Wednesday, October 5, 2016

On Differences by Konnie Enos

The other day my daughter’s dog jumped onto my bed and promptly threw up. Said daughter jumped into action and stripped my blanket and top sheet (all he got) off the bed and stuffed them in the washer. Good kid.
Sometime later I was walking past the washer and noticed it had stopped. I didn’t want to go to bed without a blanket and since we don’t have any spares for our bed I checked to be sure the dryer was empty then quickly emptied the washer. Then came the task of starting the dryer, but I needed to put a dryer sheet in first.
I looked for the box and easily spotted it. I looked at it for a moment. Then I walked away from the dryer and told my daughter to finish the task because there was no way I was going to be able to reach those dryer sheets where she keeps them.
As the lady of the house I as a rule set things up so I can reach the things I use most often or at least try really hard to. I have a handy stepstool in the kitchen that sees a lot of use because I can’t possibly fit everything on the bottom shelf.
The shelf in the laundry room is more like the third shelf in the kitchen. Needless to say I didn’t use it for stuff I used regularly. However, my husband and kids took over doing the bulk of the laundry several years ago and it’s no longer set up for me, the shortest member of the household. In fact my tallest daughter has organized my kitchen so I either have to use that step stool or get help pretty much every day.
Then last night as I went to enter my car I noticed that the driver’s side seat was far enough forward that I could see the full side of the front passenger seat from where I was at. My thought, no wonder the taller people I give rides to prefer to sit behind me in my car, far more leg room.
It’s a good thing that car has power seats because I sometimes use the valet parking at my doctor’s office and one of those guys has to be at least six feet. When I get in after he’s driven my car I can’t even come close to reaching the pedals, even if I stretch. I have to move the seat up. Of course, he probably has to move the seat back just to get in with cracking his knees.
All of this got me thinking about what other obstacles people come across because they are different from the normal.
I’m actually a lefty. You should see me try to use scissors or can openers.
Now imagine someone tall enough they have to duck to walk through a doorway or down the aisle of a bus.
When we write our characters for our stories do we think about how their differences effect their everyday lives? If you have a tall character, do you just say they are tall or show it? Showing them ducking as they walk down the aisle of the bus and always managing to catch tufts of their hair in the rivets in the roof of the bus is far more effective than saying they were tall.
Anyway those were my thoughts as I contemplated the fact I’m the shortest member of my household and it’s no longer set up for someone as height challenged as I am.
Smile. Make the day a brighter day.


  1. Speaking from experience, you need to consider size difference between romantic partners too. There is a huge difference between only a slight difference in height and a foot or more difference in height.

  2. LOL, yeah, you would know this one.

  3. I said, "Speaking from experience." :)