Six Degrees
OpinionShaindle's Shpiel

Six Degrees

I happen to be gifted with a very discerning eye, which makes measuring the heightof people particularly easy.

Shaindle Schmuckler spreads her energy and humor as a regular contributor to the Atlanta Jewish Times.

Shaindle Schmuckler
Shaindle Schmuckler

I have not run any studies. Nor have I run around with a tape measure accosting innocent folks.

I happen to be gifted with a very discerning eye, which makes measuring the heightof people particularly easy. (Not so gifted with girth.)

I never actually measured any of my aunts or for that matter my uncles. I did not have to. It did not take more than a nanosecond for me to collect enough evidence to be able to unequivocally say: my aunts were shorter than my non-Jewish friends’ aunts. For example: my friend Theresa’s aunts’ height started, yes started, with her shortest Aunt Mary, at 5 feet 6 inches, I think. All I know is I had to stretch my neck when speaking to her. OK, just kidding, but I did have to look up!

My little mom (z’’l) and her sisters (z”l), had to have pillows behind their backs when relaxing on a sofa. This tactic allowed them to almost, I stress almost, touch the floor with their feet. Sometimes they just sat toward the front of the sofa or chair — this seemed to work quite well for them and their size 5 little feet.

If one of these tactics was not employed, feet would stick out at a comfortable 40-degree angle. Unfortunately, no video available for a YouTube moment.

Thank our lucky stars none of them drove cars. On the other hand, if they did, I would have had the opportunity to make my presentation to “Shark Tank,” and become a millionaire with my colorful, easy to install, car pedal pushers.

Will I get hate mail for the following generalization? Gosh, I hope not. Jewish folks of my mom’s generation — how shall I say this with political aplomb and correctness, which, by the way, did not exist when I was growing up — were short! Body image be damned!

Yes, yes, I am aware that other peoples are short, however, my story is about my family – a family of shorties.

This particular physical attribute carried over to my sisters and my cousins. True, one or two are in the 5-feet-5 or -6-inch category, but they don’t count because I don’t know how that happened.

Admittedly, I anticipate most of my grandbabies will be taller than me.
I understand how that happened. Two of my girls married up! I refer to the height of my sons-in-love! Two of my girls went linear. Of the 10 grandchildren they’ve gifted to me, most are already taller than I am; the younger ones will be.

Thank goodness it was the number one grandchild who made me a savta. We will always be the same height. I feel seriously validated when I am with her.
So, you wonder, what brought all this on? You would not have to wonder if you knew where my work cube and desk were located.

I am less than five feet from the entry door. Everyone needing to check for mail, requiring IT consultations, having an appointment with any one of our senior staff must walk by my work cube.

One would think I would see each person as they open the door to enter. The ‘walls’ to my cube are about five feet in height. I see and acknowledge the tall folks who enter, the short ones, not so much. I hear them, but never see them. Occasionally I see the tippy top of their heads. I can recognize folks by their tippy tops.

Now, I beg you, with all the anxieties consuming us in these challenging times, do not get bent out of shape with the following discovery I am about to share with you.

I remind you of the words at the top, and I quote:

I have not run any studies; nor have I run around with a tape measure accosting innocent folks.

It would seem to me, from where I sit, in a chair that is lifted to the top rung so I can comfortably reach my keyboard and comfortably sit on the edge of my chair, most of the taller folks are six degrees of separation from my childhood friend, Theresa Mary Elizabeth.

My family, six degrees of separation from Dr. Ruth.

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