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There are those who endure hardship because of some physical handicap, other’s because of the color of their skin, still others because of their religion. I’ll not deny that these cause great anguish for those who experience them.
But I don’t fall under any of those categories – no, I am treated poorly because I am insufficiently short.
I was reminded of this again this weekend as my wife and I were enjoying a romantic weekend getaway in beautiful Brainerd Minnesota (we were there to see a friend’s wedding – it was in fact BlaChr’s – he has commented here) and as I turned on the shower, I noted (this isn’t the first time I experienced this) that the resulting water spray was well below my shoulders. For those of you who have never been forced to shampoo doubled over because that’s what you have to do to get your hair wet, I can tell you that it’s no day at the beach.
And the day before that I couldn’t see any of my face in a bathroom mirror because it assumes that no person needs to comb their hair if they are over 5 foot 10. Now it happens to be true that my hair is receding to such an extent that combing is indeed unnecessary, but that’s beside the point!
And don’t get me started about taking tours in caves.
And the thought of BlaChr starting out on his honeymoon brought to my mind the most poignant, humiliating instance of Height Discrimination I have ever been a victim to.
In the months preceding our wedding day, my then fiance had suggested that I not tell her very many details about where we were going – the beautiful Upper Peninsula of Michigan – and in the weeks proceeding the big day, I had worked hard to make all of the reservations. It came down to the point where I had gotten them all planned and booked except for our wedding night. Yes, the most important stay of a honeymoon.
I had hoped to get a bed and breakfast on our way out to the U.P. and more than one of the places I had called were all booked up. I was starting to get nervous. Had I begun too late? Finally I found a place in a nice little vacation area near here, not too expensive, and most importantly, with an unbooked room. Great! Whew!
But then, as we were starting the get-all-the-necessary-information process the owner said the words I didn’t want, and surely didn’t expect, to hear: “Oh, wait. You’re not tall, are you?”
I hesitated. He continued, “I mean, it’s upstairs and the ceilings and doors are quite low and sometimes people bump their heads . . . . so we don’t – “
I decided I wasn’t going to lie: “Well, I’m six – four”
“Oh, no, no, no. I’m afraid that won’t work.”
I’m proud to say that as we closed the conversation I kept it together. I didn’t weep. I didn’t slam down the phone. But the shame! The agony! The Dang-nabbit-now-I-have-to-start-all-over-again!
I’m happy to say that this story has a happy ending. I kept at it and, in time, found another place, a pleasant, quiet, Christian-owned bed and breakfast where my beloved and I shared a very delicious first breakfast together.
And if it was a little less on our way to our honeymoon destination, at least it’s owners didn’t choose it’s customers with a tape measure!
Two days late – another college poem
And as the Light and shadows fall across my page
I outline them with my pen
With the full hopeless knowledge that after this stage
Not one, not even I will understand them again.
These are not Grand Schemes of which I write
They are notes to a significant, lines from a far state
I feel the guilt as great poets I spite
But then possibly not, since admittedly I am not great
I write of the parallel between
The very simple and the everyday
The Grand I have not heard nor seen
But these others I may display
What of me if the abstract in me
Cannot be put by me to line?
And what, if the only rhymes I see
Are too simple to be fine?
20 Years Later my answer is: Then you’re probably not that great a poet.