I am a 5’2” full-grown human, which is a perfectly good size. It was a perfectly good size when I lived on the east coast, where either the quantity or average height of other fully-grown humans was seemingly closer to the neck of the body woods of my own. It’s a perfectly good size now that I’m living back in the land of the Norwegian giants, even when I find myself in a conversation in a group of lovely hockey moms and I realize I’m talking to a bunch of shoulders.
There are a lot of benefits to being shorter than the average bjørn. I’m like a compact car; I fit in every spot. When I was growing up, that spot was often the front middle seat of the car. Whereas other people pay extra for airplane seats with leg room, everything to me is leg room. Also, I can wear children’s clothing sizes, which means there is absolutely no limit to the amount of glitter and sequins available to my wardrobe.
I get my height from my paternal grandparents, and in comparison to them I’m a real size success story. Neither of my grandparents scaled the 5’ mark; my grandfather had to sit on a phone book to see over the steering wheel of his vehicle. “Small and mighty,” as my father – who continues to tower over all of his Silverman relatives at 5’7” – liked to say. I think we all had a little more hope that I would be “mid-sized and mighty” when I stretched into the 5’ range in the fourth grade and became a top scorer on the basketball team…that is, until the fifth grade, when I ran smack into both my adult height and puberty and spent the rest of my school days (bleaching my mustache and) cheering on the basketball team from the bottom riser of bleachers.
My (not Norwegian, but Polish) Kyle is 6’3”; a 13” height difference. To put that in perspective, I am 11” taller than my six-year-old. If you are thinking Kyle and I probably look like a father and Benjamin Button daughter when we slow-dance together, you are right. While our size differential lends a whole new meaning to dancing “cheek to cheek,” it’s usually quite convenient on a day-to-day basis. For example:
We have a large clear plastic tray. We bought it to carry food from the kitchen to the grill. That tray dutifully ferried hot dogs and hamburgers for a number of years and is now ready to be retired to a place outside of our house that rhymes with “becycling benter.” I threw away gently placed that tray in the garage, only to find it the next morning being used by the aforementioned six-year-old to eat Cheerios in the basement.
“Fine, we can keep it,” I told Kyle, “But I don’t want to see it.”
He thought about that for a second, and then slid the tray on top of the cabinetry over the refrigerator – completely out of my eyesight.
“Perfect,” I said.
Like I said, our height differential is usually quite convenient. He doesn’t need a ladder to change a light bulb; I don’t need to bend down to tell if our kids have brushed their teeth. Our move, however, has posed a few interesting challenges.
Kyle is VERY lucky to have a wife who is so interested in how our house is furnished. He’s also VERY lucky to have a wife who has put together a specific checklist of projects for Kyle to (kindly) accomplish in said furnishing of said house. And he is VERY lucky to have a wife who uses that checklist to relay instructions such as “Hang this picture at eye height.”
I was walking down the hallway near the boys’ bedrooms the other evening when I realized something was amiss. I checked the light fixture; working fine. I checked the carpet; carpet-y. It was then that I realized that all the pictures on the wall were just above my forehead – right at Kyle’s eye height.
Later, we were in what can only be described as our windowless bunker (the home of a treadmill and Kyle’s law school books) standing in front of the newly-hung mirror (seriously, he’s VERY lucky) that I had marked out on the wall for installation. I turned to admire his handiwork.
“Stand up straight,” I said to him. He did, and the top of his head was cut off in the mirror.
“It’s okay,” he said. “I can’t use this room anyway because of the light” – referencing the fact that the fixture I had picked out cast its light just above his nose.
Anyways, we swapped out the fixture for a nice, flat flushmount and moved all of Kyle’s books up to the top shelf of our bookcases (which I can’t reach without standing on a book, appropriately) and we left both the pictures and the mirrors in their places so that both of us are equally convenienced/inconvenienced by our relative sizes.
The photo above is of one of the pictures in my ten-year-old’s room. You can see Kyle’s reflection (at eye height) in the reflection.
This week’s new has an Unstoppable Mission, a relocated bridge, and a Nanotyrannus. Read on.
A Bismarck woman named Emily Lang is gathering up toys in memory of her daughter, Presley. (KFYR TV)
Hankinson’s Dr. Magan Lewis was a featured guest on CBS’s “Mission Unstoppable,” which “celebrates women who have become superstars in STEM.” (Wahpeton Daily News)
North Dakota is the fifth “most charitable and giving” state in the country – and the fourth for volunteering and service. (KX Net)
Stark County is adopting a “Waste not, want not” mentality in repurposing an historic bridge as a fairway – get it, “fair”way – through the Stark County Fairgrounds. (Dickinson Press)
Grand Forks’ James Han Mattson’s horror fiction story, “Reprieve,” has been named a Publishers Weekly Top 10 Literary Fiction Title. (Grand Forks Herald)
Five area veterans now have beautiful new quilts thanks to the Valley Quilters Club. (Valley City Times Record)
Hillsboro’s Candice Monroe has published a children’s book filled with eleven short stories about topics parents and kids can discuss together. (Hillsboro Banner)
Jamestown’s Bruce Berg has donated 50 books from his baseball book collection to Jamestown Middle School. (News Dakota)
In “when one North Dakotan shines, we all shine” news, Dot’s Pretzels has been sold to The Hershey Co in a $1.2B deal.(Fargo Forum)
Only five Nanotyrannus skulls have been found around the world – including one in North Dakota. (Bowman County Pioneer)