Four Foot Twelve

DSC09397Let’s get one thing straight.  I am not a tall person.

There are shorter people out there, but on average, I’m one of the shorter ones.  Standing a perfect five feet… even.

You don’t have to tell me this, though.  I’ve known my whole life.  This is a fact that most people don’t let you forget… especially family.  And old high school friends.  And tall people.

They like to remind me how short I am. (As if I don’t know by now???)

The funny thing about being short, and correct me if I’m wrong fellow short people, is that you don’t usually realize how short you are until you’re in certain situations where it is emphasized.

Take the grocery store, for instance.  On more than one occasion the item I wanted was on the very tip top shelf, and if there was no room on the bottom shelf for me to stand and stretch myself up, I had to boldly ask a taller passerby for help.

Or in pictures.  I never truly understand how tall the rest of the world is until I see a picture of myself standing next to it… upon which I stare in amazement and say, “Geez!  I’m really THAT short?!”

When I played basketball in college (yes… it was a really small college) the announcer would proudly start my introduction with “standing a tall four-foot-twelve…!!!”  That always got a good laugh.

And we won’t even talk about the times I’ve gone into a restaurant and been offered a kid’s menu.

cabinetsBut just like any physical limitation I have learned to compensate.  Which is probably why I don’t notice it so much anymore.  As in the grocery store example, I just step on the bottom shelf and can reach just about anything.

Trying to compensate for being short isn’t always easy, though, and doesn’t always have the desired results.

For example, once when I was very young, and very much shorter, I wanted to get a certain sweater out of my closet.  So to make up for my shortness I decided to climb the shelf up to the top and get it.  The metal shelf.  With sharp edges.  Let’s just say, that didn’t end well.

Which brings me to the point of this post. (finally?!)

There is no stepladder tall enough for short people to reach the very top cupboard in the kitchen.  Why do they even put those dumb cupboards up there?  No one can reach them!

Therefore, my entire life I have found it much faster to jump up on the counter to reach whatever I needed.  Did you do this?  When I was too little to pull myself onto the counter I would open each drawer up just enough to make a set of steps!!!  Shh… don’t tell my mom I did that.

But to this day, I still jump on the counter to reach the top cupboard or the top shelf.  It works.  And in my world where everything is tall, it’s necessary.  So I continue to do it… when my toddler isn’t watching.

Unfortunately, another habit came along with this counter climbing.  I found it easier and more comfortable to talk to people in the kitchen while I was sitting on said counter.  You know?  In the corner?  By the toaster?  Both hands, quick hoist, and up you go!  Sitting up high having conversations with even the tallest of people while staying out of the traffic in the kitchen.  Brilliant!

That was, until I got married.

We lived in Thailand a month before moving back to the States to prep for our next adventure.  During that time we lived at my in-laws.  It was nice.  We had a lot of space up in their extra room with a little attic loft and our own bathroom.  But, of course, we shared a kitchen…

with a lot of great counters.

So naturally, when I got into a deep conversation with my mother in law or my husband, I would hop up on the counter and make myself comfortable.

I even taught my niece to do it.

It wasn’t until much much later that I learned sitting on the counter is one of my mother-in-law’s greatest pet peeves… ever.



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