From Pipi’s Pasture: Too short to reach tamales |

From Pipi’s Pasture: Too short to reach tamales

Diane Prather/For Craig Press

Readers often recognize me from the picture that accompanies my columns in the newspaper, and sometimes when I’m running errands around town— such as at the grocery store or post office — they introduce themselves. Seeing me in person must be somewhat of a surprise because they often comment about my height.

“I didn’t picture you being so short,” one lady commented when I met her near the deli at the grocery store.

Twice I’ve had young boys, about 7 years old, hold the door for me — once at the post office and another time at work. I commented on their wonderful manners while their mothers beamed.

“You’re so small,” one boy said.

“Why are you so little?” the other asked.

It’s true that I’m short — just a little under five feet. I really don’t mind being short, but there are a few disadvantages.

The first is not being able to reach merchandise off the top shelf at the grocery store, and it seems that a lot of things I need are out of reach. Just yesterday, for example, I was hunting a can of tamales. I couldn’t see them. When I came home and told my husband Lyle, he said they were way up on the top shelf. The same goes for pinto beans, small cans of shortening, and jalapeño peppers.

I’m not the only customer to have this problem. People have told me that they climb up on the bottom shelf. I’m not brave enough to try that, but I have resorted to using something like a spatula to pull the product closer to me. Sometimes this doesn’t work so well. Once I dropped a bottle of pickles in my pursuit, and it broke, spreading pickles, juice, and glass all over the floor. A clerk was kind enough to clean up the mess for me. He even reached another jar of pickles for me, and I wasn’t charged for the broken jar.

Sometimes I ask another taller customer to help me reach something. Some years ago I met up with a tall lady at the store. She couldn’t read the label on a can. I read it for her, and she reached whatever it was that I needed. It’s a wonderful example of working together.

Of course I could always find a clerk to help me, but I have an awful habit of shopping during a break at work, and I can’t always take the time to look around for help.

Another disadvantage of being short is not being able to get up in our pickup truck since it doesn’t have a step. It depends on where the vehicle is parked — sometimes it’s easier than others. And then there’s parallel parking if I have to park between two vehicles. I’m just too short to see where I’m backing up. I guess I need to drive one of those new cars that practically parks itself.

All in all, though, being short isn’t all that bad. If that’s the only problem I have, I guess that I can deal with not being able to reach a can of tamales!


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