There was someone I was working with recently who got on my nerves. Not one of my nerves. The whole plexus. Like, the.whole. nerve.plexus. My new thing with people who I don’t like, is praying for an opportunity to show them love. Yeh, I see you rolling your eyes at how ridiculously twee that sounds, but trust me, I need it. Because my natural instinct is to insult them. And out of the million things I could insult this poor man over, the first thing I came to, was his height. “Ridiculous little hobbit..”, I thought, as I watched him meander around. The only way to comfort myself through his continual jabs, rudeness and general folly he insisted on dropping all up and through my life was to silently mumble “Keep trying my patience Frodo…”.
The irony of this, is that I am by all accounts, rather height deficient myself. In fact, I am simply undeniably short. Not even average bordering on short. Just short. I can’t buy regular trousers because they always trail on the floor, sweeping the pavement as I trip along drowning in swathes of unwanted fabric. The trend for cropped MJ type swingers is my saving grace because it means that trousers now fit me perfectly. So I literally have no reason or right to ridicule anyone about their lack of stature. It’s hypocritical. And it’s downright unfair for me to make fun of what is literally a result of the random toss of the genetic die.
See, generally, I have a lot of love for short men (despite the silent mental abuse I’ve written above) – I just don’t want a relationship with one. I have male friends who are short (short is relative and at 5 ft 2, my short is shorter than most people’s short) and they are great people – smart, sweet, funny, kind hearted, good with children, general all round good eggs. That makes me feel like a bad person. Ok, it probably DOES actually makes me a bit of a bad person. I was talking to a rather tall man who I rather like about this, and he laughed. The slightly superior laugh of a man who has, presently, and forever will have, a downward gaze with which to view the short men I speak of.
We started to discuss whether the fact that a lot of women prefer tall men was to do with a basic natural instinct, or some sort of social conditioning in the same way that women are held to unrealistic standards of beauty. I compared it to women’s hips – men are apparently attracted to women with a certain waist to hip ratio because of childbearing capabilities, I’m attracted to taller men because of…protection capabilities. I’m already short, and I just don’t feel safe with men that I can make eye contact with too comfortably. Whatever my rationalisation, it didn’t really avoid the fact that I’m simply being a bit shallow. Yes, I can claim it’s because I don’t want my sons to have a Napoleon complex. Or I can claim that “my preferences are my preferences”, but ultimately, if my preferences are based on an unfair expectation that is ruling out a slew of potentially eligible men, then I probably need to recondition myself to change my preferences, right? For the first time in my life, it’s dawning on me that I might have something in common with those ridiculous creatures who claim that ‘light skinned girls are just my preference, innit?” I know it’s wrong to rule someone out based on height. I know it’s shallow. And I know it goes against everything I believe. But I just can’t help it. I’m scared of being with a short man, honestly, it’s a genuine phobia.
In fact, I was talking to my friend about my future husband a few months ago, and I said ” I know he’s going to be everything I NEED – kind, funny, responsible, nice enough to put up with my craziness, but strong enough to tell me when I’m being ridiculous…but I’m so scared God’s going to give me someone short. And I feel like I deserve it. For not wanting to be with someone short”.
The problem is, I honestly don’t know what to do to get rid of this irrational fear. Maybe like other phobias, I’ll need to be phased in slowly. You know, how they talk to someone about spiders, then show them a picture of spiders, then put them in a room with a spider, then bring one close to them, and then finally get them to hold a spider? Perhaps all the men I date will need to get progressively shorter, until the final Mr Right is a proud 5 ft 4, and by then, it just won’t phase me.
Realistically though, what could happen is that I’ll make friends with a great short guy and he’ll manage to wheedle his small body into my even smaller heart and then I’ll feel like an idiot for even caring. Either that, or he’ll get friendzoned with a genuine “It’s not you, it’s me…”. Because it IS me. I’ve got issues guys.
What do you think? Women, do you have a strong height preference? Do you feel guilty for it? Or do you not care at all?