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The Importance of Reliable Equipment

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By Kimara - Posted on 13 April 2009

Eighth grade was my year to bloom. I went from little girl… my bras still had training wheels… to a woman with a perfect 36-24-36 figure. I must admit I was not unaware of the stir it created with the boys, and daily I was discovering the power of my new found femininity. But there was a downside to this metamorphic transformation… I also grew up. And not “grew up” in terms of mental and emotional maturity, but rather my physical stature approached what I believed to be at the time, Amazonian proportions!

My mother was short; she measured in at 5’ 2” if her feet were swollen. Bushia was short, as were most of my aunts. Pietrowski women were “petite”. So, when eighth grade rolled around, and I reached my mom’s height, I was thrilled. When I sailed pass it… not so much so. Okay, so I wasn’t the tallest girl in my class, but they weren’t my yardstick for perfection. My mother was beautiful, and I believed a large part of her beauty came from her diminutive stature. I saw youthful pictures of my mom and dad together. He towered over her, as it should be in fairy tale romances. So, if my mom was the princess at 5' 2", at 5’6” I would have to be the ogress.

One evening I sat around bemoaning my height. Because it bothered me so much, my brothers teased me unmercifully.

“God”, Keith said, feigning horror, “Look how long your toes are!”

My toes? I hadn’t realized there was something wrong with my toes. But looking down, I could see what he meant. After staring at them long enough, their length made them appear deformed and unsightly. I ran to the junk drawer and got out the tape measure. When I sat down and started to measure my longest toe, I realized the tape measure was broken, and the first inch had snapped off. So after taking the measurement, I did the logical thing… I added the broken off inch back on to the measurement. With the adjustment I made for the faulty tape measure, the length of my toe came in at an impressive 4 inches.

“Oh my God,” I moaned. “My toes are 4 inches long!” (A bit of an aside… I wish to point out, I was a whiz in math and very analytical. The fact that I had added instead of subtracted an inch from my phalange’s measurement, and then did not immediately see how inane a toe measurement of 4 inches was, speaks to my distraught state, not my intrinsic intelligence!) Anyway, as tears welled up in my eyes, my brothers were doubled over in convulsive fits of glee.

“4 inches”, Kev repeated. “They’re as long as cigarettes.”

“With toes that long,” Keith quivered, “you could scale telephone poles barefooted.”

Shame reddened my face, as scalding tears burned my checks. I went running out of the room, seeking the sanctuary of my bedroom. I should point out that my internal balance system was not yet calibrated properly to account for my recent height increase and mammary protrusions. Tripping over my own feet was a daily occurrence, and as I fled from the room, I failed to negotiate the metal rimmed step up. As my feet went out from under me, the shin on my left leg barreled into the step. This only fueled the laughter behind me, and as soon as I righted myself, I continued running upstairs to my room.

It was only after I got in my room, that I felt a hot trickle down the front of my leg. When I looked down, I was horrified. A thick stream of maroon blood trailed down my leg. The impact had been so intense, that it took several minutes for the pain receptors to transmit their signal to my brain. The tissue around the 2 inch cut (about the size of my toe) was swollen creating a linear crater. The flesh had retracted exposing my bone.

Later that evening, when my parents decided that I did not require a trip to the emergency room and had justifiably chastised my brothers for their grievous insensitivity, I sat on the couch with my injured leg on the ottoman. A towel filled with ice cubes rested on my injured shin. The atmosphere in the room was subdued, but out of the corner of my eye I could see the smirks my brothers still wore, and I swear I heard one of them whisper, “God, look how long her neck is!”

I still carry the 2” scar from that day to remind me of my “awkward stage”. I actually came to enjoy my height… as soon as the boys in my class caught up! Below is a pic of me at eighth grade graduation partnered with a prepubescent classmate!


That was some kind of a funny experience. It reminds me of my own funny experience many years in the past. - Flemings Ultimate Garage

LOL. Quite a delightful read. Not sure if I related to the "brothers" or the "puberty" aspect of your article more, but you certainly have a finger on the pulse of adolescents. Totally enjoyable.

OMG! I laughed so hard I thought I'd wet my pants when I read the last line!!! Brothers. I didn't get my brother until I was in 9th grade when my mom remarried. And I know I mentioned it before that they were family friends and I had a huge crush on my now step-brother. Trust me it didn't take long after they started living with us before the brother like teasing started and the crush was crushed. I had a similar situation because my mom is this tiny Italian woman. I felt like a giant next to her by the time I was in 6th grade. It took a long time for the boys in my class to catch up with me and I felt like I was all feet and clumsy until well now! LOVED the story. Thanks for the smile. Did I mention I'm glad you're back. Have a great week all!

Again, excellent writing. I really mean that and I am very proud and jealous of your skill. But I think you have painted us as villains unfairly. I don't even remember the injury. Are you sure it occurred at that event or at the graduation right after that picture when you tripped over that little kid. I know you cut your leg, but as I recalled, the boy was killed.