It was nothing short of an existential crisis. Sitting in the chair, I realized my feet didn’t reach the ground. My feet always touch. Always. It’s an accepted fact of my life. Like gravity, like the sun always rising in the east, like it being impossible to find jeans long enough in a normal store. In general, my feet rarely leave the ground. More often than not, I’m left sitting in chairs designed for someone closer to 5’4”, with my knees awkwardly higher than they should be, bumping a steering wheel, bottom of a table, back of the seat in front of me, take your pick. So the fact that suddenly, at this moment in time, I couldn’t reach the ground unless I slid forward in the chair and stretched, made me start questioning life as I knew it.
It was a Friday morning, that much I knew. I sat in a chair at the doctor’s office waiting for the updated prescription for a new asthma inhaler (not sexy, I know). Sitting in a chair (not a bar stool) with my feet left to swing like a little kid. He had sat me in the fancy chair, then he raised me up so I could be level with him. My feet wavered about four inches or so off the ground. It is a novelty that I’m slightly uncomfortable with. Like meeting women who are taller than me. Like being picked up. Like watching petite girls curl up in spaces I can barely get one leg into. It’s confusing to me and I don’t like it.
I’m no rookie. I understand the concept of higher chairs and bar stools. I’ve certainly sat in enough of them. The thing with bar stools though, is that 99% of them have a bar, or somewhere where you can put your feet. And if they don’t, they’re broken. In none of those circumstances are my feet left dangling. If you’re used to being too short for a chair, perhaps then it’s okay, you’re used to it. I can’t remember the last time this happened to me. It’s rare enough that it leaves me psychologically hanging. (Sorry, I had to).
There is no over time with not being able to touch the ground. One minute I’m ducking my head to get out of my car, the next, I’m swinging my legs like a little kid sitting on the big chair. The longer I sat there, the more the novelty of it sunk in.
Maybe it’s good for me to let go and not worry about being quite so grounded all the time, to let my feet kick around and sway. Maybe next time I won’t decide to be drawing imaginary pictures in the air beneath my feet when the doctor is walking in. And maybe next time he’ll ignore my lapse rather than comment on it.