I am a very small person. This has been a central part of my life, and it’s time that I address the issue in print. So here I go.
In the past day or two, several people standing next to me have nonchalantly and honestly asked their friends if they have grown over the summer and in the past month here at Cornell. This is the boost of confidence I get to enjoy giving people all the time. Next to me, people feel tall, powerful, and confident. It has very little to do with my personality or stunning good looks. It merely has to do with my height. I am a full five feet of fun.
And I have something to say to those people. Bigger is not necessarily better; you cannot get piggy back rides any time you feel like it, and you cannot squeeze comfortably into the trunk of a car, a surprisingly useful advantage. we can buy clothes from the children’s department, saving and invaluable amount of money, and we use up less sun block in the summer. People feel obliged to do things for small people. I rarely have to get things off of shelves or put the dishes away. There are other advantages to being short too. Short people have a serious advantage in Limbo, being closer to the ground, and they always get to be the inside spoon no matter who they spoon with. You can also get hand-me-downs for the rest of your life. Let me just say it’s a pretty sweet deal.
That being said, it has its disadvantages. Sometimes a short person can go unnoticed, being well below the line of vision of many people. It does allow one to sneak in and out of rooms easily, but it makes it much more difficult to make a grand entrance in a room full of people. Instead, one has to combine noises and large movements to attract the kind of attention that a large person might get simply from walking in. And now that New York State has added restrictions about being disproportionate to qualify for a midget handicap, small people can’t even get handicap parking permits and have to walk just as far as everybody else when they drive places. The nerve! Large people also have a tendency to overlook small people or they think that they can easily overpower them. I was driving in my car the other day, a black VW bug, and I was stopped at a stop sign. A TCAT bus came around the corner, and completely ignored the fact that I was at the stop sign. I had to slam into reverse and back up a good ten feet to avoid being crushed into the pavement by the monster menace turning the corner. Just because my car, like me, is abnormally small, does not mean that it is not powerful or that it does not deserve road space as much as a clumsy clunky bus. I demand respect! (Even if I have to demand it louder than most to get you to look down and see me!)
As a small person, I think it is important to let all you big people know once in a while that you’re not so special after all. Don’t let your size get to your head, because being small can be just as advantageous, even if you don’t notice it way up in there in the atmosphere.
Archived article by Becky Wolozin
Sun Staff Writer