Nature vs. Nurture, It All Ended Up The Same

August 30, 2018

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I'm a short guy. As I'm getting older, I'm actually shrinking. My official height is a subject of fierce contention in the Fisher household. I insist I am microns away from 5'7" and my wife insists that I should just join the US Little Persons Society. I theorize that I got robbed of two inches of height by poor nutrition as a child before I came to the US. Height is one of those insidious aspects of appeal that there is not a damn thing you can do about. What is the saying? "Tall, dark, and handsome." What do they call it when someone is being a jerk? "Little man's disease" or the Napoleon complex. Not sure if you guys know this, but actually, Napoleon wasn't as short as the British press made him out to be. It looks like fake news existed before the advent of Rush Limbaugh. But nonetheless, he gets to go down in history as the reference point for short dudes doing obnoxious shit. 

 

One of the biggest hangups I had growing up was my height. I hated my circumstance and I blamed my lack of height on two things. I blamed it on just having the poor genetic misfortune of being Asian, and I blamed the terrible circumstances growing up and not getting my Korean version of Flintstones chewables every morning to get all my proper vitamins and minerals. When I came to the US, we were given these terrible vitamin supplements in the shape of animals that tasted like a moldy lemon got dropped on a chunk of marble. The only animal shape I can recall now was the owl. I wanted to get the owl as often as possible, because the owl represented wisdom and I needed all the wisdom I could get as a kid. It would be a couple of years before I connected the dots and figured out that I didn't exactly get the best start in life and that meant that I wasn't ever going to be as tall as I could have ideally become. 

 

Life is just simply easier for tall guys. It's just is a fact of life. It is one of those ancient biological truths that the taller you are, the better your vision to identify threats in the horizon and therefore a better chance of surviving. Homo sapiens tended to be big fans of not dying. Height was literally a matter of life or death, and if you were a woman, picking Mr. Vertically Challenged was a good way to receive widow's benefits pretty damn early -- if you managed to escape sharing your tiny husband's fate. So back in the day, it totally made sense that height was a desirable trait to possess. How shorter men compensated for this was to become either really funny or moderately more intelligent. I guarantee you the first stand up Cro Magnon comedian was not the tallest guy in the clan. He was probably doing wooly mammoth impressions for extra scraps of sloth brains or whatever disgusting things that our ancestors gnawed on at Caroline's Improv Cave. There was probably some female that got tired of maintaining the exhausting beauty regimen of jamming bone shards into their skin and decided, fuck it, this guy makes me laugh, I'll overlook the fact that he's not tall. 

 

The wonderful thing about having dickheads as friends is that they will always be there for you to remind you of your shortcomings - literally, ha ha ha. So for most of my life, as if I weren't already acutely aware, it was very considerate of my friends to throw in my lack of height at every opportunity to speak. I remember walking to my dorm room in college and the entire door was plastered with Little Debbie boxes, and Debbie was crossed out and Derek was written over it. To make matters worse, for some odd reason, a lot of my friends throughout the years have been tall guys. What I should have done is only hang out with guys shorter than me, but the problem is, a lot of them are complete pricks. Remember the little man's disease? It's a thing! So I made a decision that I would be a tall guy in a little guy's body. What does that even mean? To me, it meant not showing an obvious gripe about being short. I'm not 100% sure that I was successful, but I hope that people don't describe me as a Napoleon complex kind of guy. 
 

I'm not short because I am Korean. There are lots of tall Korean guys. I'm not short because I was malnutritioned for several of my critical formulative years. I'm just short. That is the genetic lottery that we are all faced with. I got a decent brain and calves the size of watermelons and then nature said, "Yeah, that's good enough" And you know what? It really is. It's a lot better than billions of us on this planet get, and I've been a spoiled bastard for all these years whinging about my sorry lot in life. Remember when I said life is just simply easier for tall guys? That may be true, but it doesn't make it better. Years ago, I would have sold my soul to get an extra two inches of height. Today I wouldn't even sell my used underwear to achieve that. Ok, maybe I would, but you get my drift, smartass. It's just not that important to me. I have a great life now just the way I am. Now excuse me while I go get the ladder to put my soup in the microwave.

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