I've never been considered tall. In fact, I don't think I've ever heard "tall" and "Braden" in the same sentence.
Here are fun facts you might not have known about me:
-I was pulled over 4 times when I was 16 for "not looking old enough to drive". One of those times 2 cops blocked me and surrounded me... I guess they thought I was going to run? I kept a running tab on a sticky note in my car of how many cocky cops I had the pleasure of sending back to their squad car after I showed them a valid drivers license. It was how I found joy where others might get offended.
-I have no idea what the top of the fridge looks like
-I technically didn't weigh enough to sit in the front seat of a car without a booster seat until I was 15
-I was 4' 8" the summer before my freshman year of high school
I've since reached the towering height of 5' 7" --on a good day-- :). I learned that when you let the things other people say roll off your back, people eventually gain respect for you and leave you alone.
Even though I hated being short for lots of reasons, I learned to deal with it and use it to my advantage.
-When I ran for student government, one of my campaign platforms was "Vote for me I'm 4 foot 3!"
-My license plate all through high school read "SHORTY"
I got pretty well known for that and people made fun of me less because they figured if that was my license plate, there wasn't much else to call me. It's like when you acknowledge what you did wrong to someone who is mad at you taking away all their bullets. #win
Although I made peace with myself, I'm quite different than a lot of kids out there. If you're short, you will always get made fun of. Grown up or not people don't hold back. It's like there is some unwritten rule that making cracks about people's height is OK. I'll never understand it. To prove my point let me share a story from 9th grade.
It was the first day of school. I'm 4 foot 10 and I was a little nervous to start a new year. I had my new clothes and shoes on like every other kid and I was determined to have a good year and make a lot of new friends.
The bell sounded and it was time for me to head to class. I walked into the hallway and looked around to find the right class. The teacher was standing outside the door and I walked in hoping that I had at least a few friends in that class. Right before I walked in the door the teacher looked down at me and says "hey kid, kindergarten is the other way".
I was pretty disturbed by that comment. I'll tell you that was one hell of a first impression. I hated that teacher for a long time. Like I said I learned to let things like that roll off my back, but this one hurt. Now, I'm sure you'll agree that probably wasn't the best comment he could have made. I eventually learned to like the teacher and things worked out. It was just another experience that made me stronger.
To put this in perspective, let me just change one thing in the story and you tell me if the ending would be the same.
It was the first day of school. I'm 50 lbs overweight and I was a little nervous to start a new year. I had my new clothes and shoes on like every other kid and I was determined to have a good year and make a lot of new friends.
The bell sounded and it was time for me to head to class. I walked into the hallway and looked around to find the right class. The teacher was standing outside the door and I walked in hoping that I had at least a few friends in that class. Right before I walked in the door the teacher looked down at me and says "Hey kid, I'm sorry but there is no way you're going to fit through this door."
I would dare say this is something that would make it on the 5 O' Clock news. The teacher would be severely reprimanded and the parents would be furious. The whole thing would be a pretty big deal...
Tell me I'm wrong...
Why is it totally cool to make fun of the kid who is short (something he can't help at all) but people step on eggshells around fat people because there is some unwritten rule that you're not allowed to make any comments about them because they'll get their feelings hurt easily?..
Next time you want to poke fun at the short kid, give it some thought. Making fun of someone does the same damage no matter what is different about them... fat, short, tall or skinny.
Food for thought.