It is no secret that I am enamoured by all things miniature. Throughout the course of a typical day, I daydream about baby toes, Polly Pockets, those tiny model versions of tents on display at Target and any species of house pet that's advertised as being able to fit inside a teacup. This does not make me special, I know. All sorts of people love mini things. And it's not weird (is it?) to emit strange, muffled shrieks at the sight of a small thing, nor is it weird to want to pinch/squish/love it to death, and perhaps maybe, just hold it inside your mouth for a little while. That's normal, right?
I suspect that my affinity for tiny things stems from the fact that I am not so tiny. There's greener grass. It's especially green in those adorable little diorama cities. Those tiny mailboxes just tear me.
Standing at 5'10 (a shorty in my family of giants), I have always been a head above the crowd. Growing up, this was a major pisser. I was generally shy and soft spoken, and being tall only exacerbated my natural tendencies to shrink, hide and blend in. Instead, every last gangly inch of me lumbered about awkwardly, conspicuously. All my lurching and slumping probably caused my spine to curl up like a timid serpent. Almost exactly on cue with my first period (as if that alone wasn't mortifying enough), I was diagnosed with scoliosis and promptly swept off to surgery to correct my crooked posture. The surgeon stretched out my curved spine like a slinky, and when I came to, I stood almost two inches taller. Now slumping into my seat was definitely out of the question - it was impossible to even try with those two metal rods in place, keeping me loathsomely upright. But here's the worst part: For sixth months, I was outfitted with a terribly embarrassing back brace that fully encapsulated my torso from breast bone to pelvis. If dorkdom could be materialized, I wore it as an armor. Literally. When we played dodge ball in PE class, I became the prime target after my peers discovered the satisfying smack and echo the rubber ball made against my plastic casing. Ironically, I was well protected for the hardest hits.
My large life, from top, left: Brother, sister and I (in birthday hat), celebrating our large-handedness with a high-15 while small-handed Nick looks on in awe. Dad and I exhibiting our famous family wave (big hands!). Brothers and Dad, 6'6, 6'5 and 6'3. My big self.
My confidence eventually caught up with my stature. Now, being 5'10 is tops in my book. My posture is infallible. And really, I'm not all that tall, after all. Sure, I have considerable trouble folding my limbs into low riding vehicles, but for the most part, it's pretty cool to reach things, see over big hair at the movies, and to be able to palm a basketball when the rare occasion calls for it (so far, never).
Still, I'm drawn to cozy nooks and hiding places rather than wide open spaces. It's like reverse claustrophobia, I guess. If I'm feeling sick or sad, I like to imagine being held in the palm of a very enormous hand. Or cradled like a baby, or tucked in a marsupial pouch. And of course, my infatuation with small things has always been unwavering.
So with all that said, can I just tell you about the latest small creature that has me swooning and fidgety, causing my fingers to stiffen and clutch anything remotely squishable within my reach? (In this case, a plastic water bottle on my desk, now thoroughly crushed)
It's the leaf muntjac (leaf deer). Isn't she dear? They are the smallest true deer species, measuring only 2 feet tall and 25 lbs. Recently discovered in 1997, these tiny creatures populate the dense mountain jungles of Myanmar. The males even have little inch-long antlers. Can you imagine two of these little guys, facing off with antlers locked? Can you imagine leaf deer vs. Harold? They're an even match, size-wise.
Now, feel free to shower me with adorable images of cute little things. I'll return next Tuesday, with "Tiny Tuesday", where I will continue to dote on more tiny wonders.