An Open Letter to Tall People

I’m 5’2 on my tall days. Considering that the average female is 5’5 and the average male is 6 inches taller than that I am often relatively defined as “short.” Having spent a solid decade being shorter than my peers and I’ve encountered some surprising oversights that taller folks have made, mostly unconsciously. Dear friends, please consider this post an open letter on behalf of shorter friends everywhere.

Dear Taller (than us) People,

Body Odor and Hugs

Some may call it musk. Some may call it au natural. I call it smelly. So please, if you haven’t showered in a day or two please consider this when choosing to give us a big bear hug. We understand that since your shoulders are anatomically higher than ours this often causes you to want to lift your arms above ours in an embrace. Though this may be structurally more comfortable for you notice how our shoulders land square within the socket of your armpit where your slightly repelling body odor has been accumulating (no doubt over the course of many days). With no option of escape from this breath taking experience your scent has been rubbed effectively into our clothes so that for the rest of the day you will be on our minds and not in the good way. Yes, we will begin to resent you.

So for all future hugs you we see two viable options, either shower more frequently and rid yourself of the smell or bend lower in the hug so we can throw our arms over yours instead.


Head as Armrest

Imagine yourself among 17,000 screaming fans singing along at the top of your lungs to Blink 182 who is putting on a rather well done show. As the song crescendos and then fades out you stop the ecstatic dancing to catch your breath along with the thousands of others sweaty bodies squished uncomfortably close together in the mosh pit. Out of nowhere, “thump!” an arm lands on your head. Not a pat, not a tap – the tall man behind you is now using your head as his armrest. What the @#&!! We’re not sure in what universe this man-boy was raised but in our world to use a stranger’s head to rest a weary limb is just not okay. Short person ≠ ottoman.

I trust most of you have enough “personal space” respect to know what’s appropriate and what’s not but apparently it’s still worth mentioning.

Reaching Things

Never underestimate your value, tall people. You, dear friend, are invaluable when it comes to reaching things that would otherwise be risky or dangerous for us to pursue. There comes a time in every short person’s life when we have to give up the hope that the well choreographed tiptoe dance we’ve concocted to lift an item from the cupboard shelf (a dance mind you that would put a prima ballerina to shame) will just not cut it. In truth, instead of a small bruised ego we limp away with a big bump on the head where whatever we were reaching for just fell on us with inconceivable accuracy. But you, you are the gentle giant that saves us from inevitable disaster (and unnecessary pain) and with ease you retrieve the object from its perch.

If ever you are feeling under-appreciated or irritated at the frequency you receive a request to grab something just know that we would be a sobbing, hobbling mess without you, every time. Please, accept our humble gratitude for all past and future appeals.


Natanya Shorty Nugget Green and all other Munchkinlanders


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