Sunday, March 15, 2015

Feeling like a square peg surrounded by round holes, a super late IWSG

I don’t know how many of you feel like the world was built for you, but my guess is not many. For me, the world is designed for people smaller than me. Now, I know smaller people swear that the world is designed for tall people, but that’s not been my experience.

My jeans are three inches too shortalways.
My shoes? I wear them a size small because they rarely make them in my actual size.
I hit my head on door jambs. You'd be surprised how many people think it's okay to have non-standard door jambs.
Toilets are designed for the Wizard of Oz's lollipop kids as far as I can tell.
My shirts always show midriff. Let me be clear, I do not want to show midriff, but woman’s clothing is designed for people 6 to 8 inches shorter than me. I wear a lot of camisoles because midriff is not a fashion choice I’m okay with.
My desk is already on two blocks, and to be truthful, I have to hunch to use it properly.
I hit my head on the roof of my car if I go over a bump.
That style of ¾ sleeves? I wore that way before it was a thing. ¾ sleeves don’t cover my elbows
Someone once asked me if I was comfortable in my chair and I laughed. The chairs don’t go high enough to be comfortable and fit under the desks.

My whole world doesn’t fit, and honestly, my stories don't fit either. To make matters worse, more and more, I don’t seem to have the ability to duck my head and stuff my stories into shoes that are a size too small. They don’t fit. Somehow, I can stuff my feet into those shoes, but I can’t make my stories suffer like that.

The only problem is, like all things, there are stories that are cute and get to wear the beautiful glass slippers (have you ever seen glass slippers in size 11? Yeah, me either), and then there are my stories. The cute stories get snapped up and it seems like everyone falls in love with them (yeah, they are cute, and they do wear those slippers like a boss, *sigh*). My stories, like my feet, have a big nob on the side. The toes might as well be prehensile, and that one is curled under with a giant bump from when the horse smashed it.

And that’s what I write. No amount of stuffing is going to get my stories into those beautiful glass slippers, and it's taken a while, but I'm okay with that. Those cute stories weren’t the ones I wanted to tell because I’m not the only person staring at those glass slippers and wishing that for once I got to have something cute and pretty, but I was too tall for ballet by the time I was 10. I’m not the only person with flipper shaped feet. They aren’t going to win any beauty contests, but they are perfect for swimming, and they’ve served me well in soccer, hockey, and fencing.

They are mine, a part of me that I can’t change. To me, stuffing my stories into those pigeon holes is like Anastasia chopping off her toe to be queen. It ain’t happening. I’m just glad that I found my voice before someone tried to convince me to stick my stories into those pretty little slippers.*

So, what do you think? Is the world made to order for you? Do you hate that tall people get everything? Are your stories the red-headed stepchildren of publishing?

*full disclosure, I do have a Cinderella story in the works, but it’s told from the fairy godmother’s point of view. It features pretty glass slippers and everything, just not for the MC. Also, I totally just watched the new Cinderella and I loved it. It was awesomeness.


  1. I was going to suggest an uplift desk, because then you could set it at whatever height you wanted~ (I'm getting one as soon as my taxes are paid) but then i realized that maybe you were talking about your work desk and that's a different beast all together. Also, uplift desks ain't cheap.

    (I'm aware this comment doesn't actually address the point ofthe blog post. I just got hung up on the desk problem)

  2. Where is the fun in a story that is cute and predictable? Well, ok, so sometimes they are great, but you can't read glass slipper stories all the time!

    Without people sitting at their uncomfortable desks, wearing uncomfortable shoes, churning out the "other' sorts of stories the world would be pretty bland.

    And, yes, at just over 5 foot, my jeans are always too long, 3/4 sleeves are full length and I have a bunion, even though I never had to squeeze my feet into shoes that are too small. On the plus side, toilets aren't a squatting exercise and I don't hit my head on things because I'm too tall - but I do because I'm clumsy!

  3. Oh, man... I hear you on most every one of those points. One of my dearest hopes about now being in WA is that I'll actually be able to find pants long enough for me. Among other things. O_o

    But I feel like that with my stories as well. A lot of what I want to write doesn't easily fit into standard categories, and my main characters aren't easily categorized either. But I think the world needs a little more non-standard stories and characters. I'm hoping to rant about something like this in the near future, so thanks for the mental warm-up. ^_^


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