It’s Hard to Feel Like a Grown-up When…

…your feet don’t touch the floor.

I don’t deal with the playground torment anymore.

Nobody calls me Short Stuff, Half-Pint, Shrimp, Tiny Tot, Runt, Baby, or Shorty.

Nobody  grabs my hat and holds it high above my head to taunt my jumping, reaching, little self.

Nobody bends over to look me in the eyes and asks, “How’s the weather down there?”

foot closeup pm

 

I never imaged there’d be problems after I outgrew the playground.

During those early years of  tremendous teasing,  I crossed my fingers and hoped I’d eventually grow. After all, there weren’t any adults my height.

In 6th grade when  some of the first graders were taller than me, I knew I was destined for a lifetime of standing in the front row during choir concerts and group photos.

During most of high school years I was under 100 pounds and wore slim sizes, back in the day when girls’ clothing only went up to 14.  I  remember my high school Physical Education teacher’s astonishment over my  4 inch growth spurt in one year. She should have given me a medal or a trophy. Breaking 5 foot tall was a life-long ambition, and I knew I probably wouldn’t do something that fantastic again for a long, long time.

I approached college with confidence, a mature adult who was 5 foot two and eyes of blue.

I knew I had it made, but I also knew what I saw at my eye level would be all I ever saw in life.

Even as an adult, life as a short person has its own challenges.

I’m the kid who never fit at the grown-up table, even though the big 5-0 is looming dangerously ahead.

It never fails. I’ll accompany my hubby to an elegant company dinner, dressed up in my Trying Not To Look Like a Stay At Home Mommy (SAHM) Attire to feel like I’m a part of the grown-up world.

I learned to walk as if I own the world, so march in, my high heels staccotting my self-importance,  and follow the waiter to our table. I sit down, scootch my chair in, and feel my feet dangling helplessly above the floor.

But it’s WORSER when I sit at a a booth. Yea I know that’s not a word, but I had to get your attention in case you’re losing interest in my blog post. The seats are too wide, so unless I sit forward on the edge of the wide bench my feet dangle like Lily Tomlin’s Edith Ann.

THE WORSEST was being pregnant and sitting in a booth. My tummy grew straight out like a woman trying to steal a basketball from a sporting goods store, if I sat back to accommodate my tummy, my arms couldn’t reach my plate. And, of course, my feet dangled.

I’ve learned tricks to survive.

I strategically choose a chair  where I can rest my feet on a table leg or cross beam. I wear the highest heels I can without tipping over or looking like the little girl sitting at the big peoples’ table while wearing her mother’s shoes.

We had traditional pews at our church until a few years ago. The wooden benches with  vintage gold  material were replaced with modern inter-locking chairs covered with a respectable blue fabric.  They were padded well and comfortable for those with back problems. I was sold on the modernization project until I sat down the first Sunday. You guessed it, my feet dangled just like my 9-year-old’s. I fidgeted like crazy, then my legs turned numb, so I placed a few hymn books beneath my feet. I was stunned with my light bulb moment.  Is this why kids fidget so much Sunday mornings?

If I sit correctly at the piano bench on a Sunday morning, my feet don’t touch the pedals of the ancient, upright piano.  I sit on the very edge of the bench and reach for the pedals.

I can’t rest my foot on the floor of the car and press down the brake pedal, so can develop a leg cramp in nasty start-stop-start-stop traffic.

Couches, especially the modern, huge,  over-stuffed ones, are also uncomfortable. At home or at a friend’s home, I tuck my feet under me instead of dangling them to numbness, or sit on the floor. If I have to sit with good manners, I choose the smallest piece of furniture in the room and hope my toes at least touch the floor enough to keep me from squiggling in discomfort like a toddler. Vintage furniture perfectly fits my style and my size.

 

I’ve learned to adapt, but I still think life might be a little easier…

 

 

Feet Don't Touch

 

…if only my feet could touch the floor.

 

 

 

TweetIt’s hard to feel like a grown-up when your feet don’t touch the floor.

 

 

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8 Responses to It’s Hard to Feel Like a Grown-up When…

  1. Kendra July 21, 2014 at 12:18 pm #

    Ya know, I never thought about size…until I was able to both stand and look around. I never thought of myself as tall, but after viewing the world sitting for over a year, 5’7″ feels quite strange. It really is a different view!

  2. Mindy Peltier July 21, 2014 at 5:43 pm #

    Oh, you are TALL! I didn’t know that. 🙂

    I’ve had that different view feeling once, when I met a woman who was actually several inches shorter. It felt so strange to look DOWN to talk to someone, I sat down to finish the conversation.

    • Kendra July 21, 2014 at 10:44 pm #

      And widening… 😉

  3. Tandis July 21, 2014 at 7:25 pm #

    Hahaha, wellllllll, I’m here to tell you that being 5’10” when you turn 13 years old isn’t all that great either. =/ And trying to find pants isn’t fun either and when you’re 5’10 with an inseam of 34” and you shoe size is 11 that is another issue. My feet touch the floor alright, but it’s a problem if you go “out” barefoot because many stores don’t like to order size 11 for a narrow foot and thus I feel I never have the right shoe. My husband, 6’2” requests I don’t wear heals that make me tall enough to look him in the eye… lol…. I do get a little joy at doing this anyway on occasion.

    Well anyway, just wanted to encourage you that being freak tall has a downside too.

    Let’s write a blog together picking on those “average” height girls. 😉 jk.

  4. Mindy Peltier July 22, 2014 at 7:31 am #

    Tandis, you NEED to write a post about being tall! And, if we lived next door to each other we would ALWAYS go grocery shopping together.

    So, while I was one of the shortest girls in Junior High, my best friend was built just like you. She was the tallest, but I think she was only 5’8″. We both played softball, she was the pitcher and I was the catcher, only I had a hard time giving her a good enough target for pitching because when I crouched down behind the plate, I was even a smaller bundle.

    I remember before the extra long sizes and the petite sizes being available, my jeans always drug on the ground and my tall friends had high waters. One friend never put her pants in the dryer and when they were wet, she’s stand on the hem and stretch the legs out. I love these days when I can always find jeans short enough and you have an easier time finding jeans long enough. 🙂

  5. Vanessa Brannan July 22, 2014 at 8:23 pm #

    I’ll jump on the too tall bandwagon. Everything is too short– not just the leg length on pants, but also the rise– my waist is significantly higher than it should be to suit even “tall” pants. Wedgies galore!!

    And it’s not just pants. I can’t remember the last time a shirt covered my wrists– .

    I look ridiculous in heels– towering inches over my husband.
    Don’t even get me stayed on leg room in airplanes.

    And while your feet don’t touch the ground while sitting, my knees are higher than my hips, causing joint pain.

    Also, I have a bad habit of kicking people in ballet class. In the face. They stand to close and my grand battements have landed on a few chins. Or bums, but that’s not as big of a deal.

  6. Cherrie Herrin-Michehl July 25, 2014 at 10:27 pm #

    Wow, another member of the Short Girls Club.

    For some reason, my feet don’t usually dangle. Sometimes, yes. But normally no. Maybe my legs are longer than I thought.

    I was one of the tallest kids in my class until 7th grade. Then most of them bypassed me.

    And now..I stand at 5’2 1/2 on a very good day. That I, if I stick my neck up really high like an ostrich. 😉

  7. Julie Posey July 27, 2014 at 2:12 am #

    Mindy, I totally relate! I’m 5’1″. One of my closest friends, we go way back to early teen years, is 5’10” so she can relate to you tall gals (we’ve had our conversations). I have to hem practically every pair of pants I get. Plus side, I can wear junior clothes. I guess that’s a plus, right? I hate having to stand on my tiptoes at counters, get a step stool to reach things in my cupboards (or beg my husband to get it for me… or jump up onto the counter. Have done that lots also) or that I can’t reach things on the top shelf at stores. There I am, standing on tip toe, straining to reach something on the top shelf… in public. Also, about pregnancy… yes! I always showed so early and I figured it must be because I’m so short. I guess on the plus side, I never got really huge, although, to be fair, my oldest daughter was my only full-term baby. As I was saying the other day, I used to wear high heels all the time when I was a teenager and in my early 20’s (even while pregnant with my first two kids). Actually, I wore them more before my ankle injury last year also. They kill my feet now and I’d rather be comfortable, but I still wear them on occasion. I understand you! Ha! 🙂

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