8 Things Only Short Folks Understand

by Wendy Wisner
Originally Published: 
Instagram / @swift.slimmingworld (left photo) & Instagram / @michelle_lynn_covel (right photo)

I’m 5 feet 1 ¾ inches tall (gotta remember that extra ¾ inch). So while I’m not the shortest girl in the world, I’m pretty dang short. I usually don’t really notice my height, and it doesn’t cause any major life problems.

But the fact is, most of the world is designed for people taller than me. And sometimes that means I am presented with some awkward, embarrassing, hilarious, and just plain annoying situations.

For instance:

1. Driving means craning your head all over the place to see anything.

Cars aren’t designed for short people. I should probably invest in some kind of car pillow thingie so that I can see over the backseat headrest when I need to look behind me, but I just usually end up lifting myself up, twisting my back around, and hoping not to sprain my neck in the process. It can also be a PITA to reach the gas and break pedals, so I usually look like a fool with the seat adjusted all up close to the steering wheel. Oh, and the darn sunshade almost never works for me no matter how I adjust it.

2. You’re basically climbing shelves at the grocery store to reach stuff.

The struggle is real at the grocery store, amiright? At least once during my weekly grocery store jaunt, I am literally climbing the shelves trying to reach something. I’m pretty good at it by now, but on more than one occasion, I have accidentally knocked over some stuff. Once I ended up doused in garlic flavored olive oil. That was fun.

3. Clothing never fits right and you always have to hem or cuff.

Listen, it’s hard enough finding clothing that fits. But when you’re short, you’re basically either shopping in the petite section (which is limited and doesn’t always fit right either) or having to come home and hem stuff. Or you can go with the cuffed up look, if you like. I am also blessed with big ol’ boobs, so nothing hangs right. Shopping is apt to leave me in a puddle of tears. When I find something that fits right, I’ll buy like 20 of them, and then not shop for the next decade if I can get away with it.

4. You are a very good counter-climber.

One day I’m going to design and build a house for myself. And in that house, I will be able to reach every cabinet and high shelf. But alas, I rent my home now, and it was not designed for short people. Every cabinet that is not at my level is a damn wreck because I can’t reach it to make neat piles – I just basically throw everything up there. I have step stools in some rooms, but I hate having to schlep them all over the house. I usually end up climbing counters — or getting my kids to do it.

5. Hugs with tall people can get awkward.

If you are a tall woman and a short person hugs you, they are going to get well acquainted with your bosom. It’s just a fact. And let’s just say that if you are a very tall man hugging a very short woman…well, you get the picture.

6. People call you “cute” all the time and it’s hella annoying.

When I was younger, everyone thought it was okay to just come on over and pick me up. Ummm…NOPE. But even now, people are quick to call me cute. I guess it’s fine, but I am 40 years old, and it’s getting kind of old at this point. I guess I’ll be a cute old lady too. Go figure.

7. You have to basically jog to keep up with your tall friends.

I consider myself pretty fit. I can jog for a few miles and not get out of breath. But when I’m walking around town with my tall friends, a walk becomes a jaunt or even a jog. It’s all I can do to keep up while walking with my tall friends — never mind talking without getting out of breath.

8. You almost fall into the washing machine trying to reach the clothes.

Washers and dryers are NOT made for short people. My husband usually does the laundry (shhh…it’s the secret that saves our marriage). But when I do it, I’m pretty much nose-diving into the washing machine. I guess it’s kind of funny? But it’s equally annoying AF.

I love being me – short stature and all – and I wouldn’t change a thing. But that doesn’t mean that my shortness isn’t a real pain in the neck (sometimes literally). Still, I think most short girls would agree that our height gives us a sprightliness and levity that rocks. We may be short, but we’ve got a fire in us that could burn you to a crisp.

So beware, tall people, you may get more than you bargained for if you mess with us.

Oh, and if you’re at the grocery store and you see a short person trying to reach the salad dressing, would you lend her a hand? Otherwise both of you might end up dressed in Thousand Island.

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