Dawn O Watson/CNBNewsnet
When I was a kid, I was always the tallest person in my group. It didn’t matter if the group included boys, I was always the biggest one. Later on, in high school, a few of the boys caught up, then surpassed my tree-like height, but I was always the biggest girl.
I remember clearly when I first met a woman of equal height. I was standing in the check-out line at a grocery store with my son, who was four, and my daughter, a rascally one-year-old, when I struck up a conversation with the customer behind me. She was as tall as I, and we talked about finding slacks that were long enough, dealing with short men, and always having to stand at the back of the group in a photograph.
I was thirty-five years old.
Fast forward to a few years and a divorce, later and I met the man of my dreams, a fellow who made me feel petite. He stood six foot, five and a half inches tall and I came up to his chin. But by this time, there were plenty of women of equal height, around.
When I was fifty, I went to the doctor and was measured. Imagine my surprise when I saw that I was no longer a strapping five foot, ten and one-half inches tall—I had shrunk by an inch and a half!
By age sixty, I was down another half-inch. Currently, I’m holding the line at five foot, eight inches tall.
Although it’s shocking to be shrinking, there are some advantages: I no longer have to shop at the tall boutique, paying dearly for an extra inch of hem, I’m placed in the middle of photographs, with taller folks behind me, I don’t have to bend down to hear what shorter people are saying, and my head doesn’t hit the ceiling of the car when I drive over a bump.
On the other hand, I can’t view a parade without a step-stool, and short men are no longer afraid of me.
There will come a day when I’ll be classified as short. When that day comes, my kids will pat my head tenderly and I’ll probably have to reach up to push a grocery cart.
Although I’m thankful for memories of taller days, when folks looked up to me—literally—at some point I learned that it doesn’t matter if a person is tall, short, or somewhere in between.
Life can be viewed from many angles.
And standing tall is a state of mind.