Internets, I’m short.
I’m not shorter than average. I’m not on the tall side of short. I’m just plain short. Let me take you on a short little (hah!) journey in the life of a Shorty McShortster….
It all started when I was a baby.
That’s a lie. I was a larger than average baby. Let’s try this again.
It didn’t all start when I was a baby. I was a big baby, but I didn’t grow. That’s when it started. Infants are supposed to triple their birth weight in the first year. I was three years old before I weighed 24 pounds. I could walk under the kitchen table standing up straight without bumping my head. My family called me Tootie because I was “just a little toot”. How’s that for a supportive and healthy family environment? “Hey, you’re short so we’re going to name you after something that smells rank.” I love you too, family.
My language skills were advanced and I used to confuse people because my speech did not fit my body. If my mom had a nickel for every time she heard, “My, isn’t she precocious!” her dream of having a chauffer/grocery lifter/errand boy named Francisco would be more than just a dream.
When I got to elementary school, my shortness didn’t go unnoticed.
I was teased. I was taunted. I was picked up and carried around. I was always in the front row of anything. I was used as an arm rest. I was pat on the head. One time in grade four I was knocked over in line after recess and trampled. Footprints on my back and the whole bit. This is a recipe for a traumatizing childhood.
But I couldn’t figure out what the fuss was all about.
I didn’t fully understand my shortness. If someone made a joke, I would ask them what they got on their latest math test (I got perfect, sucker!). If someone picked me up, I flailed until they let me go. If someone pat me on the head, I kicked them in the shins. If someone told me I was cute, I said “I know”. When I was on the basketball team in grade 7 (this is entirely and hilariously true) I threw my elbows around like it was my job. If the opposing team pointed out my shortness, I nodded at them in a threatening manner (they either laughed or were confused which was entirely my goal). In high school this nerdy kid told me that his poops were bigger than me. Poor guy didn’t know my brother was bigger than him. My go-to response to an insult was, “Well you’re ugly and I can grow.” And do you know what? I got away with all of it because I WAS SHORT.
Note: Eventually someone was all like, “hey she’s really little, and she’s only growing 4 centimetres a year when she should be growing at least ten, maybe we’ll send her to see a doctor and make her not short so she’s not a 4’7″ adult and mistaken for a child the rest of her life.” Hello human growth hormones. I was a ‘roid head for five years. It made me taller (than my Mom and Grandma) and possibly more spunky. I’m still stupidly short, it’s just not quite as shocking.
|OK, maybe it’s still a little shocking.|
|My friend Willy is super tall.|
|So is this random man with a drink.|
I fully embraced my shortness right from when I was a child and I still love being short. I am well adjusted (hah!) despite my shortcomings (hah!) but I still have some frustrations (ha- oh..wait).
Don’t call me Shorty. Please be more creative than that. I appreciate a good zinger, but Shorty? Really? You can do better than that. Even the nerdy kid in high school did better than Shorty.
Don’t interact with me physically in a way you wouldn’t with someone who is of regular height. Don’t pick me up. Don’t pat me on the head. Don’t lean on me. Don’t hold something out of my reach. It makes me feel like a child. I’m not a child.
Don’t tell me I’m cute. I already know this. I’ve been nothing but cute my entire life. Mini-humans are cute. I get it. While I do embrace the cute and usually don’t mind it, there is a time and a place. If someone calls me cute on my wedding day, I’m going to bust some friggin’ teeth.
Don’t underestimate me. I am short, not dumb. I am short, not immature. I am short, not lesser of a person. I am short, but please take me seriously. There’s a lot happening in this tiny body. Look down and see me every once in awhile.
|My latest “hokey poops I’m little and holding an apple” photo|
I now invite you to share your short jokes in the comments. Hit me with your best shot.