First published January 21, 2011
Hi there – Can you see me? I’m down here. Not up there where I used to be. Yes, for a long time, I was 5’6 ¾ “. Now I’m just 5’5 ¾”. When my family doctor, who used to be shorter than me but we’re now eye-to-eye discovered it, she shook her head. “That must be wrong – we had the rug replaced….” Her voice trailed off as she studied my chart. However from an earlier visit to the osteoporosis clinic I knew I was shrinking.
No longer would I be just shy height-wise of being a model (and likely about 25 pounds, but at least I can change that – oh wait, my face might be a problem too) it now appears I’m on a downward spiral.
My whole life is now destined to be like that Alice Cooper concert I attended several years ago where everyone towered over me at about 6’4”. I spent the night jumping up and down to see Alice. Every so often my brother would let me stand on his feet but it just wasn’t the same thing.
Now that I’m shrinking, I’ve had to confront the fact I’m a height-ist. Don’t get me wrong. I like short people. I even have short friends. It’s just that I’ve always enjoyed not being short. I always felt more authoritative, more grown up, up there towering above the short. Now I realize that’s because I’m like that guy in the movie ‘Watermelon Man’, the racist who wakes up black one day.
If I lie on a psychiatrist’s couch to discuss this – or just give me a loveseat because I don’t really need to lie on a three-seater anymore – it all stems back to my childhood. I mean perhaps Napoleon was the schoolyard bully, but let’s face it; the actual leaders in the playground at my school were the tall kids. Who was the most popular kid in grade 3? My best friend Betty Ann who was, need I say, tall.
Who were the pets? You guessed it -the short ones who got picked up and carried around. Everyone brushed their hair and babied them. Already one very tall friend of mine has started putting her arm around me. Soon I’ll be her pet.
I know it could be worse. I could be a guy (Actually, with all that new fangled technology, I could be a guy – they just couldn’t make me a tall guy.)
It might seem like the medical community is tackling this height loss problem what with all of those ads in my inbox everyday about adding inches, but that’s for something else. Since I’ve lost height, I’ve discovered nose sprays and a program called Grow Taller 4 Idiots. Some websites suggest a lot of stretching, swimming and cycling which will stimulate growth hormone and hopefully make me grow. Others reveal how to appear taller, but they’re all for guys (dress in one colour, don’t buy heels) Heels are actually my best idea and the higher the better. (As a formerly perfectly-sized person, my heels aren’t that high.)
Oddly, but strangely uncomforting, my height loss explains away my apparent weight gain. I’ve been feeling tubbier lately but the scales keep showing me the same weight. With only 5’5 ¾” of me available, it seems to be all squishing into a smaller area.
Of course, now that I’m smaller and shrinking I won’t be able to eat as much. The airlines have lactose free and vegetarian meals, there’s nothing for us little leprechauns, is there? Acch no. Wait a minute, though. I’ll now have no trouble getting a happy meal. Can you see me here? I’m just under the cash register. Yes, this is my own debit card. No, I’m not with my parents.
Speaking of parents, at least I’m taller than my Mom, whose been shrinking for years, which means I can boss her around, which I’ll enjoy.
Maybe this shrinking thing won’t be too bad. Soon, I’ll be able to shop in the kid’s department which is lots cheaper although I know I’m going to feel weird wearing Dora the Explorer t-shirts. I can trick or treat at Halloween – think of all those chocolate bars.
I know I’ll have to endure the barbs of those taller than me, although they will likely find themselves swatting the air above me and missing me, but things like limbo dancing and being able to ride the kid’s rollercoaster with Justin Bieber and Tie Domi will be a new adventure. So will being little enough to sit on Santa’s knee once again.
Yes, it may be a small world, but it’s starting to feel bigger already.