Personal Reflection: a Day in the Life of a Short Girl

I wake up and hang my legs over the side of the bed until I’m awake enough to make the jump down to the floor, which (depending on the bed) can be quite far down sometimes. Then I’ll go downstairs and see what I fancy for breakfast but usually have to settle for Rice Krispies again because they’re one of the only things kept in the bottom cupboard, and those sausages in the fridge that are tempting me are on the inaccessible third shelf of the fridge. Reaching kitchen cupboards in general always requires some kind of gymnastics climbing over the kitchen surfaces, with the help of a chair of course. Pretty sure there’s stuff on the top shelf of my cupboards at university that has been there for a lot longer than it should have been.​

I’ll go and shower which, depending on who's been in there before me, usually entails me having to stretch as high as I can to pull the shower head down a bit for maximum warmth. Then it’s time to decide what to wear for the day. On the one hand, I could wear those jeans that I love but then I need to roll up the bottoms five times before I am able to see my foot through them, or I could just wear some clothes meant for 10-year olds that fit but look slightly out of date. On the days I decide to wear my dungarees I’ll inevitably be called cute at least once over the course of the day. And, on the off chance I decide to go out for an evening, there’s the never-ending debate at home beforehand as to whether I should wear heeled boots to try and get a little closer to the average height of people my age, or just simply stick to trainers and prevent myself a night of painful feet at the expense of probably getting concussion from people elbowing me in the head all night. I really can’t win sometimes.

Then if it turns out to be a day where I’ve decided to leave the house, you never know what to expect. An outing to the cinema is always an interesting experience, as it comes with such questions as do I put my hair in plaits and try to get away with a child’s ticket? Yeah, of course, much cheaper…. and that saved money can go on the biggest bag of popcorn they’ve got. Do I get a booster seat for the film? I used to up until the point where the only parts of my body that weren't conforming to my child size were my hips and posterior, which subsequently would get wedged in the seat, leaving me to settle with propping myself up on a pile of my families coats and hope that a giant person doesn’t sit in front of me.

I recently went to South Africa and upon check-in was asked for my birth certificate by the attendant, and ultimately had to call over one of my senior lecturers to confirm that I wasn’t a school child who was under 18 but was actually an independent adult of nearly 21 years. Even with my passport, he clearly wasn’t persuaded.

But being short isn’t all bad. In fact, it’s the way I’d rather be. As much as it can be annoying in situations where you just wish you looked a little older, I get to buy cheaper clothes, cheaper tickets, I can fit into small spaces (I admit I still enjoy fitting into cardboard boxes if we get a big enough parcel through the post) and cuddles are always quite cozy. After all, they do say all good things come in small packages.