We all have that friend who hit their short-lived growth spurt around 7th or 8th grade and then simply…stopped growing. Everyone else caught up around 9th grade, and by 10th grade had significantly surpassed the early growth sputter by several noticeable inches. Then the comments began:
“Why are you so short?”
“Why are your pants so long?”
“Why can’t you reach this?”
I am that friend. I sprouted to a respectable 5’3″ by 8th grade. Then I stopped growing. I didn’t think of myself as short until I got to high school and some dim-witted, insensitive, mouth-breathing boy said those two fateful words: “You’re short.”
Suddenly it was as if the wool had been removed from my peers’ eyes, like this mouth-breather had discovered gravity or something.
“Ha ha, you’re short!”
Brilliant deduction, Sherlock.
Being short wasn’t too bad…until I started noticing some trends, trends that have permeated into my college and adult life. I present to you:
Reasons it Sucks to be the Smallest Friend
1) You always have to ride “the hump”.
Five friends traveling together in a mid-size sedan? You’re definitely not riding shot-gun. No, dear travel-sized one, you get to occupy the 18 inch space between the back passenger seats, which coincidentally offers about 18 inches of leg room as well. You do your best to make a case for riding anywhere else (“I’m claustrophobic,” “I get car sick easily”, “I’m allergic to the middle seat”.) but one look at everyone’s long, gangly legs tells you you’re fighting a losing battle. Your only hope is that the group is traveling with a guy who is desperately in love with one of your friends, and he gallantly volunteers to ride “the hump” in a thinly veiled attempt to sit close to the object of his affections.
2) All of your friends think it’s hilarious to toss you around like a rag doll.
As the tiniest friend, you’re constantly trying to have an arsenal of activities in mind, because you know the minute boredom sets in, everyone resorts to their favorite game, “Friend Toss”.
“Hey guys, check it out, look how easily I can toss Sarah over this fence.”
“Oh cool, let me try when you’re done.”
It starts to get tedious around the third person, and then it gets awkward when your weakest friend tries to lift you and you go from the tiniest friend to Fatty McFatterson in about 3 seconds.
3) Your friends think it’s funny to take your things and put them somewhere high out of reach.
This game is the alternative to “Sarah Toss” when you’re in a setting in which it is inappropriate to toss your friend around (when is it EVER appropriate to toss an adult woman around like a playground ball? WHEN?? I have a degree!!!). These settings include weddings, funerals, middle school choir concerts, and before church services, but never after. Typically, your tallest friend will take your cell phone/purse/journal/coffee/coin collection and place it on top of a vending machine, book case, or even in the ceiling tiles. Then everyone has a great big jolly laugh while you struggle in vain to retrieve your possessions, or in an attempt to retain your dignity, you simply look at everyone with disdain until someone gets hungry and suggests going to Village Inn for some pie.
4) Your friends try to take advantage of your tiny hands to scam vending machines.
Typically, your tall friends eat about 3 1/2 times more than you and about 5 times as often as you do. Therefore, they are bottomless pits of hunger, constantly in “forage” mode. So if you stroll by a vending machine, and they spot a bag on Funions dangling precariously from a ledge, they are going to ask you to try to slip your tiny hands inside and get it for them.
IT’S 75 CENTS. YOU ARE A GROWN MAN. PAY FOR THE FUNIONS LIKE A REAL ADULT.
Seriously. We’re not in high school anymore.