The Short-End of the Stick

Hahaha, I read this UK article that was hilarious and it made me think of my ex-fiancé because he was the only short guy I’ve ever seriously dated.

According to the article, short men tend to add two inches to their height on dating profiles (this is true because he was definitely NOT 5’7″ unless you included the height from his shoes) — it reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where George wears Timberlands all the time because Nina met him with Tims on and he wanted to keep up the appearance of being two inches taller than he was.

Height is an established measure of status in the Western world, there’s no denying it — a learning that’s drilled into men (and women) from childhood, that betrays our inner, competitive fascination with social status.

Social research have shown the disadvantages of being a short man (besides from people calling you a hobbit). A study released found that there was a relationship between lower socio-economic status and short stature men. As well as finding that short men are less likely to have been educated to the same degree level as tall men; it revealed a strong correlation among men between shorter height and lower household income. Of course this is just a generalization and does not speak for the individual man — I mean, look at Napoleon and Hitler, they were one of the most powerful short men in history!

Short men are less represented at the highest ranks of leadership than tall men. According to one US study in 2009, “It is hardly a coincidence that 58 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs are six feet or taller.”

As the Canadian journalist Malcolm Gladwell wrote in his book Blink, which looked at how we instantly judge people and things, “Most of us, in ways that we are not entirely aware of, automatically associate leadership ability with imposing physical stature.”

Online dating can be a disaster zone for short men. If dating profiles are anything to go by, almost all men below the height of 5’10” exaggerate their height by a couple of inches. A 2013 study found that on average, women prefer their partner to be about 8 inches taller than them, and another research by anthropologist Dr. Boguslaw Pawlowski has concluded that potential partners size each other up before considering each others’ face, personality, or body shape.

It gets even worse for shorty men; a study of married couples in Indonesia found that having a taller husband was positively related to a wife’s happiness — I believe it! You definitely feel more protective with a taller man; I mean it’s hard to feel “safe” in a dark alley with a guy who you hope has arms long enough to punch his attacker’s face. When you look at even famous short men, like Tom Cruise or Eminem, they haven’t been very lucky in love at all — so there’s definitely a correlation between happy wife, happy life for taller men.

There’s a lot we can do to rectify perceived shortcomings in the modern world – but what can you do about a lack of height? Short of getting your legs extended (it seriously does happen for people who can afford it), your only recourse is an elevating pair of platform shoes.

It’s certainly a nonsense to reduce any anger expressed by a short man as in some way related to his height, when tall men have been known to have their fair share of anger and violent tempers too. That being said, there is evidence to suggest that shorter people experience greater levels of paranoia, and that shorter American men can be more prone to violence; especially since in American culture, the average height for men is considered at least 5’8″.

According to weak (but notable) correlations found in scientific studies, shorter people (both men and women) are likely on average to be less intelligent than taller people. One explanation for this is that height can be an indicator of genetic health. There’s rigorous debate in the scientific community as to whether height correlates to life expectancy – and, indeed, some research has shown that far from living longer, tall people are more at risk of cancer (they have more cells that can go wrong) which can bring about an early death… so I guess that’s one huge disadvantage of being tall. However, there does seem to be an overall relationship between height and lifespan – and it’s not good news for the shorties. Three studies all found that taller people have a reduced risk of early death, despite being more at risk for cancer!

When I think of this article though, does it fall into the same category as social preferences? Like, when someone says: I’m just not attracted to black girls, or I only date Jewish men, or is it equivalent to not being attracted to fat people???

Advertisements

Pretty in Pink ♡

This week, I am an aunt to a third niece. The latest little girl was born at the beginning of the week to our family, to my sweet SIL and her husband. ♡

April is a busy month; my other SIL’s birthday is next week, my son’s birthday is in the first week of April, my nephew’s birthday is the last week of April, and now our newest niece’s birthday is in the middle of April… (I guess June is the month of lovers, ha!)

Posing with her first rose bouquet from Uncle Dan and Aunt Lisa (every little girl should grow up to expect flowers as a woman… I know I definitely expected it from every guy I’ve dated!). ♡

The Breadwinner (Film Review)

This movie is currently streaming on Netflix. It is a deeply, culturally significant movie. I actually watched it because it was “trending” on Netflix (along with Goodfellas and The Godfather trilogy).

The Breadwinner tells the story of a young Afghan girl and her family living in Kabul, Afghanistan during the Taliban control (so in the 90’s decade era); after the Soviet-Afghanistan War, and leading up to 2001’s “war on terror”… it does differ from the book. (The book was published in 2000.) Some of the plot and characters from the book are also different from the film as well.

I’ve never read the book, so I’m just reviewing the film — it is one of the BEST featured films I’ve ever seen, especially for an animation. It’s up there with my list of favorite movies (I will get to that list one of these days, ha!).

Parvana is a pre-teen girl who goes out with her beloved father, Nurullah, on the market streets of Kabul to sell their valuables and earn money by reading/writing for illiterate Afghans. Her father lost the lower part of one of his leg in a previous war and walks with a wooden walking stick. 

Her father was a teacher, and so his daughters and wife are educated. Her mother, Fattema, was a writer. Her father tells her about the war with the Soviets, the coup d’état of the former government, the civil war in Afghanistan, and the Taliban coming to power — but says he remembers a time when there was peace.

Nurullah tells Parvana creative stories about their people that are banned by the Taliban. A sudden commotion caused by a stray dog brings the attention of Parvana and Nurullah to the disillusioned fanatic, Idrees, who was a former pupil of Nurullah.

Idrees is accompanied by an older man named Razaq, who also has a more tamed and reasonable personality. Feeling he has been slighted by Nurullah, Idrees brings the Taliban to arrest Nurullah while the family is eating their dinner.

The family is left without a male in the household, except for the toddler son, Zaki, who is too young to be of any use to the family. The next day, Fattema and Parvana tried to go to the prison to get Nurullah released. The eldest daughter, Soraya, stays home to watch Zaki. Taliban law prohibits a woman outside her home without a male relative accompanying her, so it’s very dangerous for both Fattema and Parvana to be seen unaccompanied outside.

Fattema is in a full burqa outside, while Parvana only wears a hijab because she is still a child. A Taliban stops them while they are walking on their way to the prison; Fattema gets beaten in the street by the Taliban for being unaccompanied, and told that her efforts to free her husband are useless.

Parvana helps her severely beaten mother home. After realizing the reality that they cannot survive without a male presence, Fattema has Soraya write a letter to a distant cousin in Mazar-e-Sharif asking for help. Desperate for food and money, Parvana cuts off her long hair and wears her dead older brother, Sulayman’s, clothes.

She is finally able to go to the street market and store to buy food for her family. On the streets she sees an old schoolmate, Shauzia, who is also pretending to be a boy; but unlike Parvana, who has a loving father, Shauzia speaks with resentment about her father. She informs Parvana that she hides whatever money she can from her father, in the hopes of moving to a coastal town one day.

Shauzia and Parvana work laborious jobs for money, on top of Parvana selling her family items on the street. One day, while trying to solicit her service for reading/writing on the market streets, Razaq asks Parvana to read a letter to him. He believes her when she tells him she is the nephew of Nurullah. The letter says that his wife, Hala, has been killed by a landmine while on her way to a wedding. Sad and shocked, Razaq quickly gets up and leaves.

Parvana tells a story to Zaki and Shauzia about a boy on his way to defeat a monster elephant who has stolen the villagers’ planting seeds; the stories calm Zaki and Shauzia. She names the boy after her dead brother, Sulayman. (The movie interchanges between the present setting and Parvana’s stories.)

While the girls are working at a laborious job one day, Parvana sees Idrees, who also recognizes her. Fearing they’d be caught, Parvana hits him in the face with a brick so that they can escape, and they hide in a narrow cave opening. They are saved when the Taliban are ordered away, apparently a new war has started (presumably the US-led coalition “war on terror”).

Parvana had also began to teach Razaq how to write. After feeling she can trust Razaq, she tells him that Nurullah has been arrested. He advises her to go to the prison on Wednesdays and ask for his cousin, who will help if he can.

When she returns home, Fattema informs her that the cousin in Mazar-e-Sharif has written back and has agreed to help in exchange for Soraya’s marriage, and that they will be leaving. Parvana tells her mother that she will go with them after she goes to the prison on Wednesday, to at least tell her father where they’ll be. Her mother reluctantly accepts her daughter’s determination.

Parvana goes to tell Shauzia that they are leaving soon for Mazar-e-Sharif. Shauzia is initially resentful, and tells Parvana to be realistic; that their lives won’t be any better in another place with the cousin, at least not after Soraya’s wedding. Parvana tells her to come with them, but Shauzia says that her father would find her and kill her if she ran away. She gives Parvana the money she’s been saving so that Parvana would have enough to bribe the prison guards to see her father. They say a heartfelt goodbye to each other.

While Parvana is traveling to the prison, a man sent by Fattema’s distant cousin arrives early to take them to Mazar-e-Sharif. Fattema says they have to wait for Parvana and refuses to go, but the man informs them that the war has started and they must leave immediately. He snatches Zaki, and forces Soraya and Fattema into the car and drives off with them.

Unaware of what’s happened with her family and the new war, Parvana makes her way to the prison where she sees Razaq. He informs her that the war has started and she must leave. She finally confesses that she is really Parvana, the daughter of Nurullah. Razaq agrees to help her. He tells her to get out of there as fast as she can if he doesn’t come out by sunset.

The car that Fattema and her children are in breaks down, and Fattema starts a fire under pretense. She tells Soraya to take Zaki and run away as fast as she can; with a lit stick, she stands up to the man and tells him that they are not going with him. The man finally backs down and drives away, as (presumably American) aircrafts start bombing Kabul.

While the military aircrafts are bombing the region, Razaq manages to rescue Nurullah at his own personal risk (having been shot in the shoulder). He puts Nurullah on a wooden wheelbarrow slab, and Parvana wheels her father heading for home. Fattema catches up to Soraya and Zaki who are also heading home; the movie ends with their fates unknown.

I watched this movie with Ava. She had a lot of questions, and I answered as informed as possible. As a social studies teacher, I do not want to be one of those batty idealists who thinks Jesus is in the White House because there’s a white guy there… and because I’m not a racist, ha!

I told her as simply as I could about religious fanatical zealots; about Afghanistan and Islam culture, war, why people do the things they do, etc. I mean, we’re a “Catholic family”, and even I think that the Eucharist is some ritualistic voodoo chanting nonsense — you’re supposedly drinking and eating the “blood and body of Jesus Christ”, tell me that doesn’t sound like some sort of shamanism to you! (It’s like drawing a biblical Middle Eastern guy in all those Renaissance paintings as a white man!)

But I digress — this is a great movie!

Dealing with Disappointment

When you’re expecting something to happen and it doesn’t, you can’t help but feel disappointed.

Everyone knows the feeling — maybe it’s not getting that job you wanted, or that promotion that you were so sure was a definite, or even something like wanting a girl and finding out you’re having a baby boy instead, etc. You’re not devastated in the same sense that you would feel during a breakup, losing a job, mourning a loss… but you’re disappointed that things didn’t work out how you had planned or hoped for…. it’s that kind of disappointment.

So how do you cope with something like that? You’re upset, but not devastated. It’s disappointing, but not depressing. What do you do? I have had many such disappointments in my life.

First, I allow myself to wallow in my disappointment. Now, as I’ve stated, you’re not devastated you didn’t get the job, but it’s still okay to feel upset because you feel rejected and you kind of feel stuck at your current job — but it’s not overly stressful and depressing as if you were unemployed looking for a job either, because you’re still getting a paycheck. Or maybe you didn’t get into the first choice college you wanted to, but you still have other colleges that you can go to. It’s really not as bad as it might initially feel or seem to be.

You’re allow to feel a bit bum about the situation because it’s not a big deal. Go spoil yourself a bit. Maybe buy something new, go out with friends, treat yourself to something you’ve wanted, etc.

Talk to someone. Everyone needs to vent, whether you’re a guy or gal, everyone needs social support for their well-being. It helps to have someone who can empathize and relate with the situation.

Like, maybe you didn’t really love the guy you were with, but now you really want him back because you don’t want to be alone, or because he moved on first. You’re disappointed the relationship didn’t work out, even though you already knew it wouldn’t work out… well, just let it all out. Write it all down. Call anyone available to listen and chew their ears off. It really does work just saying things aloud instead of thinking thoughts in your head.

Look for the positive in every situation, don’t dwell on the negative.

You tried, and it didn’t happen. You’re disappointed. But as the saying goes — it’s better to have tried and fail, then to not have tried at all. Think of all your accomplishments to even make yourself confident enough to try out for it. So many people don’t even feel qualified to try; actually most people know they’re not even qualified to try something. So even if you tried at something, and you didn’t get the Olympic gold medal, think of the fact that you even qualified to compete in the Olympics at all.

So you’re having a boy, even though you wanted a girl — or maybe you’re having a girl, and you were hoping for a boy… it happens a lot. You’re disappointed because even though it’s not anything you have any control over the outcome, you felt confident enough about it because you were just so sure of it. But, it’s like playing the lottery, it’s just up to chance and fate.

Be realistic about expectations when you’re disappointed about the outcome of something that just didn’t happen for you, especially when you have no control over the deciding factors.

Be grateful and thankful for the blessings and good fortunes in your life, even if they all happened in the distant past. Often when we are disappointed, we focus on the negative and always forget about the positive. The difference between being a glass half empty or a glass half full kind of person. It’s so easy to forget to acknowledge all of the good things that have happened to us when we feel a bit defeated in life. Counting your blessing really is a great way to pick yourself up when you’re feeling in the dumps.

Grandpa ♡

Grandpa was one of the last few WWII veterans left. He was drafted at 18 years old towards the end of the war into the Army; he had wanted to enlist at 16 because his two older brothers were already drafted into the war and were MIA (thank God they were found after the war; one was with the Marines in the Pacific and injured during the Battle for Okinawa, but both were eventually accounted for). His oldest and youngest sons, Uncle Ed and Uncle Tom were both in the Airforce; with Uncle Ed being a pilot during Desert Storm.

He was very proud of his service. (Dan got to carry Grandpa’s flag from the Color Guard after the ceremony.) ♡

NYE

2017…

Like 2016, the year had it’s ups and downs, with my hubby being one of my greatest blessings. We got engaged after 8 months, and he has truly turned out to be as amazing a husband as I had ever hoped for in 2017. We had a wonderful (short) 6 months engagement, beautiful wedding, a lovely honeymoon, and now a honeymoon-baby (the baby is due on our wedding anniversary week in 2018, so he’ll be born within our first year of marriage — the “honeymoon period”!). ♡

But like 2016, 2017 ended on a death.

Although, I was more devastated by Shari’s passing in 2016 because it was more personal to me. It was the first time I’ve experienced the death of someone I had a personal relationship with. This has been an especially hard week for my mom-in-law who has to deal with two deaths back-to-back of family members that she was very closed to during the holidays.

Despite the heart aches, I continue to count my blessings with everything God has given me. I can’t look back, because the past only makes me weaker. I have so much to be grateful for.

Dealing with any sort of loss is hard. I wish the year had ended on a happy note, but sometimes I think a bad ending reminds me of how many things I do have to be thankful for — I mean, I’ve gotten everything I’ve ever wanted, ever since I was 13 and wrote out my list after reading The Great Gatsby. (I don’t have the list anymore, but I surprisingly still remember it.)

2018 will be better. I will make it better. ♡

(This was a wonderful week in Key Largo, at the most beautiful private resort) – I hit the jackpot with my hubby, he’s the greatest guy, I am so blessed. God loves me the most. ♡

Decembers

I hate December.

The only good thing about December is that it’s the last month before a new year.

My poor hubby — his aunt passed this Christmas from an aneurysm, and now five days later, today, his grandpa passed. Although it was kind of surprising with his aunt (and an awful day for it to happen), his grandpa’s health was failing. He died from a heart attack.

My heart is especially feeling heavy for my in-laws, as the whole family is very close. And my parent-in-laws are actually in California at the moment, since they flew in the next day because of my hubby’s aunt — and now to fly back home to Cincinnati to deal with the death of another relative… what a miserable holiday.

Grandpa lived a very long life. (90 years old — the man was drafted in WWII, that’s how old he was!) He was married for 62 years. We are very sad that the patriarch of the family didn’t live to see his first great-grandson; since his whole side of the family has given him great-granddaughters instead. He will be greatly missed. ♡

I hate Decembers.

My puppy…

Saw a picture on my Facebook that made me nostalgic… saying goodbye to my puppy Leo in March (even though he hasn’t been a puppy since 2012, I still call him my puppy).

Kind of miss my little house in Iowa, with my little front yard, garden, and porch — I forgot how big Leo was (he practically took up the whole couch). I hope he’s happy on Elmer’s farm; I get pictures of him on the farm every once in a while.

Can’t believe how fast the year has went already.