I have always been known as “the short girl.” Currently standing at 4’9’’, I will never grow to more than 5 feet, and that is more than OK with me. I have heard all the short jokes the universe has to offer, and after a while the only thing that bothers me is the lack of originality. After 23 years of life, I’ve compiled a list of questions, comments, and phrases that have been overused and make the person saying them sound like a dick.
1. “How’s the weather down there?”
The air quality and temperature are the same where you are. It’s a matter of inches or maybe a foot. It is not colder or hotter. Rain/snow/hail/sleet hit me just like they hit you. If anything, it’s easier for me to hide under things when it precipitates, so who is the joke really on here?
2. “Your head is a great armrest.”
Resting your arm on someone’s head or shoulder looks completely idiotic. While I have never had the opportunity to do this to someone, I’m sure it’s not as comfortable as you claim it to be, considering you only rest for a maximum of five seconds. You know what else is a great armrest? An actual armrest.
3. “You need a step stool to reach things.”
If I needed a step stool to reach something, I would have gotten one myself because I am perfectly capable of knowing my height limits. Believe it or not, not everything is out of my reach. And if there happens to be something placed on a high shelf, don’t think I won’t climb on everything possible to get it myself because I am independent and I don’t need your step stool.
4. “Are you done growing?”
I’m sure you have gone to school, and I’m sure in health class you learned about puberty and how long it takes for the male and female body to mature. You are well aware that I am 23 years old and the female body completely finishes maturing at 18. You just sound stupid asking a question you already know the answer to.
5. “Awww, you’re so cute!”
I have never been able to respond to this with anything other than “Thank you.” I guess there are many other adjectives worse than cute that someone can call you. If you call a short person cute, then you are not allowed to use that word on puppies, babies, or items of clothing. However, there is nothing cute about being an adult who has a full-time job, pays bills, and probably has more responsibilities than you do.
6. “Can you see over the steering wheel?”
Believe it or not, it’s 2015 and cars now have…adjustable seats and pedals!!!!! Isn’t it amazing how modern technology works? No, I do not need to sit on a phonebook. Yes, I can see everything on the road, otherwise I don’t think the DMV would have given me a license. I am probably a better driver than you, but thanks for your concern with my safety on the road.
7. “Wow, you’re short.”
Am I?! I had absolutely no clue! This is news to me. Wow, my whole life has changed now because of your brilliant observation. Just do everyone a favor and stop telling short people that they’re short. I guarantee they already know this and you are just asking for someone to punch you, kick you, or throw something at you for your stupidity.
8. “Are you tall enough to ride roller coasters?”
I have not been to one amusement park where I was denied access to getting on a ride. Not only am I tall enough to ride roller coasters, I’m tall enough to read, write, run, walk, and function during everyday life! The question I should really be asking you is, “Are you smart enough to operate in everyday life?”
9. “Are you a legal midget?”
Let me just stop you right there and clear something up. There is a medical condition called dwarfism which is defined as being 4’10’’ or shorter. Someone with dwarfism has a genetic condition, which results in fragile bones causing their body parts to grow disproportionately. There is no real definition for the body type of a midget; a midget was a person of short stature that was considered a “freak show” and put on stage for amusement in the 1800s. So considering I am not a freak show and do not have a medical condition, no, I am not a legal midget.
10. “I didn’t see you there.”
Ninety-five percent of the time someone says this, they absolutely knew you were there. Unless you are my height and standing next to Shaquille O’Neal, he most likely did not see me there. But for all my average-height friends who can easily see me, you did know I was standing there; pretending to look over my head to look for me isn’t fooling anybody.