Size sensitive? You bet!

Jan 4, 2019 | 1 comment

When your last name is “Little” (as my maiden name is), you grow up somewhat sensitive to the size of things.  You get used to people saying, “Oh!  You ARE little, aren’t you?” when you are introduced.  And you learn to take advantage of the possibilities should you run for an office as I did in high school.  The slogan “Good Things Come in Little Packages” won several elections for me.

Not until the 1970s or ’80s, long after I had turned in that surname for another, did I begin to feel that I really was little – at least in stature.  Suddenly, or so it seemed, “Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue” (which described me perfectly) was no longer de rigueur.  I began to notice that even some of my third graders were almost as tall as I!  OMG!  How did that happen?

RCMQ, Nyel, Me

It was the Rose City Mixed Quartet who first introduced me to Randy Newman’s song “Short People” – in a house concert right here in my very own living room.  They apologized profusely for including it in their set list but said the opportunity was too good to pass up.  I actually like the song and have been known to request it since then, but it does make me wonder why there aren’t similar songs about tall people.  But as my six-foot-two husband might say, “Why would there be?” – the implication being that big is better, no doubt.

Certainly bigger-is-better seems to be the theme in other aspects of our lives.  Take “McMansions” and Megamalls.  Or Giant Sequoias.  Or global corporations.  Or the Cullinan diamond.  Bigger gets lots of attention.  But that wasn’t the way it was a few generations back.  My grandmother (who was just five feet tall) wore a size four shoe and, at the time she and my grandfather were married, he could span her waist with his hands. She was considered “a beauty” and I don’t believe anyone ever described her as “short.”

Our Kitchen

But the size-related thing that I remember most about my grandmother is that she wanted a small kitchen.  In 1915 when the house was being partially remodeled after a chimney fire, my grandmother wrote in a note to my grandfather:  “Make the dining room as large as you can, even if you need to make the kitchen smaller.  I don’t need a big kitchen.”  Fortunately, neither do we, even though it now includes a refrigerator/freezer, a dishwasher, a microwave and many other conveniences unknown to my grandmother.  Her kitchen had a woodstove, a pie safe, and a sink and drainboard.  I remember it fondly and wouldn’t enlarge it, now that it’s ours, for anything.

1 Comment

  1. Betty

    I remember ice boxes & wood cooking stoves at my grandfathers but what is a pie safe? My mom was noted for pies but never mentioned putting them in a safe. Was that for making sure no one cut a slice?

    Oh Sidney you always have me looking things up. I do remember your cute kitchen…it’s bigger than mine so yours is a “little bigger” 🙂

    Reply

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