Seeing how short he was also brought back a very sharp memory from grade school (one that remains so vivid probably because it is brought up at every family gathering I attend-and a few I don’t, I dare to guess). I was in second grade and we had height and weight day in gym class. It was a big deal to be the biggest or the smallest, the heaviest or the lightest. There was no stigma attached to any label, just the fact that you got to be the “est” of anything was very cool.
Now, the gym teachers were always very careful to give the old lecture on how these results were private and nobody’s business, which, to a room of seven year olds couldn’t have made the information spread faster. Within minutes of the examinations we all swapped numbers until we had everyone in a row, tallest to shortest, fattest to skinniest. Being little kids, we all really wanted to look bigger, so those labeled tallest were, in our eyes, pretty cool. I was no where near the tallest. In fact, I won the opposite award. I was not disappointed though, because I had trumped the others in another way.
I was very, very proud to announce to my parents at the dinner table that night, “I’m the shortest, but I weigh the most!”]]>