters by buying children’s tickets or that I’m going to get carded until I’m 40. These things are not reassuring. I would like to be treated as an adult, not like some mutant baby-child who knows how to drive a car yet still wears training bras.