Identity Crisis

Photo by SHVETS production on

A family moment, measuring the boys:
measuring the boys on their own
measuring the boys against each other
measuring the boys against Dad
measuring Dad against Mum
measuring the boys against Mum.

Son, you’re 5’4”, so that’s two inches taller than Mum.
That’s not right. Do it again.
We measure again:
5’4” and 5’2”

No, I’m five foot tall.
I’ve been five foot tall since I was eighteen.
My Dad measured me for my passport
when we emigrated.
Women don’t grow after eighteen.
I was five foot then; I’m five foot now.
I’ll take my slippers off. Do it again.

I ignore the sniggering as they measure once more.
Your tape measure is faulty. Find another one.
Do it against the door. Mark off 5’2” on the door;
I’ll wash it later. I’ll stand under it and you’ll see
a two-inch gap.

I don’t get it.
I don’t understand.
I’m five foot tall. You’ve made a mistake.
You know your Dad was ditzy like y…you know
your Dad was ditzy. He probably made a mistake
when he measured you.

How can you make a mistake with a tape measure?
It’s not possible.
He shrugs.

No. I’m short. I’m dainty.
I’m tiny, like Kylie Minogue.
5’2” is not dainty. It’s not tiny.
It’s not who – not what I am.
I’m five foot tall. I’ve always been five foot tall.
I’m five foot small.

This is like that time my feet grew two sizes
when I emigrated.
I blame South Africa.


Genuine identity crisis. I’m still seething, twelve years later.





  1. slpmartin says:

    Got a good chuckle out of this one…thanks for the smiles. 🙂


  2. Ron. says:

    No; that was only EIGHT years ago…


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s