I live in the Philippines and sometimes I get the feeling that everyone in the country is shorter than I am. That’s not true, of course, but there’s a lot of short people around me all the time. I’m not really a tall person, relatively speaking. I’m somewhere between 5 feet, 10 inches and 5 feet, 11 inches depending on who’s doing the measuring. My wife, Josie, is one of the short people. She stands at exactly 5 feet tall. But that’s not really short either. Maybe by American standards but not by Filipino standards.
I had a sister (now deceased) who stood at 5 feet, 2 inches. She was the shortest of all the women in my parents’ family, out of five total. I don’t know who’s the tallest and it really doesn’t matter. We are of both European and Native American descent. I have a brother who once stood at six feet, 3 inches but I think he lost height when he had back surgery. One brother is shorter than I am and the other three are taller than I am.
Out of all the relatives on my side of the family, I can remember no women shorter than five feet but I’m sure there has to be at least one. I don’t know of any men taller than 6 feet, 3 inches but again, there must be at least one.
Who or what determines you belong to the short people group or the long people group? Tall people are only tall to short people and short people are only short to tall people. Life would be so much easier for all of us if we were all the same height, wouldn’t it?
I don’t have a problem with most things in the United States but in the Philippines, it’s a completely different story. I have trouble finding clothes that fit. And I’m not just talking about shirts and trousers. I’m talking about shoes, flip-flops and underwear as well. Did I move to a country of nothing but short people? Hardly. I know Filipinos who are taller than I am. I’m sure they have the same problems with clothing that I do.
What annoys me are services. Commercial air travel is one of them. I swear the seats are made for short people because only short people can get comfortable sitting in them. I hate ducking under overhangs designed for short people and only because they were designed by short people, with no forethought about taller people.
People affected by dwarfism are out of proportion, even if only by a small amount. Most short people have the right proportions. Another woman once called Josie a dwarf while at work and lost her job because of it. Josie has the right proportions (with a little extra due to age, but that’s a different story altogether).
People affected by dwarfism are easy to spot and they’re rarely seen anywhere in large numbers (except in movies). Regardless, size doesn’t matter. It probably matters to dwarfs (the self-esteem thing) more than anyone else.
Josie and I don’t have any issues with our differences in size. She may have issues reaching places in the house where it’s a lot easier for me, but that’s about it.
By: RT Cunningham
October 1, 2015
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