dord (dôrd), n. density of mind; chiefly exhibited by one who attempts to demonstrate supposed knowledge --adj. dord'ish


Seventy Inches

My mom was right. She insisted that I'd grown, evidenced by the fact that my dress pants were coming up a bit too high around the ankles. "But mom, I wore these pants to work all last summer. They fit fine. And I've been 5'9" since I was sixteen." My mom reminded me that she has friends whose sons continued to grow through college. Such did not seem to be my experience. [Mind you, careful measurements over the years have shown that I had picked up an eighth of an inch here and there, but still not enough to make another full inch; and when a person is past, say, twelve years old, he stops identifying himself (height, age, shoe size) with mixed numbers. Telling people that I was 5' 9 5/8" would've been equivalent to saying -- Warning! Engineer! Be on the alert for hyper-analysis!]

I reluctantly shelled out the money for some new dress pants and went back to re-work my clothing budget. [Killing 75% of the annual allocation in the second week of January did not bode well.] Thus, January came and went, taking a chunk of my money with it.

As February rolled by, I realized that a momentous occasion was fast approaching: the day when I would receive a horizontal driver's license. [Some people think that this benefits them by gaining their entrance into certain establishments where they can lose the ability to read their own writing. The main reason I welcomed this event was that I figured the new design would display better in my wallet -- that and the fact that my old one was expiring.]

Now, these licenses carry several personal statistics. Naturally, I needed to ensure that I would be giving accurate information. My personal address (and, of course, birth date) was unchanged, and I was prepared to round my weight off to the nearest five pounds, but some untold months had passed since I had received any form of accurate measurement. [The accurate hair color description remains problematic. I've had to choose between (a) lying, (b) dyeing, and (c) calling it red. I've gone with (c) merely because it is the least disqualified. I'm not a typical redhead, but neither can I rightly classify it as anything else that is acceptable to the BMV. It's sometimes very red -- enough to make people who have known me for years ask if I've resorted to (b).]

With the patient assistance of one of my kind sisters [or the kind assistance of one of my patient sisters -- I can't decide which reads better, and both are true] I completed my pre-measurement rituals: taking a few deep breaths, postponing my scheduled haircut, and immediately improving my posture. What should we discover, to my utter shock and exhilaration [the exhilaration may be exaggerated slightly for literary effect, and the shock should have been preempted by my mom's previous observations (my pants weren't shrinking, after all)], but that I stood at 5' 10"! Nothing more to be sure, but nothing less either, a fact which I was certain to verify in order to ensure that my soon-to-be-official new height would not be the beneficiary of that mathematical sleight-of-hand commonly known as "rounding."

My ensuing joy seemed to amuse the rest of my family, with the possible exception of my dad, who only reached 5' 9". I've always wanted to be 5' 10" -- at least, ever since I came to a screeching halt at 5' 9", which would have seemed the ideal height had I been 5' 8". I won't ask for another inch, though -- I did, after all, just buy three new pairs of dress pants.

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Anonymous Anna said...

That is hilarious. We are tall in my family (and all girls) so we always wanted NOT to have grown. I'm 5'9 right now... that better be it. :)

Ah yes, the horizontal driver's license... I got mine last October. I can't say it's gotten me any special privileges, though. Still, it is a rite of passage of sorts, I suppose. Congrats on the height and the license!

3/11/2008 7:21 PM

Blogger Laedelas Greenleaf said...

Congratulations :-)

One of my uncles grew to be 5'11" in high school, then in college shot up to 6'9". Not even kidding.

This post was hilarious! Sorry about your clothing budget, though...

3/12/2008 11:06 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


You've just got too much time on your hands. (You know I'm kidding.)


3/15/2008 9:08 AM

Anonymous megan said...

I always knew you had a knack for writing, ever since you published that little newspaper when we were kids. You should totally post some of your stuff from back then. It was great.
Oh, and your new stuff is good too. :-)
Keep up the good work!

And um...... go Red Sox?

3/16/2008 3:50 PM

Blogger Jason said...

Thanks, Megan -- except for that last part. Go Tribe!

[Hmm, old stuff from back in the day. I might have to check into it, but I don't know that I had anything worth bringing back. As for your "Interview with a Neighborhood Cat" series... those pieces were (still are, actually) a hoot.]

3/19/2008 6:29 PM

Anonymous megan said...

Thanks for that. Those were fun times.

4/04/2008 4:32 PM


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