It’s a few minutes to dusk and I’m smiling all the way home. I mean, I have many reasons to smile. Besides the great afternoon I’ve had, I am healthy, I can breathe, walk, see, hear, think, speak etc. I am blessed.., so many blessings I can’t count them all. However, I’m smiling slyly and it’s for a very different reason.., and my shoes have everything to do with it.
I am not a consistent diarist but if I was, there are certain incidents that would qualify to be entries in my diary or journal nearly everyday and they somewhat relate to my height. I’m not sure how tall I am (I don’t remember having my height taken) but like the title of this post suggests, I consider myself average height and for various reasons. On a few occasions I have heard my mum correct me when I refer to myself as short if the conversation has a negative inclination. She insists that I am of average height and “… as we all know, Mothers are always right!” (Adopted from a Kimbo cooking fat advert :-D). In her defense, I know a number of people my age who are shorter than I am and a lot more who are taller. I hope you now get a drift about how ‘tall’ I am. 🙂
For the purposes of this blog post, I will refer to myself as ‘short’. At least I have already explained how tall I am so perceptions ought not change :-). I just decided to look at incidents from a different perspective; looking at the glass as half empty as opposed to half full.
Height for me is hardly ever an issue. Though I presume that the air down here is a lot more contaminated compared to the one tall people breathe (‘Yo tall peeps, how’s the air up there?), I really enjoy being short. There’s a downside though, when I sometimes fail to notice someone I know who’s a lot taller than me as I walk on the streets since I’m either preoccupied mentally or my field of vision is limited.
Short people get away with lots of stuff. For instance, I am allowed to access certain buildings that require one to produce legal identification since it is easy to believe that I do not have an Identity Card. I bet many other taller people who have attained the age of majority but do not have ID cards have a hard time convincing security officers to let them in. Short people are also thought to look more innocent but that is very debatable.
Though I don’t mind being short, there are certain incidents that rub it in and make me realise how ‘not-so-tall’ I am. Such incidents happen a lot at the shops… those small kiosks that have some sort of window where the purchases take place. Picture me standing at a kiosk trying to get the shopkeeper’s attention. The ‘window’ is conveniently high, the kind where the shopkeeper would have to lean over to even see my shoulders. My hands come in handy so I place my money at the counter but even before I finish saying what I want, two tall men come over, tower over me and make their purchases before I do. I ‘look up to them’ and give them a glance that seems to beg some respect. They ‘look down at me’ and walk away smiling at their quick purchase. I finally make my purchase and walk away smiling but for a different reason. I remember it had happened a few days ago and all I can think about are ‘the hustles of one short lass!’
There’re people who are exceptionally tall and the difference in our heights gives me a good laugh as I walk around town. Then there’re those who have to bend as they walk through the aisle in the bus. I can hardly even reach the roof of some buses when I stretch my hand so it amuses me how they have to bend.No wonder I get this happy feeling when I have to go through the very (very,very) few gates that have me bend.
What of how they inscribe ‘Mind your head’ in supermarkets where the roof is low. I hardly notice such places and if I do, I just smile at the irony. The ‘Slippery floor’ inscriptions are more appropriate for some of us :-D.
The other common incidents happen in the bus on my way to school. Like that time I didn’t want to get late for class so I boarded the first bus I got at the bus stop. Unfortunately, the only seat left was at the rear end of the bus. I avoid those seats with good reason but I didn’t have much choice then.
I got reminded about my height the moment I sat and my feet could not even feel the floor of the bus. It felt like a five year old who has their legs hanging midway when they sit on a plastic chair. It didn’t help that everyone else had their feet well on the floor of the bus. Less than five minutes later, the roughly driven bus hit a pothole near a bump and I was HURLED into the air before I landed back on my seat with a thud! Imagine a woman winnowing seeds.., that period of time when a seed is in the air before it gets back onto the tray.., or a person jumping from the tenth floor of a building_ that’s how it felt. The feeling in my head was indescribable, not to mention the horror and the weird, awkward feeling in my stomach. That incident was repeated like thrice. One would think the effect would’ve been less on the third time but there’s nothing like getting used to some situations.
No wonder I have every reason to smile today. At least the wedge heel of my shoes has helped me reach the floor of the bus. I feel more at home, more like the passengers beside me. I can lean back and enjoy some peaceful sleep without having to worry about my legs. It’s a bit dark so I can’t read the classic in my bag and I am in no mood for my playlist. As soon as I pay the fare, I lean back and close my eyes, the sly smile still plastered on my face as a reflection of the joy in my heart… and I smile all the way home.
It’s the little things in life that bring me happiness.