It seems every publication I read these days features an obligatory ‘What It’s Like To Be Me’ article – whether that Me is plus size, transgender or a recovering addict. But what I’m yet to read is one that I can relate to.
So here’s what it’s like to be me: really, really short.
As I’m sure most vertically challenged people would confer, every single day comes with its challenges. So without further ado, I give you an insight into the life of a small person.
I’m sure the burning question on your lips is whether I can actually fit into children’s clothes? And the answer is yes. Patronisingly adorable isn’t it? But while you laugh at me from your lofty heights, remember this: there is no VAT on children’s clothes. So please excuse me whilst I roll around in my wads of saved cash.
But I’ve celebrated too quickly because, as you can imagine, kids clothes offer limited conciliation. They’re perfect for discounted Kenzo jumpers but it’s unlikely I’m going to find a sexy LBD in Mothercare. So all that money I was rolling in from saved VAT now goes on seemingly endless alterations to my grown-up girl clothes. I’m not exaggerating when I say that if you laid the excess material removed from the bottom of my trousers end-to-end it would stretch the circumference of the earth ten times over(ish).
but now my lips are pressed firmly against an overweight man’s nipples as the train jolts
After dressing myself in my doll-sized clothes and climbing onto kitchen surfaces to reach the cereal, it’s time for the daily commute. The most humiliating part of my day.
A Central Line veteran, there is one benefit to my height – I can manoeuvre into incomprehensibly small spaces on trains. However, it comes at a cost. It’s all well and good that I’ve made it onto the carriage but now my lips are pressed firmly against an overweight man’s nipples as the train jolts from Liverpool Street to Oxford Circus. There’s also my inability to reach the overhead bars to steady myself. Instead I rely on my low centre of gravity to balance as I step on commuters’ toes and fall into strangers’ laps.
Whilst on the topic of unwanted intimacy, it seems that my height is an open invitation to awkward advances from men. In an attempt to establish their masculinity, I’m no stranger to unsolicited firemen lifts from drunk boys in bars – in fact only a few a months ago a gentleman attempted to re-enact the Dirty Dancing lift with me, only to underestimate my weight and drop me teeth first into the head of another dancer.
There’s also the horrifying abundance of explicit chat-up lines (if you can call them that): “Your hands are so small, they’d make my *please insert* look massive!”.
But I don’t do myself any favours, ironically it seems I have a penchant for men over six foot. And I know what you’re thinking but I can confirm that we make it work.
Then there are the insults dressed up as ‘banter’.
I’m certainly not short of height jokes (see what I did there?) and having been the subject of taunts my whole life, I’ve developed a pretty tough sense of humour. If you’re witty enough to come up with an original joke, then I applaud and encourage you. However, if the premise of your joke is an inability to reach or hear things from “down there”, then please do me a favour and stop breathing.
There is one recurring situation that I’ve never really understood. Take the example of an introduction to a new work colleague – like involuntary word-vomit, they feel the need to loudly acknowledge my height; “OMG you’re so short hahaha.” And yet it’s deemed inappropriate for me to respond “OMG you’re so fat hahaha.”
And just an FYI, asking me whether I’m “technically a dwarf” only makes it sound like your parents shook the brain cells out of you as a child.
And yet for all the perfectly proportioned size in the world, I wouldn’t trade my height for anything. You see, us small people have so many advantages. For one, we don’t have to pay dizzyingly excessive charges for extra leg room on flights. Nor do we have to fork out as much money to feel the effects of alcohol. And in the history of Hide-and-Seek, we’ve never lost a game. Your endless teasing will only come back to bite you in the kneecaps.
Images via Giphy.