If you have met me, you know I am small. Very small, or rather, small for my age. I did not even know I was small until around high school. For one, my younger brother just shot up overnight.  Today, he looks like the first born in the family. Secondly I bumped into my frenemy one afternoon in the green city in the sun. He probably thought I was tall and all because my status updates on Facebook back then probably gave a sense of height. Lofty and high. Ahem. Anyway, he could not shut up about how small I was after that. Since then, 2009, to date, he has never shut up about it. He digs up blog articles on short girls on sites like Thought Catalog or funny pics and drops them on my Facebook wall. And since he has some strange influence among our Facebook circle of friends, he roped other friends in in re-emphasizing my height.

I laugh out loud at the jokes. Initially, back when I was too serious for life, I’d hate the taunting. But we grow up. Even if it is not obvious on the outside. Lol. I love being short. I love it so much, I will tell you why.

Anyone can lift you off the ground

When I say anyone, I mean everyone who weighs 50kg and above which is pretty much every normal adult out there. Including women. Yes. I have this aunt who likes picking me up in excitement and twirling me around, even when I protest. Plus a lot of men do that too. It’s like you give them some validation for being men. I can lift her and spin her around. Who’s the man? It is nice to be lifted off the ground by someone who knows how to do it. And if you are dressed for the occasion. Otherwise it will not be so much a perk as it is a heavy burden. Way heavier than you will ever be.

Hugging a tall guy is a problem. I feel weird doing it. At best I hold on to his lower torso. Don’t even picture it. I will not even pursue the subject further.

Weight? What weight?

Being naturally small, without any anorexic tendencies on your part, is bliss. In America, that is. In Kenya, well, it is not such a perk depending on who is talking. In a family gathering, it is not. Everyone asks why you have not been eating. Why everyone else in the family is bigger than you. “Kai Wambui aheagwo irio ciothe?” (Is Wambui given all the food?) Wambui is my baby sister who has quite the body to indicate a good upbringing by able parents. 😀

In a scenario where a guy is hitting on you, he will definitely lie (or maybe he is actually telling the truth) that you are the perfect size. That he loves laptops and 1GBs. I have been called a 128MB by an interested party before by the way. It is an actual perk when you look at people on societal spectacles like Slim Possible and see that people struggle with weight. Gaining a kilo for me is an Instragram-worthy feat. On the downside, every time there is a call for blood donation, I am almost always on the other side of the 50kg mark. Oh well…

The bus seat is just right

The other day I bump into my tall brother who tells me we should get on a Star Bus and I’m like why in the world? Those buses suck. Today morning, for instance, I spent 40 minutes on the road. 40 minutes! Rungiri to Westlands takes me 15 minutes on a good day. Anyway, he says the buses are the best since they have legroom. I would obviously not know that. Whatever seat, my legs, knees and feet fit perfectly. Sometimes, they even dangle like a four-year-old’s. Wee! I am swinging my legs on a bus seat in my head now.

Downside to this, some days you’ll sit next to a bulky man who thinks he owns the bus. He will squeeze you out of your seat with his body mass and poor sitting posture, legs apart. And there’s nothing you can do about it. You sat there, nobody forced you.

After the ride, you will slump onto a sofa and curl in it whole, leaving enough room for two cats and your short temper. Yeah, I know you all claim short people have a short temper. Really? So because it’s short it goes with short people. You need to think beyond the literal meaning of short in some of these things people. We are the sweetest things, we short girls. Until we are not.

Your shoes will always be cute and available

Walk into Bata, they have your shoe size in different colours and shapes. Your shoes can easily be confused with a toddler’s. They will always be cute and available. Even better when you walk into a mitumba stall. You are spoilt for choice. Downside of this little perk is that people will always assume your feet are actually smaller than they actually are. Back in campus, my girlfriend spotted some really pretty high heels in Eldoret and decided they were perfect for me. So she bought and brought them to me. Immediately I saw them I knew there was no way my foot would even make it halfway through but I tried, while stifling giggles. Of course it didn’t go through. She was shocked. Like seriously, I am small people, but not midget small! I love heels by the way, obviously. But I only do them on select Sundays. I am still short in them, just in case you were wondering. Frenemy pointed that out too.

Oh, something else. See how some people wear them rubber slippers and they literally sink into oblivion within a few months? With me, it never happens. As a kid I would dream of growing up to bore holes in slippers like one of our house helps did with her big feet. It never came to pass. Dreams are valid my two feet!

Clothes you wore as a kid still fit

Yes. The other day I wore my primary school uniform to the glee of my people at home. No, I will not post the picture here. Yes, you can ask to see me in it if you get me a new laptop. One of those with sweet specs like 1 TB disk space and 8 GB RAM. Thanks in advance. Anyway, yes. I give away clothes because they are worn or I cannot be seen in them again in this day and age, not because I outgrew them. The bedtime T-shirt I am wearing right now was given to me by my cousin. “Imperial Bank Marble Junior Savings Account” it reads. I believe I have made my point. On the flipside, I never get the right jeans size. They are always too long and require a tailor’s expertise in cutting them short. Sigh.

You will get hit on by high schoolers

This is not so much of a perk. It is unfortunate really. And belittling. Sometimes I tell myself I will stop wearing clothes that make me appear young but hey, I want to be comfortable in my own skin; and clothes. So yeah, once in a while, a boy who was probably born while I was in upper primary school will walk up to me and chat me up. I am not kidding you. Unfortunately I do not have any cougar energy running in me. Nice try, teenager. How about picking on someone your own size? Sorry, someone your own age.

You make people feel better about themselves, effortlessly

Short, old enough guys will feel safe wooing you. Perk, definitely perk. Unless he is shorter than you, which is a very rare scenario.

People will think a backpack is too big for you. Some will offer to carry it for you, the gentlemen. 🙂 In a choir or a picture, you will always be at the front. Tall folk can hide stuff behind there while you are relish the front line attention. Even if you hate the attention, you will have to get used to it. People will revel in being taller than you since they have their own secret vertical struggles. People will call you names. Like Small Shiku or Short Shiku. Even my name alliterates with the words. We were made for each other.

Maybe a tall girl reading this will share the perks of being tall or big. Or perhaps a short man. Or even a big one. The diversity. Beautiful.

 

Written by Shiku Ngigi
Mum and dad's daughter. Shouting big sister. More than a Facebook friend. Jesus Freak. Wannabe Tomboy. Mouse Potato. Earphone Junkie. Texts over calls. Writes the way she talks.

    15 Comments

  1. Wanjiku July 16, 2014 at 8:13 am Reply

    Someone just shared this and am smiling thinking ! Oh my world! so am not alone? Am so used to being lifted off the ground by my friends such that if they bend to pick something I feel they are about to sweep me up!
    Nice article

    • Shiku Ngigi July 17, 2014 at 11:24 am Reply

      Haha! We are many, namesake. We will be lifted up till we are too old for it.

  2. John Nderitu July 16, 2014 at 10:19 am Reply

    I hope you don’t ask your brother how the weather is like up there.. By the time you hear his response the weather will have changed! Great article!

    • Shiku Ngigi July 17, 2014 at 11:25 am Reply

      Haha! John, I see you’ve joined the taunting group. Welcome in.

  3. Caroline July 16, 2014 at 11:01 am Reply

    I AM NOT ALONE!! Since my campus days, I have always proposed that there be a UN Convention on us short people tihihihi. This morning I wore a grey skirt, white shirt and black sweater to work and my mum commented that I look like a school girl. Once in campus, I put on my former school uniform and I was not even charged in the matatu as they thought I was a student hehehe. Last evening, I went for a run and bumped into a lady who asked me why I have not added weight, I just smiled.
    Oh the small joys of being a small girl. Kudos Short Shiku!!

    • Shiku Ngigi July 17, 2014 at 11:26 am Reply

      Lol! Say what? You wore and walked out in it! You’re cray, Caroline! Hahaha!

  4. nyasie July 16, 2014 at 1:34 pm Reply

    Ha ha…I am the tall girl reading this article.

    – The perks and struggles of being tall

    You never have to struggle for attention, you naturally stand out and if you are like me who loves heels then you REALLY stand out – don’t have to do much for attention. If you are self conscious or self esteem is not one of your greater strengths then obviously it becomes a problem.

    Long legs and long legs in heels: They flatter a lot of outfits…when you get the right length, (read maxi dresses and jeans/trousers that actually get to the ground, short skirts and dresses that don’t look like doll clothes on you) but that is getting significantly easier with online shopping, travelling friends and good tailors 🙂

    I never lose my friends in a crowd and I don’t have to tip toe or peer over others to see what’s happening at the front somewhere.

    Hugs…I love them but enjoy them rarely, cherished are those hugs from a someone my height, especially guys.

    On the subject of men, it takes more courage for a guy to hit on a tall girl than a shorter counterpart..tends to be a perk or a minus depending on the situation. The one big advantage is that the guys who hit on you are generally comfortable in their own skin, confidence is one of their stronger traits.

    The ‘tall’ jokes pick up lines or ice-breakers are tiresome!!! As well as the ‘you are so tall!’ comments everywhere.I know I’m tall!! I checked the mirror in the morning. If you meet me for the first time, you will be excused, if you see me every sunday or every other day, at some point it has to stop…imagine I heard you the first time you said it, and repeating it won’t make me any shorter.

    Leg room is a constant problem!!! I have to seat on specific seats in both matatus and buses, so if i don’t get on at the terminus its a deathly uncomfortable ride, or if i’m going somewhere with my equally tall sister then we have to call dibs on who gets the seat with more leg room.
    On the flip side you generally get priority to sit in front in people’s cars, So if many people are getting a lift, you never have to worry about squeezing in the back 🙂

    Curling up on a sofa or on my chair while studying is not something that features in things I attempt doing. I generally go for the longest sofa in the living room(3 seater) and I don’t share.

    • Wanjiku July 17, 2014 at 10:24 am Reply

      Heheh Nyasie, atleast someone tall shared their perks and it reminds me of my friends! when I get lost in the crowd they look for me easily. and when they find me “Kako Hapa”

      • Shiku Ngigi July 17, 2014 at 11:30 am Reply

        Haha! Those ‘ka’ references. I know them all too well.

    • Shiku Ngigi July 17, 2014 at 11:29 am Reply

      Now this. This, we should have put it up on a post of its own. “imagine I heard you the first time you said it” LOL. Thanks for sharing, nyasie. Well put.

  5. James July 16, 2014 at 3:34 pm Reply

    Kalaptop…hiyo photo yako ukiwa na nguo za primary. Inbox me if our friendship is to live long…

    • Shiku Ngigi July 17, 2014 at 11:31 am Reply

      James, if our friendship is hanging on that thread… You’ll have to do exactly what I said in here. And call me kalaptop one more time… Haiya.

  6. RebeccaBecky July 24, 2014 at 1:13 pm Reply

    I am not small.. at least not any more however i have tiny feet and i love going to the kids section of Shoe shops .he he… every time i go to buy shoes at Tusky’s they keep saying
    ” Ai madam hiyo mwili yote inabalance kwa tumguu tudogo hivi??? “…
    *hides*

    • Shiku Ngigi July 26, 2014 at 1:02 am Reply

      Hehe you belong to a whole category I’d not thought of.

  7. Evans August 4, 2014 at 1:54 pm Reply

    hahaha…this reminds me of a campus friend of mine I was laughing all trough.

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