At 5’6” tall, I used to be pretty self-conscious about my height. After all, who wants to pick the shortest guy to be on their team in high school? While later I had a successful career in public relations back in NYC, it’s a statistical fact that tall men, 5”10, 6 foot, six foot one, tend to go farther than shorter guys. And in my own experience, my CEO’s were always the tall ones, while their second in command who did all the real work was more a guy like me. My sister and brother-in-law are both “little people,” and when my nephew, who carried the family trait, married a girl taller than he was, I was the one to exclaim at their wedding, “Finally some tall genes in this family!”
But there are advantages in being shorter when it comes to dodging people at airports or getting around bubble butt steroid boys in the bar. And as I’ve grown older, I also realize that if you’re short and keep your shit together – exercise, watch your diet, don’t smoke, drink or do drugs – you look a lot younger a lot longer than the average guy.
Plus I’ve noticed that the super tall guys – guys 6’5, 6’6 – who I’ve encountered in my life don’t necessarily have a picnic. My financial planner who at 6’ 5 goes by the moniker, Big Ed, has chronic back problems because almost everyone he deals with is half a foot shorter or more than he. Or the 6’ 6 flight attendant who I fist fuck into delirium whenever he’s in town who confessed that when he was younger he was refused jobs by the airlines because of his height. That changed when the planes got bigger and the cabins higher.
And, after all, just like guys who are super handsome, it’s not just being tall but how you use these attributes to your advantage to open doors. But in the end you still have to prove yourself. How many times I’ve seen super good lookers working behind the counter at Starbucks who thought their looks alone were enough; or super tall guys I’ve fucked who were as passive as novice nuns. Hell, if I were a six footer, everyone would know I was in the room the moment I walked through the door. That’s why I’m a firm believer that shorter guys tend to be more aggressive and more driven because they know they have to be to get noticed.
I was in the 20 items or less aisle at Wal-Mart up in PA, anxious to get to the gym and wired by the supplement I had just taken so I could max my work-out. An older but not frail by any means guy was in front of me with what looked like a crowded basket, and as he began to place the items on the counter – I don’t know what possessed me – I started counting them!
“You sure you got only 20 items?” I retorted.
As you can imagine we got into a bit of a tiff and he threw his can of Pringles on top of the nearby soda machine – his twenty-first item – and yelled back, “OK, happy now, shortie?”(He was about 5’9,” no Goliath but, yea, taller than me.)
To which I replied without hesitation and to the giggles of the women behind me in line, “Yea, but I’m big where it counts.”