Welcome to My World

A parody written for creative writing. Enjoy!

Nicole Richie is right; there is an entire world out there I know nothing about.  At most, I can see the very bottom layer, but there is so much more there I can’t grasp; at least not comfortably or safely.  The entire world is geared for the upper layer, leaving people like me below.  I try to fool myself into believing it is a positive experience.  I know, and you know, it is all smoke and mirrors designed to increase the pockets of those who prey on people like us, who want us to purchase items like stools, heels, hats, anything to fool the world into thinking we are tall. Stores conspicuously place items out of our reach, chairs cause our feet to dangle inches from the floor, and beds require us to hop up or buy one of those stools because the world caters to tall people.

Beautiful exhibits decorate the windows of Barney’s of New York, tilting my head to view the display in all its elegant simplicity, I see the graceful lines of the model’s form fitting jeans, the heels and the large oversized bag of an ensemble I  dream of wearing.  Pushing open the door, I immediately notice the click of heels as the sales assistant moves to greet me.

Gesturing with her hand, as if to display the expansiveness of Barney’s, “Welcome, can I assist you with finding something?”  As she moves toward me my eyes are bombarded with tightly covered, manufactured boobs wrapped in a fabric screaming ‘see how much I cost’, the first float in a fashion parade.  The boobs scarcely shift despite the perkiness of the sales assistant’s overly animated walk in heels designed to maximize her Amazon-like height and bullet shaped boobs. Reluctantly I raise my eyes to meet her eyes but she is gazing over my head. I mentally check to make sure I’m standing in front of her. Yep, I’m still here about 7 inches below her line of vision but definitely here.

“I would like to see the ensemble in the display in my size.” The sales assistant’s eyes skim over my body, not in the ‘I can’t wait to dress this person in a fabulous outfit’ but in a ‘you have got to be kidding me’ eye skim.  I shift uncomfortably, already anticipating the rejection. “I do not think we have that ensemble in a petite size, but I can direct to you a section geared toward styles designed to flatter tiny people,” she said in a carefully modulated soothing tone.  I imagine her voice marketed as cough syrup, soothing, smooth with a degree of condescension for the cough that refuses to follow the norm.

Standing my ground, “No, I really want to try the outfit displayed. I’m sure you have a similar outfit for short people.” I put it out there, yes, I’m short.  Short is not a sin, it is a fact of life.  The sales assistant should be able to accommodate my fashion choices.

Slowly she turns, assuming I will follow her into the bowels of the fashion forward, long-legged, skinny models rocking form-fitting pants, incredibly high heels and oversized bags. A tiny smile hovers on my face.  Pausing in front of a rack of pants, she says, “Here are the pants on the window model, when you are ready to try something on, please let me know.”

I look at the rack. The pants immediately in front of my eyes are 36 inches long.  What female wears 36 inch long pants?  I scan the rack from side to side searching for a length of 25 inches. The sizes within my reach range from 30-36 inches. I do not understand the concept of putting the longer lengths on bottom. I feel it’s a conspiracy against short people.  I step back from the rack to see the upper shelves, the shorter sizes are clearly marked and all out of my reach.  I do not see a step stool or the sales person.

Grasping the shelf above my head, I step onto the bottom shelf and push the stack of pants aside with the toe of my shoe. Precariously balanced on the lower shelf, gripping the upper shelf with my left hand, I stretch my right arm as far as possible. I barely graze the last pair of pants on the stack. Flicking my fingers back and forth I try to dislodge the stack.  I feel the pants shift.

“What do you think you are doing?” soothing tone now gone, the sales assistant’s voice resembles raw whiskey being poured on an open wound of affront.  Teetering, I lose my grip and tumble backwards, landing heavily on my arse. From Amazonian height the sales assistant’s thinly veiled disdain stares down at me, as if it is my fault I am unable to reach the short sizes.

Scrambling up, shades of red suffuse my face and neck. Embarrassed from falling, from being short, from being me cause me to lash out at the sales assistant, “I am trying to reach the sizes in my section, which you have purposely placed out of my reach in an effort to humiliate and belittle me.” My voice climbs steadily, growing louder and louder, echoing off the refined walls of Barney’s muted sophistication in a satisfying screech.

Years of being short, of not being part of the upper echelon of the population, years of being unable to compete in a world geared for tall people, fill me with indignation and I stalk toward the door, small steps defy the urgency of my exit, contributing to my frustration.  Behind me, the sales clerks carefully modulated voice back in place, says, “I told you we didn’t have anything for you here.”

Pausing, blindly reacting to my emotions, I turn around. My anger is palpable transforming me into a tornado of arms and legs as I launch myself at the sales assistant. Colliding with her bullet boobs, we fall to the ground in a tangle of arms and legs as I welcome her to my world.

 

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A parody written for creative writing. Enjoy!

7 thoughts on “Welcome to My World

  1. This woman isn’t just fighting the employee. With every strike, the short woman sends a vicious message of vengance to the corporate and commercial entities that perpetuate body shape discrimination.

    Why does this normal woman resort to violence? The reasons behind her assault base from a feeling of helplessness.

    First, she never asked to be born a short person, she just is and has been her whole life without her say-so. She can’t change that, but modern society claims that she should have.

    Secondly, Her willingness to purchase an outfit from a company that perpetuates a standard of false body image indicates that although she holds much contempt for the industry as a whole for their part in a huge cruel joke on her, she still decides that she has no other option but to spend her hard earned money at some place that tows the company line.

    This character is not only backed into an economical corner framed with stereotypes, she is expected to go along with the plan without any trouble. The real trouble is that the ultimate winner in this whole battle is not the woman, nor the stores, not even the mighty media that plasters the words “Skinny and Tall” to the backs of their viewers eyelids. No, the biggest gain from this poor lady susuccumbing to the common urge to tackle someone, is to the justice system. They have plenty of one-size-fits-all outfits, and they’ve made enough for everyone.

  2. All the customer wanted to do was buy an outfit from Barney’s, which would be contributing to the growth of the store as each item is sold, yet the employee shoots her down the first chance she gets? Really does sound like our generation. At the same time though, the customer is very explosive and short tempered with the employee as she tells the sales assistant that the pants were “purposely” placed on the top shelf out of her reach. Coming back with the reply that the employee did was very unprofessional, but somewhat understandable, that is, if the customer wouldn’t have come back for a fight. I feel that the customer and employee were both equally responsible for the irresponsible behavior and fight that ended up with no single person a winner. This parody was great and kept me intact with everything that was going on, just as the last short story i read i could imagine everything that you wrote about almost as if i were actually there.

  3. This story brought about a wide range of thoughts as you take a look at how she views the world. It brings about the question do the majority of slightly shorter people feel the same type of basically discrimination towards them. You feel the helplessness and the rage that she feels as she has to put in the extra effort into getting her a pair of pants in her size. You are also being shown how she feels to being seen as a short person in her world from her thoughts. Next being shown by the sales assistant as she glances over her as if irrelevant or unimportant.

    It seems trivial to me for her to see things this way, and feel that she put way more thought than necessary into such a thought. I feel that her thought on the matter is ill-suited and poorly conceived. Even though the sales assistant handled the lady’s presence poorly and in a displeasing fashion. The customer’s reaction was more horrid to deal with. Such tings shouldn’t be handled so because to be quite frank its small. The structure of this story was favorable and shipshape. The format in which she did the story to me seem superb and in no need of change in any shape or fashion.

  4. It’s ironic that the petite jean sizes were displayed so high up on the wall. Of course the workers wouldn’t notice or mind because they don’t experience having to shop the upper wall and do so being much shorter. This was a major frustration the narrator had because none of the workers understood her dilemma, rather, they judged her for being short, something she couldn’t even help. The worker already disapproved of her stature, so she was a target for the worker to have an excuse to send her awry. When she saw the woman reaching for the jeans, that was the out she was looking for and took advantage of the moment to belittle her further.
    The petite woman was treated poorly, but a lot of it was the short woman’s perspective. She automatically assumed all tall women were judgemental of petite women which insinuated an attitude that could’ve offended the saleswoman to make her behave rudely. The petite shopper obviously had rage regarding her height because she attacked and gloated the woman would feel what she felt, being close to the ground (which was funny.)

  5. Coming from a tall person, this story brings to the forefront struggles with self-esteem and self-defense image that some of the population does not think about. There is discrimination all around us and no one has been excluded from it ever.It is something to ponder from both ends of the spectrum. Do unto others as you would have them treat you. People seem to lose that in the hubbub of everyday life. Everyone has a struggle and humanity is not sensitive to the problems caused by words and actions. This story brings to light the struggles of non-model body types and how society shapes their mental state. Not to mention how it will affect future generations with the pressures of being a certain type on the outside.

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