It’s ClemenTime: Vertically challenged and loving it

graphic by Cas '19

graphic by Cas ’19

When I was 5 years old I told my three-year-old sister that I was “tall for my age.” This was a lie and I knew it, but tiny Imogene knew very little about anything and was forced to believe me. I was her only liaison to the outside world and wanted her to believe that I was her intelligent, bossy, tall older sister. Everywhere else I was viewed as short, so I saw my baby sister as the last person in the world whom I could convince of my superior height. So intense was my desire to be tall, I may have even believed what I was saying. Tiny Imogene is not so tiny anymore and no longer listens to my lies about my height. In fact, she’s taller than me now. Oh the shame.

As I sat down to write this, I asked my six-year-old brother if he thought I was tall. “NO!” he decisively yelled. The jury is in.

I have always been short. Always. At my elementary school we had rows of risers that we stood on during assemblies. The rules of the risers were simple: tall kids on top, short kids on the bottom. I never even got to stand on a riser. That’s right: I had to stand on the ground with the other shrimps. I desperately hoped that one day I could stand on at least the middle riser; I knew that standing on the top one was nothing but a dream. With deep regret, I inform you that my dream was never realized.

So I’ve more or less accepted being short, because I realized I’ll never be tall. Actually I’ve surpassed mere acceptance and decided that not only is being short my lot in life, but it’s better than being tall. You’re probably scoffing, so let me enlighten you.

1. I get to wear kid’s clothes. And

wearing kid’s clothes is not only an advantage because clothes for little people are cheaper—oh no; children have some great clothes! The dresses worn by little girls often surpass dresses for normal-sized people because they’re cute, they’re simple and they’re easy to live in. There have been times in my life when I’ve arrived at someone’s house only to find that I was wearing the exact same dress as a four-year-old girl. I completely embraced it! The girl was adorable, and I was flattered to match her. Last summer I matched my baby cousin’s onesie, and we took some very precious photos!

2. Navigating crowds is a dream.

You might think that it’s just the opposite, but when you’re short, you can easily slip through crowds unnoticed. For instance, as we all know, Café M at lunch is a free-for-all, but being super short I can easily jostle my way through the throngs and get my lunch first. Also, it’s more socially acceptable to push past people when you are short because people don’t view you as a threat.

3. People assume that I’m not a

force to be reckoned with, but I am. Let’s leave it at that.

4. I have learned to get what I want,

not by force, but with my words. Growing up as a tiny girl, no one in their right mind would be frightened when I tried to take something from them. Therefore, I relied completely on my verbal capabilities. And now, 16 years later, I’m pleased to report that I’m forceful. I am not afraid to ask for what I want.

If I were tall, I’d probably be a soft-spoken, timid girl, incapable of pushing her way through a crowd of people and wearing adult clothes. In other words, thank goodness I’m short.