LITTLE WOMEN

My parents’ wedding photograph 1918. Can you see the box under the carpet where my mother is standing?

It wasn’t until my sister came to meet me at Tel Aviv airport that I realised for the first time just how short I am. There was this little woman coming towards me and, as she got nearer, I realised it was my sister Hannah. We hadn’t seen each other for ages. She’d lived on a kibbutz since the late 1940s. She came to London when I got married in 1956 and for a couple of visits afterwards. As we kissed, I realised that she was a fraction taller than me – I really had to be tiny!!

I do sometimes refer to myself jokingly as ‘a little old woman’, when I want to boast about something or other – that at 88 I’ve not lost all my marbles, for example. But my image of myself is not of a ‘5’ nothing’ old lady but of one at least 6-8” taller – until my two grandsons tower over me as they kiss me Hello or Goodbye.

I didn’t choose my best friends at school for that reason, but I realise now that they were all tiny too. This was not only due to our genes but, coming from poor families with mothers that did their best, we were probably underfed and undernourished as well. Certainly, we were all quite slender.

My mother was small too – though she seemed quite tall to me. Her wedding photographer was cunning. He put a box under the carpet where my mother stood, so the difference in height between my parents wasn’t as obvious.

Still – they do say that the best things come in small boxes. I’m afraid I have to accept that I’m small and getting smaller. But I do find myself wanting to correct the nurses at the hospital when they measure me before another test – I’m still 5’1½” not 5’ nothing I want to say!!

I thank all those lovely people who read and commented on stories like this in my memoir ‘Woman in a White Coat.’

Woman in a White Coat paperback

Buy it on Kindle at £2.99 or as a paperback on Amazon at £9.99

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4 thoughts on “LITTLE WOMEN”

  1. As the oldest of five, and one of the tallest in my class, it seemed to me that being small was a very desirable and attractive privilege from which I was excluded. Small children were loved and got all the attention but I was too large and largely ignored.
    When I started school I had a very pretty friend called Ingrid. Not only was she tiny, but she had dark hair and brown eyes. My own fair hair and washed out blue eyes, seemed infinitely inferior to me. When I was seven, I was a little in love with Ingrid and full of admiration for her looks.
    One day in the school playground, I said to her, ‘You are soo small.’
    Her response was to hit me very hard me with the rounders bat.

    1. I once had my hair dyed blond by mistake. I was in Spain and thought when the hairdresser asked if I’d like some colour ‘rubio’. I thought rubio was ruby but it’s blond. I liked it but I looked so unfamiliar in shop windows as I passed that I never did it again!!

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