Does this make me look short?

Most of the time I would be ever so grateful to be one or two inches taller.
For a short time when I was 10 years old, I towered above everyone else in my class at Sixth Street School. Alas, then my growth hormones decided they had better things to do.
In my pre-teens, I stood on my tippy toes and stretched in front of my dresser mirror, hoping my shell would crack.
I tried hanging from the door frame—letting my legs dangle in hopes gravity would make me taller and that I’d reach a new mark on the measuring stick graphic drawn by my dad in permanent marker on the wall of his carpentry shop.
When I was a youngster, I believed my short stature was the result of being stunted by guilt after a stern warning by my Sixth Street School principal, the late great Ernie Buchan.
He had figured out it was me who had made several alterations to the daily attendance sheet in my Grade 4 classroom when no one was looking and confronted me about it after school one afternoon.
For reasons I still don’t understand, I was convinced that I wouldn’t get caught (while waiting for the bus in my classroom) rubbing out the “P-for-Present” beside every other student’s name but my own and pencilling them all in as “A-for-Absent.”
Though Mr. Buchan’s reprimand amounted to nothing more than a reminder about right and wrong, it cancelled out any and all seedling plans to be a mischievous kid ever again.
My short stuff harangued me in Grade 9 gym class. I couldn’t volley the ball over the net; I couldn’t spike, dribble, or slam dunk my way through any sport on the gym floor.
I despised gym class for that reason. I also wasn’t allowed to shave my legs or underarms when I was 13 and I really, really needed to do that.
By the time I reached the end of high school, my goal in life was to be an airline stewardess. I had taken deep-thought stabs at psychology and biology careers but given that I always got a “D” in math class, and dropped out of math as soon as the powers that be allowed it in high school, those job options appeared a tad far-fetched.
I opted for a two-year course in Travel and Tourism Administration at Confederation College in Thunder Bay. I could be a travel agent and a stewardess. I was glassy-eyed about catching the “red eye” to France.
I went post-secondary with bells on—until our lead professor in the Travel and Tourism program asked each of us to tell the class what we wanted to do when we graduated in two years.
He pulled me aside after class, and though kind on his words, said I was too “short” for airline duty. Talk about having your hopes crash-landed.
I also was blessed with the curvier end of the Greek figure and the “XL” tattoo on my behind. In all of my life I don’t think I’ve ever slipped on a pair of pants in a department store that aren’t two sizes too big in the waist to compensate for my junk in the trunk, with three-four inches of extra length in the leg to remind me that I did not make the “average-to-regular” percentile list on the sewing room floor.
And though on numerous occasions I have declared a personal boycott of panty hose that claim to be “thigh and tummy slimmers,” I continue to buy them (as I do the large Hershey milk chocolate bars partially responsible for why I wear the demon nylons).
I continue to pull a groin muscle and strangle everything below my belly button inserting myself into the undergarment—pushing that last little bit of curvy fat down into the waistband while turning blue.
And though I always manage to pour all of me into the evil contraption, I’m left with rolls of extra nylon pooled in wrinkles at my ankles like an elephant’s back leg because I’m too short (my height and weight don’t match the chart on the back of the product card—ever).
Here comes that Christmas party dress again, short stuff. Hold your breath.

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