My 2018 return has arrived and I was going to post a review on a makeup palette that I was using throughout December but that can wait because I wanted to talk about something that annoys me, a real first world problem that most people will tell me that one day I’ll be thankful or will take it as a compliment.
I’m Louise, I am 27 years old and I am 4ft 11 inches. I am short. Now I know I am short not just because I need to get a ladder to reach the top shelf, not because my feet can fit into children shoes or even because if 12-year-old stands in front me I can no longer see what’s in front. No that’s not how I know I’m small, I know I’m small because people like to tell me. Growing up I had strangers, acquaintances and family members tell me “you’re small’ like it’s some massive revelation. Often followed by the ridiculous question of all; “why are you so small”?
If you were to look at my family tree you’ll probably find that there are woman and probably men who aren’t that tall but my immediate family are either average or on the tall side. I don’t know why I missed that gene but hey!
When I first turned 18 and would go out to clubs I would wear heels to try and hide the fact that I was so small (it didn’t work) – Averaged height Girls would wear heels dwarfing me still so the height difference was still there but this time I also had aching feet. I eventually gave up with the heels for night outs, I didn’t have a problem with my height and I had been told I was small so many times I am used to it. As I said I have no problem being the height I am, I didn’t really think about it until people obviously realised that I was not going to get any taller. People began using it as some sort of insult and that I should be offended when they said so.
Now on to what annoys me about my height and I feel is becoming a bit ridiculous. I am 27 and I get ID every time. When buying alcohol I fully understand that they like to be sure but I find it really offensive when my friend who is younger than me doesn’t get ID’d but I do. We look the same age the only difference is they’re an average height. It’s such a childish way of thinking that because I am smaller that I am younger.
I’m going list a few of my favourite times I’ve been ID’d
1. This is probably my favourite but also the most frustrating story. I was denied buying a PG DVD when I was 22 – I was told that I would need a parent with me. Laughing in disbelief I asked “how old do you think I am” and the cashier replied with ’15’. Surely even if I was 15, I would have been old enough to not only buy the PG but 12 and 15 certificates too. The man serving was adamant and wouldn’t let me buy the film.
2. Gaviscon which wasn’t even for me, I didn’t have ID with me as it wasn’t a planned purchase, more of a last minute favour for my Dad. I have come to expect being ID’d for alcohol but to be denied an over the counter medicine that 16-year-olds can buy but me in my 20s was declined. So inconvenient.
3. Picture the scene I walking around a supermarket buying some things for work when there is a little stand offering samples of shortbread – now I’m being honest I had no real interest in buying any shortbread but I was feeling a little bit hungry so decided to try some only to be told I had to be 18 or with an adult. Thanks, I’m 25.
4. The latest story was just last month when I tried to buy Liqueur chocolates, this wasn’t a planned purchase I was in another well-known supermarket when I saw the Famous Names Chocolates which my mum gets every Christmas and thought ‘ahh I’ll buy them while I’m here…’ as I wandered around I thought shit I don’t have my ID With me…. I’m 27 years old I’m almost 30 surely they won’t stop me from buying these chocolates. Well, I was wrong and they did stop me. Did she think me and my underage friends were gonna go down the park with box liqueur chocolates and a pack of candy sticks that we would pretend to smoke? (90s kids should get that last bit)
I do wonder if my height clouds their judgement because although I wouldn’t say I look haggard or old, I do see the grey hairs, lines on my forehead and droopy eyes. When I look at my 16-year-old sister when even on her flawless makeup days I look significantly older than her.
I guess I thought that my days of being ID would be behind me by now and people always tell me to take it as a compliment but asked to prove I’m not under 25 years old ( with Scotland’s Challenge 25 law) but there are many moments where I have had girls younger than me speak to me and treat me like a child.
“You look so grown up” I was told at a wedding last year by a girl who is 3 years younger than me.
During a disagreement with my aunt, she told me “ go to your room” when I was 23.
A few more stories of being mistaken as a child are;
1. It was a summer fair and I was walking around the stalls with my grown-up cousins their children and my young sister… one stall was inviting children to make a magnet which my sister and little cousin happily did when the lady at the stall asked me if I wanted to do one too.
2. Saturday afternoon and I pop to McDonald’s for lunch (no happy meal insight) when a worker comes over to where I’m sitting with some family and tells me there is face painting on today.
3. At a family wedding and everyone is together for a group photo and the photographer shouts “the little girl in the purple dress can you stand forward”, I actually looked behind me to see who she was talking about but of course, it was me.
4. A story that tickles my friend Lisa was when we were queuing to get into Hard Rock Calling Festival, I was standing in front of my friend who although towers over me is 2 months younger than me when the man taking the tickets looked at me and then looked right up to my friend and asked “is this little girl with you”? She took great pleasure in telling him that she was, in fact, younger than me.
I have far too many moments of “omg they think I’m a child” and I’m scared these strangers will discover the truth and that I must be a really crap adult. I hate the High pitched voices, the condescending tones. The real lack of respect shown.
But alas with many negative come a few positives so let’s list a few of the pros to my situation.
1. You know when you’re walking through a shopping centre and there’s a man trying to sell you sky or AA car insurance they assume I’m too young and don’t approach me, I walk on hassle-free.
2. My feet fit into kids shoes so I have the option of much cheaper shoes if I wanted.
3.Bus drivers giving me a half ticket. To be honest, I think I should be allowed to ask for a half, I’m too honest.
4.People are always happy to stand behind me at concerts I’ve had a few occasions of people letting me in front of them because of my height, I don’t compromise their view and their decency shines.
I know I’m not the only person in the world to be ID’d but sometimes it goes further than that and I stand by that I don’t look as young as some people have treated me and that they see my height and think I must be young. At no point do I look so young that a man needs to go over my head to ask my friend if I’m with her.
Maybe there will be a day when I can buy chocolates and Gaviscon without being eyed up and if I’m really lucky I can go to a bar with having to show the worst passport photo of all time just to really kick me when I’m down.
Before I go let me leave you with one last story of me being mistaken for a child –
My brother’s friends uncle came over one day to get something from my brother I walked in the room and my brother introduced us, bless the guy but he put his hand in his pocket and pulled out a £1 coin and told me to get a sweetie the next time I was at the shop. Safe to say I was mortified but at least I had a bag of Maltesers to make up for it.
Do you have the same problem as me? Are you older and still get ID for everything or had been mistaken for a child? I’d love to know your stories