Short people got…
Friday February 01st 2008, 5:02 pm
Filed under: Life

Him. I’ve got me a good one.

Meantime. I just dropped a package off at the post office, and as usual drove to the one at Bayshore: there are always shore birds to see along the way there, so much more peaceful of a drive than through city streets to the one in the opposite direction. I took my camera along, though I knew that was probably wishful thinking.

There were four snowy egrets in the marshlands, but off a bit in the distance: too far from anywhere I could reasonably pull over just then to try to get a closer shot. I continued on.

On my way back, coming over a rise in the road, there, suddenly, was one right there. A snowy egret. On the sidewalk. Strolling along like a long-legged model on a catwalk, right there in all its glorious white plumage and black stockings. A couple of office workers from a nearby building were walking towards it on their break, deep in conversation and seemingly oblivious to what was walking away from them just ahead, going at about the same pace. People are funny. So was the egret: it turned its head and followed me with one bright eye as I drove past it, with me knowing that by the time I’d be able to get to where I might park the car, those walkers would probably have scared it off into the sky. My camera didn’t get to see it–but I did.

There was one time I went to the post office in the opposite direction from home for whatever reason. Now, I am by no means a tall person, but I’m married to one, and our kids take after their father much more than me in that department. So I’ve heard all the lame comments time after time, the “do you play basketball,” the “how’s the weather up there.”

Standing in line for a clerk that day, a man came in behind me. I glanced up, then tried to give him his space, knowing he didn’t need to hear one more stranger chiming in on the obvious. But after a few moments, I couldn’t help but chuckle slightly, and to my quiet delight, he started gradually chuckling too, as if he were in on the joke. Which I think he was.

Then two sentences were spoken out loud:

“My son’s 6’9″.”

“That IS tall!” he affirmed, from about half a foot higher up than that.

I did not ask him how on earth he found a car he could fit into, or buy clothes, or all these things that we’ve found hard enough to do*. It was enough. Someone was in on the secret world of very tall people, even someone who once went looking for a copy of Randy Newman’s “Short people got no reason to live” song for her husband–Happy Valentine’s Day, honey.

And I think of that man for a moment with a smile, every now and then, as I turn the car the other direction, letting the tall snowy egrets and the petite redwing blackbirds vie for my inner attention, along with the occasional pelican.


(*A Prius. The new ones, anyway; the first one we got, a 2001, the hubby eventually cracked the dashboard by being scrunched up so tight in it, even though it fit him better than most of the cars on the market at the time. The new one fits him much better.)

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My sister and I have an ongoing conversation about the advantages of being tall(her) vs the advantages of being small (me). She takes after grandpa’s side of the family and I take after grandma. I am currently “winning’ in the conversation because I fit more comfortably in airplane seats–if I have a footrest. Her knees bang against the seat in front of her. No fixing that.

Comment by Carol 02.01.08 @ 7:15 pm

That is too funny. Short and tall unite!

Comment by Amanda 02.02.08 @ 4:44 am

In my family we range in height from my grandma at 4’10” to my uncle and a couple of cousins who are over 6’3″ (uncle is 6’3″ not sure about cousins) As we were growing up we had “goals” to meet height wise, and that is bein passed on, Grandma is first, then my Mom and one of her sisters, then Me, then 2 of my Aunts and my Sister, Brian (my hubby),my Dad, Craig(BIL),and so on beyond my BIL the heights kinda get muddled cuz they all range from 5’10” to 6’3″ and we dont see them very often. My 14yr old son has just about reached me (3/4 of an inch to go, LOL) 🙂

Comment by Danielle from SW Missouri 02.02.08 @ 7:44 am

We’ve got a serious height differential in our household. I’m five ft., 1.5 inches. The professor is about 6 ft, 3 inches, and Harry and Sally, the dogs? They are very short! (heehee) Actually we have a pretty hard time finding cars that we can both drive. My car now, an Aztek, is the most comfortable thing in that regard, and we literally went through the entire auto show to find it. Poor professor had to sit in every dang car…and most of those smaller cars would have forced him to cut off his left leg or something!(think lumberjack+ and you’ve got his measurements.) I’m dreading the next car purchase. According to his Bubbe (grandma in Yiddish), he is quite small compared to some of his distant cousins that she knew before the war, in Poland. Now they, according to Bubbe, they were -really- BIG men. I’m betting they never had to fit in a compact car, though! I hear ox carts fit all sizes…!

Comment by Joanne 02.02.08 @ 5:27 pm

I’m five feet and two inches tall, and I haven’t grown in two years. heh. But both my parents are relatively short, too, so I guess I’ll just have to get used to being tiny.

Comment by Ren 02.03.08 @ 2:14 pm

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