• The Long and Short of It

    UnevenWhen I was about eleven years old, my mother decided she would stop spending good money to buy me clothes. She was certain that any minute I would sprout up and outgrow everything yet again. She had good reason because when I was eleven, I was the tallest kid in my class. By the following year every kid had outgrown me, and I was the shortest in the class.

    That has never changed. No matter where I am, everywhere I look I’m reminded how short I am. If I keep moving, it’s not so bad. It’s hard to hold a measuring tape up next to a blur. That’s what I tell myself anyway.

    My lack of height becomes somewhat of a handicap at the grocery store. Why is it everything on my list always seems to be on the highest shelf?

    Other occasions when my vertical challenge becomes pretty obvious are when I’m standing beside another person–in a group, a queue or a conversation–another person like bestselling author Jenn McKinlay.

    Jenn is tall, nice and lives in Arizona.  Because I also live in Arizona, I sometimes have the opportunity to talk to Jenn. I like to hang around bestselling authors, and besides, it’s always good to see her. I’m not so sure the feeling is mutual because every time we meet, I whine about being so short. If we snap a picture standing side-by-side, there I am, looking at her waist. Not by choice.

    Jenn stopped by our booth at the Tucson Festival of Books, and we posed together for a photo. As usual, I complained a lot. “You know, in all fairness I should be standing on a chair.”

    Now for those of you who’ve never had a conversation with Jenn McKinlay, let me tell you how smart and funny the woman is. Always ready to go along with any shenanigan–within reason.

    EvenIn answer to my whining, she smiled and gave me a playful look. “Want to stand on a chair? Let’s do it.”

    As resourceful as her words, she located a chair and I stepped up onto the seat. You can see the results right here.

    Look at that, will you? We are almost equal. In height, I mean. Of course I can’t walk around with a chair or drive a car standing on one, but hey, it was a cool experience. For a few minutes I was able to look at the world from the same altitude as Jenn McKinlay. I stepped down off the chair then, and we took a regular picture. That’s the long and short of it. End of story.  

    #tucsonfestivalofbooks  #JennMcKinlay  #

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