Once upon a time there was a girl, hypothetically of course, who stopped growing at the ripe old age of twelve. I topped out at five-foot-nothin'. Yes, Midget and Little People were frequent nicknames.
Fast forward to that all important age of sixteen where the driving test, the milestone that divided the adolescent from the adult, is administered.
With clammy hands and jittery nerves, I drove within two miles of the speed limit and whipped the Chevy extended cab truck around the small town of Visalia like a pro. This teenager offered a goofy grin and fist pumps worthy of a varsity cheerleader when I received the passing percentage of 96!
A short black-haired woman slid my paperwork with one finger across the counter to my overzealous self. The clerk had to clear her throat a few times - I was engrossed in a self-congratulatory monologue. My pride dwindled once I realized that the clerk wasn't my only audience. In fact, there wasn't a single person left in the DMV building that wasn't privy to my I'm-a-driver-dance. Including the flirtatious Dukes of Hazard looking college dropout immediately behind me in line.
Pink cheeked, I stood on the tip of my shoes to snatch the form when a fantastic idea entered my pubescent brain. No more would I be smaller than average, at least on paper. I quickly scrawled the numbers five and four on the height but hovered over the weight. If I were four inches taller, how much would I weigh?
The clerk cleared her throat for an unbelievably long time announcing her irritation and lack of patience. I quickly wrote 160 pounds and slid the paper back over.
She picked up the form with two fingers and waved it in front of me. "Honey, I weigh 160 pounds. You're closer to 106 and look at this, five-four? I'm five-two and I know you're shorter than me."
The college drop out in line behind me snickered. He coughed and asked, "You don't even know how to lie right. Girls try to get smaller, not bigger."
I pulled the scrunchie from my hair, and hid my reddening face behind it. Leaning toward the counter, I whispered, "I must have forgotten my measurements?"
The woman raised her eyebrows and huffed. Her nails clicked along the keyboard. "I'll give you five-one. Goodness, girl. Be grateful you're one of those Little People."
And yes, to this day I am larger on paper than in person.