I’m regularly mistaken for a tall person. Twice in the past few weeks I’ve had a sales lady say, “Well, you’re tall, so…” A record screeches, flood lights come on and immediately I’m suspicious, what are you trying to sell, sister? In their defense both women were shorter (I totally sized them up), but simply because I was teetering over them in very high heels.
I have been climbing on top of counters to reach things since I started walking. When I had a top loading washer I had to bend at the waist, one leg braced against a wall as I lowered myself into the basin to get the sock at the bottom. My yoga pants drag sticks and when it rains they become soaked. You will find most of my jeans are either “crop” or they are cuffed at the bottom.
Oh, you thought I was just super stylish?
On the rare occasions I’ve worn flats to work every single man in the office has looked at me as if seeing me for the first time and announced, “You are short.” Its like they’re throwing the word at me. I narrow my eyes because I can tell they’ve puffed their chests out a little and they all get this little smirky face because I no longer have five to six inch weapons strapped to my feet. This is where I remind them they should still be afraid of me. I work in a male dominated industry and typically have to establish where I fit in the pecking order early and often. No one questions my leadership.
Until it is time to sit on the hump in the backseat.
They also make me crawl to the back row of whatever car we’ve rented for work trips. One time I was asked if I’d sit in a car seat since the driver didn’t feel like reinstalling it.
I get it. I’m a mom, car seats are the devil, but come on, man.
I’ve come to accept the fact that I have monkey arms which must be what makes people think I am long legged as well. I give the impression of length, but the moment my shoes come off the step down is treated almost like a noticeable descent from heaven to the depths of hades.
When I date tall men I feel as if I’m sprinting to match one of their long, lusty strides, so arrogant. Just yesterday I had to tell my business partners to slow their roll because I was becoming breathless trying to talk and keep up with them at the same time. We were also on very slick tile floors and the shoes that keep me eye level also require sturdy ankles and calves that are rocks by end of day.
While I wear flats on the weekend, the last thing I want someone in a work or dating setting to think when they see me is any variation of the words petite, cute or short. I need to amass more space, enter the situation a level contender as opposed to woodland sprite. For the most part this has worked well and these guys have no idea.
Well, until they see me jumping and nudging something off a shelf or climbing up a filing cabinet. Again, the chests puff out, “Need some help, shorty?”
Depending on their tone I either accept and thank the gentleman or narrow the eyes, unbuckle my stilettos and start scaling some office furniture.