I never had a chance to be tall. My mom stands at 5 feet exactly, and my dad at around 5 feet 7 inches. When I was a baby, my mom did some type of calculation based on their heights that determined I would be 5 feet 3 inches, which is exactly what I am. I’ve been that tall since high school and, judging from my mom and grandmother, I’ll only get shorter as the years go by. So, this is as good as it gets.
I’m not too far off from being “average height.” According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report from 2018, the average for American women 20 years old and up is 5 feet 4 inches. But I always felt short! I was always put in the front during school concerts in elementary school, I always have to adjust the seat when I’m driving someone else’s car, and without a little footrest, office setups are uncomfortable for me (in order to put the chair high enough to meet the desk properly, my feet dangle a little bit below). People have referred to me as an optical illusion because I don’t look short from a distance, but when you stand next to me, I’m surprisingly small. But I have come to accept and embrace my identity as a shorter-than-average person.
I am surrounded by tall people in my household, which means I always have help reaching things. My husband is 6 feet tall, nearly a foot taller than I am. My stepson, who is nine years old, is only a few inches shorter than me already! He’s very tall for his age, but it definitely highlights that I am NOT. He’s done his own calculations based on his age and height, and he believes he’ll end up being 6 feet 4 inches. So, one day, he’ll tower over me in an almost comical way. My younger stepson is also tall for his age and stands above most of the kids in his basketball group.
Sure, being short can have its downsides. Regular-length pants bought from a store usually need to be hemmed, a stool is necessary to reach the higher kitchen cabinet shelves, and I’ll never be a basketball star. But as we celebrate National Short Person Day, I also want to say that there are some benefits! As a woman, I never had to worry that high heels would make me taller than my date, I can sometimes wear children’s size coats which can be a lot more affordable, and legroom on an airplane is never a real issue. So, I’m here to say that I like being a short person and, really, I wouldn’t have it any other way.