Friday, March 9, 2012

Rising to New Heights: A Short Girl in a Tall, Tall World

"You're going to be short and fat someday just like your Grandma!" I'm not sure whether or not my German grandmother meant this as compliment or a curse. As a young girl, it became a goal I vowed I would never achieve. My Grandmother (whom I miss and love dearly) always seemingly threatened me with these words. In defiance, I always claimed I would be tall and skinny. Well the skinny part is always with me, but so is being short.

I've always wondered what it would be like to venture through life taller than my 5' 2 1/2". That extra half an inch is vital when you're my height. So I never leave it off! It probably didn't help that I inadvertently decided to stunt my own growth during my adolescence. Between the ages of 11 and 12, I only ate foods that were white. So much for those leafy greens and broccoli that Michelle Obama so boisterously promotes. Lots and lots of white food. I remember loving Saltine crackers, Cream of Wheat cereal, and feasting on fresh crab while visiting my aunt and uncle in Vancouver, Canada. The "white diet" applied to drinks as well. At least I got lots of calcium out of all of that milk.

My usual 5'2 1/2"
I do not recommend this diet to anyone much less a preteen girl during those crucial growing years. Somehow my poor parents put up with this without attempting to cram hamburgers down my throat. In hindsight, my white diet really did not help me achieve any extra inches. Once I came to my senses and added color back into my diet guess what happened? I finally started to grow in so many ways!

But all of that is too late for me now and I have to resort to stashing step stools all around the house. I keep one in the kitchen to help boost me up onto the counter tops so I can reach my spice cabinet looming above the stove. I keep one in my closet to reach my cashmere sweaters and purses stored away on the top shelves. Some days it's hard to even reach the top row of clothing hanging in the closet. Step stool time! I even inherited my grandmother's step stool that I keep out in the garage. How else could I put up the flag and reach my flower pots?

Towering at 5'8" with the platform wedges
But what happens when I venture out and away from my step stool collection? I've gotten used to people bending down to my level to chat. I'm used to my feet dangling childlike off of chairs and bar stools. I've sat on my share of phone books to boost me up to the table. And I long ago started ignoring all short jokes. The only time I ever felt tall was when I visited Japan—a country where people are actually shorter than me!

Now I don't need to travel to Japan just to get my tall fix. I've recently made a simple, but amazing discover:  platform, wedge heels. Why didn't I think of this years ago?! A visit to one of my favorite boutiques—La Rue Marche in Hudson, WI—solved my short problem. My new black suede Betsey Johnson platform wedge boots have changed my life! I wear them constantly. So much that my family wonders if I will ever take them off. Not only do they add inches but the design makes my huge size 8 feet look tiny and even, dare I say, dainty. Now I have to track down some Betsey Johnson platform wedge sandals for the summer!

My grandmother's prophesy is now completely laid to rest. I've grown into a skinny and tall girl (with a little help from Betsey)!
My infamous Betsey Johnson boots

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