Hello Korio
13. 10. 2015

So if you know me at all – and some of you do and some of you kind of do and some of you don’t, but that’s fine – you know that I’ve never been entirely amused by short jokes. It’s not that they hurt my feelings, it’s just that I don’t get it. I’m not very tall. How is that hilarious? I do understand that sometimes it’s funny to see a shorter person try to get something off a high shelf, but I think that’s equally funny as watching a tall person bang their head on something. It’s just a thing. It hardly seems like a humorous thing in general, more only funny situationally. But whatever. Some people like to make short jokes. Fine.

I can tell you I am just not especially sensitive about it. Even I find this picture of me and some of my friends from last weekend hilarious. (Hello, friends!) Hilarious enough that every time I am with them, I take a similar picture. I’m just saying, I’m not uptight about not being very tall any more than they are about being especially tall. Which they all are.

While I think we can all agree that it’s generally understood in this country that being tall is preferable to being short if you had to choose one or the other, I know that I, at least, don’t feel any particular need to choose something different, except when my husband puts the single liquid measuring cup we own on the top shelf of the cabinet, and I will admit I have no sense of humor about that, because no one uses that measuring cup but me, so why the hell is it out of my reach, Phillip? Because it’s funny? WELL, NOT TO ME.Anyway, I’m not very tall, but I don’t feel especially short, either. I don’t feel anything. I feel neutral. I feel that my height is not even remotely a factor in any part of my day-to-day life unless I am with the aforementioned friends, which happens like, once a year, or when I’m trying to get my measuring cup. Maybe in those situations I’m somewhat more aware of my height. But the thing is, I do know my height, and it’s below average. It’s short. I’m short. Fine. It’s a thing that I am.

And here is the thing I have been thinking about. Have you ever gotten in a short battle? Battle is probably the wrong word, but this is the Internet and it’s made for exaggeration, so just run the word “battle” through your Internet hyperbole filter to come up with something more appropriate on your own. So you’ll be on Twitter or something – it’s always Twitter – and talking about, maybe, pants. Pants is a good one because Twitter was made for helping others shop. And you – or me – offhandedly mention, “Well, it’s a little hard to find pants in stores, because I’m short, but a lot of retailers carry extended sizes like ‘extra short’ online.” (They do! That’s a thing!)

And you think that’s nothing, because it’s just true. You’re (I’m) short. It’s just a thing. It’s a fact. It’s not really up for debate. There is average, and then people who are above average are tall and people who are below average are short. It’s just numbers. But there will always be someone who wasn’t even involved in the conversation at all who will then jump in and say, “Well, how short are we talking? Because I’m eight and a half inches tall.”

And they’re not saying that because they have a hot pants tip for you! No, they just want you to know. Like, “HOHO, IN YOUR FACE! You think you are short? WELL I’M ONLY VISIBLE UNDER A MICROSCOPE, so what do you think about THAT?”

There’s that person, right, who needs to jump in to let you know that even if you thought you were X, they are MORE X, therefore… ?

And that’s where I get lost, because what exactly is the point there? Am I suddenly NOT short because you drink your tea from a thimble? That’s not a thing. I am still short. You being much smaller does not suddenly make me 5’10”. And they wait! They wait for someone to mention being short – WHICH MANY PEOPLE ARE, IT’S NOT A THING – so they can jump in to tell you what short actually is. What am I supposed to do here? Acknowledge your tininess? Present you with a medal for shortness? I guess this probably happens to tall people, too. You’re a lady and you’re 5’10”, maybe 5’11”, and you say, well, I’m tall, and some other lady snorts at you and is like, well, I’m 6’2″, so you’re actually not tall at all. BUT YES A 5’10” WOMAN IS QUITE TALL.

I feel like it’s kind of related to pain olympics, you know, where one person says I don’t feel well and the other person says, “I DON’T EVEN HAVE KIDNEYS” and you’re kind of supposed to be shamed into thinking actually you don’t feel so bad at all because at least you could pee your pants if you wanted to. And the winner of the pain olympics is the one who feels the absolute worst, so worst in fact that everyone else is forced to acknowledge that they actually don’t feel terrible at all. I guess it’s something like that. But no matter how short another person is, it can’t make me not be short anymore.

Or maybe it’s that there are people who need you to know that they are the very most of something. I am the most sick, I am the most weird, I am the most short. Which is now leading me down this whole path of wondering what’s wrong with just being normal? Because isn’t there always going to be someone sicker and someone less sick, someone weirder and someone less weird, and someone shorter and someone less short? I guess maybe it has a lot to do with people who haven’t ever really been able to totally shake the phase of feeling that being average or normal or standard is absolutely the worst thing that you can be, and I get that, but I don’t get it because I don’t feel that way.

This started out with me being annoyed about those people who always want to jump into conversations out of nowhere to make a pants discussion into a battle (“battle”) about who is the very smallest, and now it’s gone into a whole new thing I’m not prepared to think about this early in the morning, so I’ll just stop here.

18 responses to “The battle (“battle”) for the most.”

  1. Lawyerish says:

    We’ve all been in social situations with that person, the one who can always top your story about any thing or experience in the entire world. That person wins at one thing, which is being the worst.

    As a tall person (I’m 5’11” when I’m not slouching), I don’t run into many people who are competitive about being tall. I wonder if on the whole, short battles are more common than tall battles, or if that’s just my own experience.

    • Natalie says:

      I think short battles probably are more common because as Kelly said, being tall is more “preferred” therefore being the shortest is self deprecating.

      Kelly I think you have covered this before and I agree it is still irritating. It’s pretty much just like “ugh my husband snores” responded to with “my husband is deployed, I wish he was here snoring” (actually literally happened to me). Just stop it. I am aware deployment is terrible but I am allowed my complaint as well.

  2. Sunshine says:

    If what you are adding to the conversation starts with the words “well, actually…” then there is a 99% chance I don’t want to hear it.

  3. Tracy says:

    I have a person in my life who is the most busiest person of all of the busy people. It drives me batty. We are all busy! You don’t win at busy, just hush. It comes up in most conversations regardless of what you are talking about. You can say you like a certain restaurant and they’ve never been there because they are too busy. Anyway, this came up again over the weekend and this seemed like a suitable place to complain about it.

  4. The Awktopus says:

    I’m exactly five feet tall, and I totally get where you’re coming from. I feel like anyone who’s under 5’1″ or 5’2″ falls under the category of “really effing short,” and after that who cares who’s slightly taller than who? None of us can find pants that fit or reach the top shelf at the grocery store. (Although I will say that I sort of subconsciously consider my height to be The Bare Minimum, so I do get a little impressed whenever I meet someone shorter than me.)

  5. Shannon says:

    Spot on. And makes me wonder if people are having a battle to be the worst (i.e. they ALWAYS have to be THAT guy/girl).
    Gonna side with Lawyerish on this one too – as a tall person (6’2″), I do hear the battles about height more from those on the shorter end of the spectrum. HOWEVER, I do feel height is brought up more when you’re a tall woman. Guys don’t get the ‘wow, you’re tall!’ stupidly obvious statements as much as women seem to, because we’re still not the ‘norm’. This might just be my experience too.
    Also…don’t even get me STARTED on buying pants. *insert sarcasm font here*

    • Imalinata says:

      Omg buying pants! I’m 6’0 and I hate it. HATE. IT. I have quite a well stocked kitchen because I would rather buy kitchen crap (because ANYTHING in the kitchen stores will work) than spend days trying to find something that fits and is at least marginally flattering.

      If I could ever finish a craft project, I’d just make my own.

      I also get the questions about wearing high heels when I’m “so tall”. Being tall doesn’t mean I can’t wear different kinds of shoes!!

    • Lawyerish says:

      Yes, buying pants is one scenario where tall women do tend to engage in the height Olympics! It’s a total pain for me too, but honestly it seems like women of every height have difficulty buying clothes in one way or another. This is why I am holding out hope that we will all agree to wear uniforms sometime soon.

      • korio says:

        You know what I have seen tall women complain (well, “complain,” you know what I mean) about that has never once been an issue for me? Sleeve length. I have never had an issue with sleeves being too short for me.

      • Shannon says:

        Definitely! Length is not my only issue with buying pants. I must say that my response to friends who complain about having to hem pants is usually ‘but at least you CAN’, since it’s a wee bit harder to make them longer.

  6. heidi says:

    Well actually, I’m the most everything. So there. (not really, I’m NOT the most anything.)

  7. Imalinata says:

    We had a friend like that in our social circle for a while. Anything anyone had experienced, he could top. It got to the point where we would start making things up to see what he could top it with.

  8. Mary says:

    Pants shopping is the worst!

  9. Ariel says:

    It’s Penelope syndrome!

  10. Ariel says:

    I just realized…and I have been “catching up with you” online forever (reading your blog…can I still say that? everything is different now)…that you might think I mean YOUR Penelope. Sheesh. I actually mean the character on SNL.

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