Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Short People

I have a newfound empathy for short people.

I am 5’7”…and I do believe that’s about average height. I’m not model-tall…but I’m not petite either. By the time I put on my 4” killer heels, I’ve usually got a pretty unobstructed view of things.

However, in this age of minivans and SUV’s, I refuse to part with my sedan….and it’s here where I truly pay the price….although, not at the gas pumps. Thank God.

(FYI: Neither one of these is actually my car. This is for visually dramatic purposes only.)

I find that if traffic suddenly slows, I often have no visual as to what the problem may be. I’m mentally jumping up and down like an impatient toddler, weaving ever-so-slightly into the oncoming lane in a vain attempt to see what’s causing the holdup.

Equally annoying is the night-time brighter-than-the-freakin’-sun headlights in my rearview mirror that somehow seem to not only burn holes in my retina, but illuminate the interior of the car enough for me to spy that dropped Tic Tac on the floor on the passenger side. I realize it’s the combination of their headlights and their fog lights (which they leave on all the timethis is not Seattle, people…NO-ONE gets THAT much FOG) and which, as far as I can tell, are absolutely equal in blinding-power to the headlights…so I’m already getting double the amount of retina-destructing light bounced back at me.

So, I wind up covering my side view mirror’s reflection with my hand to save what little eyesight I may have left, whilst muttering many, many expletives that would make even the most seasoned sailor blush. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wished I could re-direct my side view mirror to shine their lights back DIRECTLY INTO THEIR EYES

…so they’d understand just how freakishly bright they are. I fiddle and I fumble as I mumble under my breath, “…show you how f*#king annoying your f*#king lights are…” as I mentally picture the driver gasping with surprise and horror at this unexpected wreaking of eye-pain, followed immediately by them slowing waaay down…allowing no less than 20 car lengths between us, out of respect and sincere apologies for their highway faux pas. All the while, I’m assuming they don’t have their high beams on…but that may be naïve of me.

Another area where I’m “driving blind” is pulling out of a parking spot….as I’m invariably surrounded on both sides by something twice my height…and there’s no freakin’ way I can see if anyone’s coming down the way. I feel like one of those 90-year-old Floridian residents who’ve just abandoned all decorum (and highway safety rules)…as I announce, “I’m backing out! Get the hell out of my way, dammit!”

Even with all this drama, (“What me? Drama??) I still prefer my zippy sedan….and if I could afford any car at all, it would probably be the Mercedes…so I’d still be down low and dirty.

Actually, if I did own that Mercedes, you’d better believe I’d keep it niiiice and cleeeeean.

carissajaded said...

Oh girl, how I hear you on this one. I am short anyway. Put me in my little Ford Escort, and I am a midget. I haven't seen a single thing on the road since the time change, since now the sun's main duty is to glow in my eyeball. I have no idea how I have gotten home from anywhere in the last month.

And getting out of the parking lot, even without sun is a major task for me...all the time.

Lou said...

I also drive a 'normal' car. SUVs are the work of the devil as far as I'm concerned, gas guzzling pigs of the road. I'm 163cm (I think that's about 5'4" so I am one of the short people for whom you have empathy - thanks for that.

A Daft Scots Lass said...

I just made 5 foot. I'm a real short-arse. I hate going to concerts unless I take a strong man with me who can put me on his shoulders for two hours!

I have to sit in a car before I buy it so I can make sure my short legs reach the pedals with the seat all the way forward, of course!

Runnergirl said...

Couldn't agree more! Wholeheartedly agree with your comment about idiots who leave their foglights on all the time too - there re so many people that do it! I can only conclude that it's because they don't know where the switch is to turn them off (this is based on the fact that I don't actually know how to turn mine ON!)

Cynica Sarcastamos said...

Lol! I love the 1st pic!
I will never drive a 'car' again. Not only have I crossed over to The Dark Side, but I'm buying and selling real estate there.
Being short in a car gets on my last nerve now so I am a full fledged SUVer. But a polite SUVer! I keep my foot out of the gas tank - and it's a Jeep so it's not overly huge and guzzly either...
(I have an old dinosaur of a 300 SEL that has been sitting in the garage for 4 years now. I still love it, but just prefer ridin' high so that I can see over all the SUVs... hmmm.)

Jackie said...

LMAO!! I couldn't agree more. I do the same thing with my mirrors. What amazes me is when I park in a parking lot away from all vehicles, then come out to find the biggest SUV's or trucks parked on either side of me so close I have to be a contortionist to be in my little car.

KT said...

5'7 is so not average. actually the average height in the U.S for women is 5'5. And for men 5'10. So, you're above average. =D
Don't even get me started on cars, driving, and parking. That's definitely not one of my fave things.

Lynn said...

Oooh--lights. Preeettttty...

My beef is when oncoming drivers have their brights on and forget, or switch to dims only when they can see the whites of your eyes.

Maybe their scoping for extra tic-taks.

Tinkerschnitzel said...

Ugh! My husband is considering installing some of those high beam lights to the top of our cars - facing backward. That way, we just flip a switch, and they know how it feels! I'm already night blind, so the bright lights, especially the blue ones, kill my eye sight. And, BTW, I'm 4'11", so I appreciate the sympathy for the shorties!

Spot said...

I'm shorter than you. 5'4" and poor Lulu is only 5'. And she looks like one of those little old ladies who can barely peep over the steering wheel when she drives. Haha. Don't tell her I said that. I do alot of highway driving and I hate those headlights behind me!! Especially as I'm trying to watch out for deer, so I don't hit them, and that's hard to do when your blind.

I have a camry so I understand your issues with bigger vehicles too. But I do love to drive my mom's Ford Explorer when I drive on long trips. Cause I can see everything!!


Anonymous said...

Haha...I don't drive anything atm, but if I could have my choice of vehicles, it would definitely be something big, like a truck or something. Though I am glad I'm not short. XD

Ron said...

OMG...this is too funny because I'm exactly 5'7" myself!!!

The only time it really bothered me was when I was living in Florida and the sun was BLARRING through the front windshield and I was too short to use the sun visor. That's when I would stick a couple of beach towels under my butt - HA!

I always had small compact cars when I was still driving. The last one I had was a Geo Metro. It was so cute because it looked like I was driving around in a TOY car.

*kinda like the one in your first photo

But hey, remember something about being short..."good things" come in small packages.


Hope you're having an awesome day, my friend!


Straight Guy said...

City driver here, so almost never use the high beams.

I think you're onto something. Mercedes needs a makeover and the slogan "down low and dirty" would certainly change their demographic.

Heather said...

I am 5'7" also.
I drive pick up trucks or even bigger. I want everyone to know I'm coming. I would love to have a one ton if they wouldn't eat so much fuel.
I don't drive at night.

Anonymous said...

I'm 5'2" and change. Trust me, there is nothing more annoying that having to look up to eighth graders or desperately needing the item on the top shelf in the grocery store to magicaly plant itself in your buggy. Clothes for the bottom half of my body almost always have to be altered, and a mere 5 lbs that wouldn't show on a tall woman looks like 20 with no distribution possible. There are advantages, one being the fact that people always assume I'm quite a bit younger than my license claims. Have you tried tinting your rear-view mirrors? Might help with that blinding issue...

Rambles'N'Shambles said...

*hi fives for short peopel and sedans*

MY grandma bought me my sedan as a graduation present, She goes "SHort people need big cars,"

I still struggle to see over the wheel years later, where I assume I have shrunk rather than grown,

I missed reading ya blogs~

Áine said...

Love that picture!! :) lol long time

Unknown said...

I have the same problems in my car. The good news is that I have adjustable side mirrors so I flick a switch and they point to the ground. It doesn't give the tailgaters their lights back at them but at least saves me from some of the pain.

I hate pulling out from most of the intersections around here because by March the snow banks are taller than my car and I can't see around them! URG!

kathryn said...

carissajaded: Oh, honey!! I didn't even get into the blinding sunsets! You'll just have to find a job that's north or south of your home. How's THAT for an excuse? I have to quit, 'cause you're EAST of me and I'm BLIND in both directions. HA!

Lou: I don't think 5'4" is so short! But I know you can relate re: the SUV vs sedan thing. It's SO annoying!

Gillian: Wow! I can definitely appreciate you're wanting to be on someone's shoulders at a concert! You'd miss all the action, otherwise. Is hubby tall? And are you driving a big-ass car to overcompensate??

Runnergirl: HA! I just can't stand the combination of the lights coming STRAIGHT IN MY REAR WINDOW (due to the SUV's height) IN ADDITION to the freakin' fog lights. GRRRRR. I'm blind, I tell ya!

kathryn said...

Cynica Sarcastamos: Huh. I'm trying to decide if you're one of the BAD guys or not. I mean, I LIKE Jeeps...and they're not TOO BIG...and I LIKE YOU...so I'll allow it. But, no FOG LIGHTS if it's NOT FOGGY. 'Kay??

Jackie: I KNOW! And don't you find yourself thinking about those movies when someone jumps out and kidnaps you?!? I know I DO!

book*addict: So, I'm above average now, and I'll be about average when I shrink into a little ole' lady? Perfect. THEN I'll drive a big ole' badass SUV!

kathryn said...

Allegria: HA! I've found myself wondering whether the new vehicles have brighter headlights, or I'm just getting old and crochety. I'd rather think it's the former...

Tinkerschnitzel: Oh! Tell hubby that I LOVE this idea...and I'm totally down with it! People need to learn to get what they give!!!

Spot: I hear you....on the Toyota (me too...but the Avalon)to watching out for the stupid freakin' deer...which (you're correct) is hard to do when you're BLIND. I've seen my own headlights reflected back at me and they're not as bright as some of these SUV's. Maybe they get the Retina-Burning Package.

Gavin: That's 'cause you're a GUY. GUYS like TRUCKS. It's like you're still driving that Tonka truck around the back yard...admit it!!

kathryn said...

RON! HA! Well, that means that our next dance together, we'll be able to see eye-to-eye. I'll wear flats, I promise. Then, we'll boogie. I'd love to get a hybrid, actually...I think it would be so cool-io to have a SILENT car. I could use MORE silence in my life. I'll bet YOU could too, right? Hang in there, Mr. Retail...we're getting there! xoxo

Straight Guy: Oh, baby. I've loved the Mercedes ever since they came out with the E-class and those oval headlights....sex-ay...

Heather: It's like we're twins! But, only on the height thing. So, no meeting for drinks after dark, eh??

jmberrygirl: Aw...I'll bet you don't mind that ppl think you're younger ONE BIT! As for the tinting of the mirror, it's supposed to be automatically doing it, or automatically tinted...I forget. I think it's just ME.

Rambles'N'Shambles: Hey Girl!!! Where ya been?? Ya sound like you're an old lady already....NOT. How big a sedan are we talkin'? Like, cadillac-big? I'm stopping over to visit you-

kathryn said...

Smileyfreak: I know! I thought it was perfect!

SMOOG: WOW. The snow banks get that tall? Ouch...I guess I shudn't be complaining so much, then. But, I still will. :O)

Indiri Wood said...

I felt really bad for a girl at work when I realized that she can't see over the cubicle walls. I had just taken that for granted. She must run in to people at corners all the freakin' time.

Natalie said...

I can completely relate to this! Both car-wise and height-wise. Seems I'm always jumping up and down to see!

Oddyoddyo13 said...

Sorry Kathryn, but I'd infinitely prefer a truck to anything shorter than me.

Lauren said...

I'm an inch taller than you and I prefer my car. Crappy car, but better than the van. By my, I clearly mean my parents'... (hides embarrassement)It's easier to drive. I can't even imagine driving my dad's I'm-At-Eye-Level-With-18 Wheelers truck. We don't actually own three cars, my parents sold the car for the truck. So I have to drive the tank... I mean, the van.

kathryn said...

Sara: Aw! That probably so true...I hadn't even thought of that. I'll bet she doesn't walk around much with a mug of hot coffee. We take that stuff for granted.

serendipitous: Right?? It makes ya feel like a little, impatient kid! That's the first time I've felt really SHORT.

Oddyoddyo13: NO! Then you can't be Zippety-Zooming-dodging-this-way-and-that...and you'll be TOP HEAVY in an SUV. You don't want THAT, do ya??

Lauren: Well, that's pretty common when you're just starting out....to drive Mom's car. I drove her blue station wagon...that car was a TANK though! probably better to have a lot of car around you when you're first learning anyway.

Unknown said...

Well, i am a good 5 foot 8" but i have petite friends and i know how difficult it is for them to drive a car in traffic and remain civilised people.

Anonymous said...

OH! Too true, sister. Now imagine yourself somewhere between 5'6" and 5'7" (which is where I am) and with a hereditary sensitivity to light. In a Mini Cooper. If I could, I would send tiny harpoons (a la Get Smart movie) along with the reflected beams of light. Aim straight for the pupils. That's right. For. The. Pupils.

(BTW, and I mean this in the most tactful way possible, did you know that it's snowing on your template?)

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