No, it’s not what you think. Though I suspect some of my liberal friends and relatives might rejoice in the news that I had was coming out as a cross-dresser, that is, in fact, not what I mean at all. Let me explain.
Earlier this week, I was in line at airport security in Washington, DC. The woman in front of me was just about my height, a towering 5’8” (more on that later). That’s actually a respectably tall stature for a woman (maybe not so much for a dude; like I said, more on that later). As I was pulling out my toiletries* and ensuring that my deodorant was under 3 oz, this gal took off her shoes and put them on the conveyor belt and, WHOA! She wasn’t even close to my height. She was maybe 5’4”. Just as I was noticing her rather diminutive presence, I also saw her shoes disappearing into the x-ray machine. The heels were at least 4 inches.
Sorry, I need to pause for a moment and acknowledge just how disgusting the whole taking your shoes off in airport security is. It is also a complete waste of time. One jackass tried to hide a bomb in his shoe and for the rest of time I have to look at your gnarled toes in the security line. Simply not fair and really really gross (see commentary on men’s toes here). But, I digress.
Back to my friend in the airport this week. She woke up and got out of bed that day as a short person. OK, so I know how that feels. Been doing it my whole life. But, here’s the difference. Like every other day of my life, I went out and faced the world as a short dude. She put on her shoes and went to work as a tall person. Wow, that was easy. So, it got me thinking….maybe I should wear heels. I admit that I haven’t totally figured out how to make it work with a pinstriped suit and oxford button down shirt, but I’ll figure that out. Maybe a modest 2” pump with my gray suit and blue tie for meetings where I want to keep a low profile . And, perhaps a 4” spike with a blue suit and red power tie for the meetings where I want to be really intimidating. It just never occurred to me that part of the female wardrobe is a decision as to how tall one wants to be on a given day, for a given meeting. That has a certain appeal to it.
Back in college, I was at a bar with a bunch of my buddies. I’m not sure why, but not only was I the shortest dude in my group of friends, but I had a bunch of really tall friends. Probably not a bad idea for a guy who was 5’8” back then too, but had a tendency to mouth off in the bars after a few beers . Anyway, on this particular night, the bar had a special on Fosters Lager. Remember Fosters? It came in those 25.4 ounce oils cans. After I had consumed two of them (do the math), I put the two cans on the floor of the bar, one under each foot. Presto, I was about 6’2”. Damn, the world looks different from that vantage point. I could see people clear on the other side of a crowded bar. Who knows what women I might have met at bars back then if I had been able to see them over the crowd. Seriously, I realized we short people miss a lot of what’s going on in life simply due to poor vantage point. I think I now have the solution. I used to feel sorry for women wearing heels as I admit they do look pretty darn uncomfortable. But, now that I see the benefit I’m fully on board. Look for my new fashion statement come fall.
*Note that I ended up leaving my ziplock baggie with all my toiletries at airport security later in the week and arrived at the Marriott Courtyard in Austin at 11 PM needing to cobble together an entire bathroom kit from the mini-Mart in the lobby. It was not pretty.