Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Tall Tale (Richmond, VA)

I joke that I am of average height and that everyone else is tall. But the truth is that I have always felt tall for my height. Except when I'm around other people. And children. I still feel tall when the children are toddlers, though.

In developing nations, at 5'1" I practically tower over others. And I think I'm even taller if we use the metric system, which is probably the reason that this country still refuses to adopt it.

Every once in a while it is brought home to me that I am not as tall a person as I think I am.
Usually, it is when I go to reach something on a supermarket shelf and either have to scale two other shelves to snag the item in question or have to make an offer to a person of higher height that, in exchange for reaching said item, I will happily retrieve an item of equal or lesser value for him/her from the bottom shelf or from the floor.

Sometimes, when I am in a school, surrounded by what appear to be professional basketball players, they turn out to be fourth graders. "Don't they make short children anymore?" I've asked more than once, but nobody has ever responded. Perhaps they couldn't see me.

I have to admit that I was a smallish child. There are pictures of me standing with the neighborhood kids, and I am tiny by comparison. But that's mostly due to the camera angle or because they are all older than me by at least a day or two, and because Asians in the US are, as you know, really, really tall and because my brother had me in a full nelson and I was unable to stand up to my full height.

At about 12 years of age I experienced a major growth spurt and shot up to nearly my current degree of altitude. I could practically look down at my mother, who barely topped five feet. Now, she was a shortie!

For a while there, I was the second tallest person in my little family. My husband, at 6'2", was definitely the tallest. And, until he hit 12, my son was unarguably shorter than I. (Yes, you were, too, R! Don't unargue with me...) But once he turned 12, my son grew not only impatient, but taller. I think he got all his height from me and he even must have gotten some of the height meant for me. But that's genetics for ya!

In the long run, it really doesn't matter much a'tall, does it?

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1 comment:

  1. When I had my bone density test, I found out I'd lost and inch. I'm now 5'3". When I told my younger sister, she said that she always thought I was 5'2", so in her mind, I'd gotten taller. (I'd sing to her '5'2" eyes of blue, etc.' when she was little, which was a song our mother'd taught me.)