I’ve always thought I was a normal height. As some comedian once said, my legs go all the way down to the floor. But occasionally I’m reminded that many things are made with bigger people in mind.
At the grocery, many of the items I want are on the top shelf, so I look around for a tall grocery employee, or any tall shopper and ask if they can reach it for me. I think they should have an attached, movable ladder like you see in book stores or libraries to help shoppers reach the items they put up so high. It would be less of a risk than having me attempt to scale the shelves on my own.
Clothing stores maximize their displays by hanging clothes at least 6 feet off the ground. This means that you have to ask for help to pluck anything you’d like to see off the wall. The store employee has a pole with a hook on it that allows them to lift the hanger and bring down the item. Recently faced with that type of display in a discount store, instead of looking for someone to help me, I decided to try to get an item down by using a nearby supply of full-sized umbrellas with hooked handles. I stretched up and thought I’d snag the hanger when all I managed to do was tangle the umbrella around the display pole until it was completely stuck. Embarrassed, I left the umbrella hanging there between two shirts that I no longer wanted to examine up close.
Growing up, my mom used to tell me I was a perfect size. I take after my dad’s short side of the family, while mom is tall. Even though I thought she looked glamorous like Laura Petrie on the Dick Van Dyke Show, she says that being a tall girl in school was uncomfortable; she was always in the back row of class pictures, and would often slouch to appear shorter. Until at some point she surely recognized that being able to reach the top shelf was a valuable skill.
Being short has some advantages. I usually have plenty of leg room in a car or on a plane. Visiting a Frank Lloyd Wright house, the docent cautioned us to watch our heads going through doorways, but I sailed through without a care. Even buying clothes has become less difficult with petite sizing, the 29” inseam, and three quarter length sleeves. When I look at old school pictures, I was never on the back row, but I was trying to stand out by sitting up especially tall.