Get a Life: Shopping as a short person
All through my life, I have had to alter my clothing due to my diminutive size. I use the word diminutive because it sounds so much more elegant than just saying I’m short. Being short creates a variety of problems.
Nothing catastrophic, of course. It’s just a nuisance, and one that grows exponentially with age. I was once 5 feet, one half-inch. I am now 4 feet, 11 inches. At this rate, I will soon become a head with legs.
It’s not just the reduction in size that is problematic, it’s also where the skin goes along with reduced height. Mine went to my waist. I am praying it doesn’t go to my ankles, which would make me look like a box.
Going shopping for clothing has always been a very interesting experience since I have been blessed with a body that has a long torso and short legs. When I try to buy pants I always have enough material left over from shortening them for a pair of shorts.
The salespeople I have dealt with always suggest I wear a big heel to “lengthen the look”. However, many of the heels today are so high that you need someone who is proficient at walking on stilts as a consultant. I also know that as a recipient of two knee implants, the likelihood of walking in anything other than a pair of hobbit shoes is highly unlikely.
Buying a top is not as bad as purchasing pants or a skirt. But my bust has always been a little grandiose which makes me feel like I have a shelf hanging over my waist. A lot of the tops today are made to hug the body which often makes you look like a tire. I also dislike the feeling of the material, which seems to be made out of something that takes you prisoner.
Trying to get it over your head is akin to burping a Tupperware jar to get it open. Yes, you can buy a blouse that skims your body and seems to float around you. However, when you have a generously sized bust, you really need a bigger size, which then makes you look like you’re wearing a tent.
So whats the answer for us “shorties”? Well, I have decided to engage a seamstress to make me several outfits that are interchangeable. I certainly don’t need a lot of clothes anymore, I probably never did. My mother, who survived the depression, used to look in my closet and ask me if I thought I might be able to sell them at some point if I needed to pay the mortgage.
I find that the best way to handle all of the above is a sense of humor. I now tell people “ I’m a short person, who thinks tall”!
Author, humorist, PBS star and Fortune 500 trainer Loretta LaRoche lives in Plymouth. To share your pet peeves, questions or comments, write to The Humor Potential, 50 Court St., Plymouth, MA 02360. Visit her website at stressed.com.