Still in post-moving mode, we’re happy with our new home, well, it’s new to us. And happily putting away all the stuff we schlepped over here. Well, maybe not so happily. All those boxes get pretty tiresome, pretty quickly. But we are trying to find a "home" for all our stuff. As in a cabinet or closet or somewhere out of sight.
Isn’t that what all the organization and de-cluttering guides tell you to do? No, some of the guides suggest you form a loving relationship which each item you own and then have a conversation about whether it stays or goes. My approach is just to get it out of my sight, at least for long enough that I can unpack the stuff I actually want.
The house we’ve moved to has tall ceilings, tall windows and tall cabinets everywhere. Perfect, you would think. But also that’s why, now, that I’m way past growing any taller, I wish I could reach just a couple of inches farther.
I reached my adult height early--as a pre-teen. About 5’7” at age twelve, I was taller than most of my classmates and a lot of the teachers. And I lived in fear I would just keep growing. I had reason to expect I’d continue to grow. Both of my parents were tall and my older brother at fourteen was well over 6’ and still growing.
I think my fear of being “too tall” had to do with the preconceptions of the era: girls should be shorter than the boys they dated and eventually married.
And it may have had a tiny bit to do with the crush I had on a boy in homeroom, over whom I towered. And then there were the famous TV and movie actors and musicians who were reputed to be about the height I already was. Think David McCallum of “Man from Uncle” and Robert Redford. Both are still pretty hunky even if they likely can’t reach any farther than I. And lack of height seems to have made no difference for Paul Simon and his creative genius nor in his love life.
A smidge over 5’7” was all the taller I was meant to be. I stopped growing at age 12. I think with girls it has to do with puberty and female hormones. With boys it’s just the opposite, male hormones spur that growth spurt. My brother’s growth spurt kicked in big time and suddenly I barely reached his shoulder. He stopped at almost 6’5”.
Now at the other end of the age spectrum, I’m shrinking. And what I’d give to have a just slightly longer reach. The cabinet over the refrigerator, the top shelf of the pantry, the top shelf of everything is at least two inches out of my reach.
I know there are those who say, incorrectly, the use of tools is what distinguishes humans from other animals. All those smart crows, parrots, chimps, elephants—not only use tools but some also make them. Well, I’ve not made any tools but I do use them and my wits to try to reach those tall locations. I’ve positioned stepstools and nifty nabbers, or whatever they are called, in most rooms of the house so I won’t have to constantly ask my husband to reach the top shelves. Using a stepladder, I even stood on top of the kitchen counters to position decorative flowers, plates and bowls on the very top of the cabinets.
But it would be nice to be able to just reach the tops of cabinets without standing on something or using a tool. Now I think function is more important than appearance.
Heck, if I can’t be taller, I’d settle for arms two inches longer. At my age I don’t even care if that would make me look like an orangutan.