The Oaf In Me

Preface: Let me explain, just to set the record straight, I am very average in size. I’m not big and not small. Most of the time I wear a medium at 5’6” with the obligatory ten pound overage, I am so average that it’s embarrassing. Most of the time I’m a size eight jeans with brown shoulder length hair, green eyes and all the things that make someone a standard sized human being.
I haven’t found anyone else with the problem that I’m about to describe, so let me know if you have it or if I’m just spatially challenged. Often in life and for some reason at work – in the TV and film business, there will be someone that is much smaller than I am. They have all the right appendages and usual features belonging to a human except that they are really, really tiny. Tiny, as in short, they are shorter and more petite than I am. When I stand next to a smaller person I feel like an oaf. By the way, I am not talking about a dwarf, they are a completely different kettle of fish, I don’t have any problems with dwarves, just skinny little TV anchor people and actors. The kind I have to work with everyday.
Let’s take this one famous news correspondent who is probably one of the more respected women reporters in the business. She is tiny, fit and a viper. Tough, smart, passionately driven by her work and never misses a beat. This powerhouse of a woman is petite and thin and yes she has “anchor hair.” She’s probably two feet shorter than I am and when I do her makeup I tower over her even when I pump up the makeup chair all the way to get-a-ladder-height it is still not high enough. She has a body to die for and the kind of brains one only dreams about. So why can’t I focus on these wonderful qualities and not my own self-image of feeing like a moose when I stand next to her. Other words like clumsy, ungainly and awkward come to mind too. It all becomes disconcerting and disturbing enough that I become intimidated by my oafishness next to them and can’t do my brainless job. Why? What happened in my past to make me feel like a lumbering clod next to short people? Whatever it was, must have been a doozy.
I have a friend that is Vietnamese, she is not in TV but she’s another teeny tiny person. I can forgive her smallness because she is Asian and “all” Asian women are beautiful, thin and petite. She is very cute with a huge personality and is quite resilient after her upbringing or lack thereof. At first I felt that same old over-fed-American feeling when I stood next to her but I ignored it. As it turns out she is my hairstylist so most of the time she stands above me when I sit in the salon chair. We have become friends and even though I try to ignore those sensations of “oaf” I still feel gargantuan around her and her perfectly little high-heeled feet (I wear a size 10 shoe or should I say size 10 flipper? Not so average I know, but my enormous nose balances out the big feet), moving on.
There was a man that I felt the same way about. He is really famous and handsome and really little. We were shooting on a boat one time outside of Ft. Lauderdale. I am not quite sure why I didn’t make him up on dry land but there we were on a rocky Coast Guard boat doing makeup. He was in a low chair and was looking up at me as I did his makeup. “You’re like the statue of Liberty,” he said. When he stood up unable to keep his balance he held onto my hips to steady himself. Is it me, or am I just interpreting these things the wrong way? I mean really, the statue of liberty? These guys (and women) look larger than life on television but step away from that lens and it’s “look mommy, I shrunk the actor!” So why do I have this thing about short people. Does anyone else feel like this besides Randy Newman (remember the song about short people?)? Do men feel like this with other shorter guys?
I understand this is my own peculiarity and by the way, it’s not like I dislike these little people, not all, I just feel huge next to them. Does anyone else feel this way – whale, oaf or moose like next the petite little people? Maybe I’m bigger than I think I am?

2 thoughts on “The Oaf In Me

  1. If it helps, love, I always felt I towered over you. :—) I think that women of our generation are programmed to the extent that those thoughts will always enter our minds, but we don’t need to let them attach in any way– positive or negative.
    But then I towered over lots of people, and had to make peace with my “inner oaf”, who actually has made quite outward appearances many times.
    Oh! Read “Flight Behavior”.
    Love, Bean


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