Being a pint-sized adult has some distinct advantages. The stretching I do on a daily basis to reach items in my kitchen cabinets keeps me limber and flexible. My lack of height makes me appear younger than I really am. I didn’t have to pay the adult price for a movie ticket until I was 20 years old. The appalling lack of leg room on an airplane is never an issue for me. In fact, I can even stand up under the overhead compartments.
Of course, being short is not as glamorous as I am making it sound. There are some inherent problems that come with being an adult who is the height of an average 12-year-old. In the grocery store, I often have to climb the shelves like a monkey to get items from the top shelf. This is especially challenging if those items are breakable. Because of my diminutive stature, a large portion of my life savings has been spent on buying stepstools and having pants shortened. By far, the most challenging part of being a short adult has been driving.
Since I got my license at the age of 17, I have had to sit on a pillow to drive. Go ahead. Take a moment to laugh before you continue reading. Everyone who saw my height enhancing accessory, including the inspection agents at the Department of Motor Vehicles, has had some type of wisecrack to make. Renting a car presents a whole new set of problems. On most of our vacations, Oregano has to do all of the driving because I sit so low in the driver’s seat that I feel like I’d need a periscope to see the road.
A few months ago it was time for me to get a new car. Oregano came home with a list of cars that were better suited for petite drivers. I agreed to test drive 3 of those cars and decided on a Volkswagen Beetle. Both the seat and steering wheel are adjustable AND it’s a fun car! Finally, I don’t need to sit on a pillow. I drive like a big girl now! With so much attention placed on being comfortable in the driver’s seat, there was one area of the car I hadn’t even considered might pose a problem; the hatchback trunk.
On the car’s maiden voyage to the grocery store, I marveled at how spacious the interior of the trunk was as I loaded in my bags. I reached up, closed the hatchback and drove home. It wasn’t until after I carried the groceries into the house and came back out to our driveway to close the hatchback that I realized I had a problem. Because of the incline of the driveway, I couldn’t reach to close the trunk of my car. On level ground I have to stand on my tiptoes and stretch to grip the handhold of the fully extended trunk. However, there in my slightly sloping driveway, the 6 foot high trunk was a few inches beyond the ends of my fingertips. Not being able to reach something is not a novel experience for me so I didn’t panic. I weighed my options:
- leave the trunk open, back into the street where the ground is level then close the trunk
- ask my neighbor to come over and close it for me
I chose the latter and successfully closed the trunk after my third leap. Hopefully, none of the neighbors were looking out their windows at the time. I would hate to find out there is some You Tube video of me floating around cyberspace.
When Oregano came home from work that night I told him about this unforeseen problem.
“You should keep a stepstool in your trunk,” he suggested.
“I don’t really think that’s a reasonable solution in this situation. First of all, the stepstool will take up a lot of room in the trunk. Second, standing on a stepstool on an incline is a recipe for disaster for me. Third, how do you propose I fold up the stepstool to put it back in the trunk without the hatchback popping open all the way?”
“Good point,” he conceded.
“I just need to think about it. I’m sure I’ll come up with a solution.”
I spent a lot of time crawling around in the trunk of my car with a measuring tape considering my options for a trunk-closing apparatus. The easiest solution would have been to attach some sort of pull string to the underside of the hatchback, but a thorough inspection revealed that there was nowhere to attach the string. I climbed out of the trunk and went back to the mental drawing board.
Later that week, my dad called and asked how I liked my new car. I mentioned the trunk closing issue. My clever, yet not always practical, father suggested, “Why don’t you drill holes and place screws into the plastic in the trunk so that you’ll have a place to attach the pull string?”
While I appreciated his suggestion, I was not willing to drill holes in my new car. There had to be an easier solution to this problem that didn’t involve spending a lot of money or permanently damaging my car. I just needed some inspiration to help me puzzle it out. With the measurements of the existing handholds in my pocket, I dragged Oregano with me to the local Target store.
“What are you looking for?” he asked following behind me.
“I don’t know exactly what I’m looking for, but I’ll know it when I see it. I need something shaped like this.” I held out my hand with the fingers bent. “Let’s start in the housewares department.”
I scoured the wall of kitchen utensils and within minutes found a tool precisely shaped for my needs. “I’ve got it!” I called victoriously to Oregano .
He wandered back over to me, “What is that?”
“It’s a potato masher. It’s the perfect size and shape. I just measured it. That was easier than I thought.”
Always the analytical thinker, Oregano said, “Honey, I think you’re going to have a problem. It’s going to slip off the plastic handhold because it’s metal.”
“I already thought of that. Follow me,” I said leading him to a different aisle in the housewares department. “Voila!” I said holding up a roll of non-slip shelf liner. “This will do the trick!”
Triumphant, I checked out of Target and headed home to work on my creation. I found the duct tape and 5 minutes later I had fashioned a suitable trunk-closing apparatus. After several test runs to perfect my technique, I called Oregano out to the garage. He stood there shaking his head with laughter and disbelief as he watched me easily extend my arm, pull the trunk within reach, toss the apparatus inside the car and close the trunk.
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I’d like to thank Dana the Actress and Chrissy at The Wily Hound for offering me the Inspiring Blogger Award and Peachy Teachy for the Tell Me About Yourself Award. Please take a moment to click on the links to check out their blogs. If you really have the urge to learn more about me, you can check out the Paprika trivia section in this post.