"Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom" Albert Einstein

"A dame who knows the ropes isn't likely to get tied up." Mae West

Friday, July 25, 2008

Short people got business

Recently the world’s tallest (7 feet 9 inches) man and the world’s shortest (2 feet 4 inches) man met. The tiny fellow crawled on top of a table in order to shake the hand of the tall guy.

I'm short, but I've never had to stand on a table to shake hands with someone tall. I have gotten a crick in my neck from social conversations with tall people at parties. You get to be a pretty good acrobat when you're short: climbing onto the kitchencounter to get something out of the cabinet, hoisting your body weight on the grab bar to get up into the pickup truck, jumping up and down so you can see over the heads and shoulders at sporting events, sitting with your legs tucked under your body as a booster seat at the movie theater.

There are some dangers as a short person. Sometimes your feet dangle in the air when you're sitting in a chair. This is especially difficult if you're sitting on a bar stool and the foot rest is 3-5 inches away from your foot. I have been known to fall out of a bar stool before I've even had one drink. You’re welcome to use that as an excuse, too.

Physical shortcomings make you adapt. For example, I try to avoid crowds as much as possible. It's claustrophobic for a small person trapped in sea of much taller people. Besides, I get rather tired of smelling armpits and rear ends.

I am now officially the shortest person in my extended family. My daughters passed me up a decade ago and the youngest nephew hit that goal at age 12. I quit growing at 13. Now I'm facing the fact that I'll probably be shrinking in the coming years. I'm melting, I'm melting! Yet I’m looking forward to being the little old lady behind the wheel of the car that looks like it is driving itself.

I have discovered a couple good things about being short. First, people think short women are younger than they are. This was a problem when I was 25, but in middle age it gives me great joy. Another thing I discovered was that a whole bunch of really sexy women are/were short - Mae West (4'11"), Elizabeth Taylor (5'2"), Dolly Parton (5'), Susan Lucci (5'2"), Marilyn Monroe (5'4'), and Scarlet Johansson (5'4"). I like to think of myself as halfway between Dolly and Liz with half the wit of Mae.

My husband is always singing "Short People Got No Business" to taunt me, despite knowing that I've managed several businesses simultaneously during the past three decades. I just respond with my favorite saying, "Dynamite comes in small packages." We may just look like little sticks, but boy can we make an impact when our fuses are lit.

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