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.