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Thu, Jul 24, 2014

BRAGG: Plight of ‘vertically challenged’

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I don’t think I have anything to change, but one never knows.

We were playing one of those trivia-type games with my family recently when this question was asked of Tommy, “What about your wife do you think she would like to change?”

“She’d like to be a foot taller,” he said.

How true, Tommy, how true.

During each of my past three trips to the grocery store I needed help. I was fortunate to track down two different strangers to reach items from store shelves; one for a container of half and half from the rear of a refrigerated cooler and the other for a jar of mushrooms.

In the case of the half and half, I had to wait about a minute before someone (tall) came close and reluctantly asked if he’d help me retrieve the item (and heaven knows I wasn’t going to ask him to check for the latest “sell-by” date, even though I wanted to).

When it came to the mushrooms, too, I had to be specific. I wanted a jar of sliced ones, not whole, and this particular assistant looked like I had imposed upon him when I asked for the sliced ones. Most shoppers – male and female – are usually eager to help but not this one. Surely he could have seen my plight.

This weekend I went to a market in Knoxville for only one item: whipped cream.

My sister invited us for dinner on Mother’s Day, and while we pot-lucked what we had, I realized if I had whipping cream we could have strawberry shortcake for dessert (an, as an aside, I was disappointed in the shortcake recipe off the Bisquick box).  

There were two different featured brands of whipping cream at the local market. All but two of the one that cost $2.59 had almost sold out but both were out of my reach. So I “settled” for the less expensive brand because it was all I could get.

I’m usually a bargain shopper and ordinarily would have sprung for the less expensive item but since 10 or so people had obviously chosen the more expensive brand I would have spent the extra dollar to have seen what the hype was about.

But because, first, I couldn’t reach it, second, was in a hurry, and, third, no one was around to help maybe I’ll never know (although I’ll try to make a note to try it out it in the future).

Our Knoxville house has one of those hexagonal decorative windows in our bathroom that adds a little charm and just enough natural light to make it attractive, inside and out.

I keep wanting to paint the drab stained woodwork white inside and think of that often when I look at it.

But imagine my surprise when I saw Tommy peek his head out of that window to see if it was raining outside. It blew my mind.

I said “There’s no way in the world that I would fathom that anyone would be tall enough to see out there.”

But Tommy is.

When daughter Anne was discussing discipline issues with her pediatrician the pediatrician said, “Just put yourself down at her eye level for a while every day and she how she views the world.”

When you think like that, at the eye level of a two-year-old, you know why she adores it when daddy (and granddaddy) hoists her on his shoulders.

I had a lot of friends tell me that a short person like me (5’0”) dating a tall person like Tommy (6’2”) just wasn’t fair before we were married and I should save him for tall girls.

However our mixture has made some “average-sized” kids for which I feel a great deal of relief. They’ll never be as quite as “vertically challenged” as I.

So while I may bemoan the fact that my less than average height causes issues that are merely inconvenient I guess I should appreciate the fact that it can serve me well on a few occasions.

It’s a lot easier for me to get down on my knees to find the last two jars of Hellmann’s on sale are stuck way under the grocery counter and I’ll never have to lower my head to go through a door opening.

Sitting beside a 6-foot-tall, thin beautiful girl at church one day I told her that I’d trade my diamond ring for her legs – and I meant it.
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Mrs. Murfreesboro
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Jeanne Bragg, Mrs Murfreesboro, Voices
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