As I walk around campus, I can’t help but feel that there has to some other students who feel my plight. It’s the frustrating, awkward, not-as-adorable-as- you-might- think hardship of being 5 feet tall.
Average sized human people may not think that it’s that rough for us on and off campus, but I know there are at least a handful of people out there who are glad I’m saying this. I know I’m not the shortest person on campus. It may not seem like a pressing issue, but it greatly affects my day-to-day life and, therefore, my thoughts must be voiced.
The thing is that we know we’re short. Yet people just love to point out the obvious. I’ve come to learn their favorite thing to say is “Ha so you’re like 2 inches away from being a midget, right?” And we can’t forget that their favorite thing to do is to put their arm on my head like I’m a counter, filling me with a hot, internal rage of a thousand suns. Just… just no. Stop. Go home and sort out your priorities.
Folks are always shocked and confused when I say I’m 21. I get the same response every time: “Wow, you don’t look that old. I would have guessed 17.” I went to the Renaissance Faire with my 14-year-old brother and some guy guessed our ages a year apart. It really can be a confidence killer.
This brings me to the difficulty of dating on campus. I always wanted some fellow to see me walking around, be immediately taken by me, and ask for my number like in the movies. I know life isn’t like the movies, but that’s beside the point. The point is I get the feeling that these fellows take one look at me and think “Nope. Jail bait.” I am three years past jail bait age and I would love to be approached as such.
The other night I was out with a saucy male friend of mine. All I can say is there is nothing less sexy than going to sit down and struggling to climb up the stool. Maybe that’s cute, but there’s nothing worse than being called “cute” when you’re trying to be sexy.
The worst was when I was hanging out with a fellow who was 6’10 and was really having a struggle to even reach his face for a goodnight kiss. It’s safe to say I only date guys 5’10 or under.
And you can just forget it fashion-wise. Long skirts become dresses and regular skirts become long skirts. If I’m wearing shorts and a big sweater we all get to play the game “Is she, in fact, wearing bottoms?” Those cute tall boots just cut me in half, and I could write a whole separate article on pants alone. I have become a master of cuffing, and my friends really got a kick out of the fact that I bought capris to wear as regular pants.
My biggest issue though is that I CAN’T SEE ANYTHING. Concerts are the worst unless I’m in the front row, going to see a movie might as well be called “going to hear a movie.” Classes in lecture halls are a bust, and in my first house I had to sit up on the sink to see myself in the bathroom mirror.
Speaking of not being able to see anything, I also can’t reach anything. This campus has done an awesome job by putting step stools in the library, but I still don’t think I could reach the highest book. The shelves are no longer shelves. They are mountains that must be climbed.
So what can I say to conclude this tirade about being vertically challenged? Don’t call us midgets, don’t put your arms on our heads, and don’t ask us if we’re ready for high school when we say we’re about to be a freshman… at UWM. Just know that us short people attending UWM know that the struggle is, indeed, real.