During the end of eighth grade to the beginning of ninth grade, I stopped growing. My height didn’t change from there on, and while I am now in high school, I live with the many disadvantages of being stuck in a 13-year-old body. And of course, my 4’11” height gives me many things to run into, struggle to reach and see over. I guess I’m just the perfect height.
When engineers designed clothing racks in stores, they were definitely thinking of me. Every rack hits about 4’9”: exactly where my forehead is. And, let me tell you, running into a metal clothing rack while on a mission to get a cute shirt is not the funnest thing that has ever happened. It actually leaves a huge bruise in the shape of a rectangle smack dab in the middle of your head. And that rectangular bruise is never easily covered up.
Speaking of bruises, I am also perfect height for what I like to call “an elbow to the face.” It’s a funny story actually; one that happens quite often. It always starts and ends the same: once upon a time, I was walking through the hallways of RBHS. Suddenly, the person in front of me decides to fix their shoulder strap to their backpack. And what do I get? A big, pointy funny bone to the nose. The person in front of me quickly apologizes and remarks, as usual, “Oh my goodness, I didn’t even see you there!” At this point, I want to reply, “No it’s okay, I’m just the height of your elbow. No problem. It’s my fault. Stupid genetics.”
You would think traveling in a car where there aren’t clothing racks or crowds of people would be less of a hassle. Yet, twice a day, that’s not the case: sunrise and sunset are the worst times for me to forget sunglasses in my car. Normal-height people don’t have a problem with the sun. They can just put down the sun visor and it blocks the sun from their line of vision. For me, this doesn’t work. Somehow, the sun sets and rises in the exact spot where the visor does nothing for me. I stretch my neck so the visor slightly hides the sun from me, but my sun visor never easily blocks out the harsh light, and my resulting punishment for my forgetfulness and my height added together is being blinded while trying to drive.
I think engineers hate me. They never design anything to work for my height. If I go into a sit-down restaurant, there are usually two types of seating: booths and tables. If the hostess sits my family at a table, my feet always, always, dangle. They can never reach the ground. The chairs never fit the height of my torso and legs equally. Yet, if the hostess sits us at a booth, I sink into the cushion, and the table is at my chest. But for a plus, my feet touch the ground in a booth. My solution? I don’t understand how anything good can come from having to sit on your knees as a 16-year-old. Nothing can. But hey, the waiter or waitress usually hands me the kiddy menu as a plus. Eating at a dine-in restaurant is always a lose-lose for me.
Engineers are not the only ones who forget me, seamstresses do too. When Homecoming and Courtwarming season comes around every year, I make my annual trip to the dress shops around Columbia. I find dresses made to hit girls at mid-thigh, which is where I want the dress to hit on me. However, it just can’t be that easy for me. I will find a dress I adore, and it will fit me perfectly, except for the length. I fall in love with the dresses that hit my knees or past that — I have around ten dresses in my closet that fit me like a prom dress. I can never win.
My height can be a disadvantage a lot of the time, but I have learned to just deal with the hand I’ve been dealt. The disadvantages are just a part of my life and a part of my height. Seriously, I couldn’t imagine being any taller.
By Alyssa Piecko