Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Image Complex

I think one of the hardest parts of growing up is dealing with image.
The image we have of ourself and what we believe others see when they look at us.
I think image plays a key role in dictating how we act, 
what we do or don't do 
and what guides us in our decision making.
Now I know you are going to think me completely "off my rocker"  when I mention that Jack got me thinking about this....
but it is true.

You see, I was the kid that always had to stand in the back row with the boys for the class photo. 
I imagine I was somewhat of an oddity to the boys,
because for the most part 
I towered over them.
My size possibly heightened (could not resist...sorry)
their own sense of inadequacy given they were still short and desperately waiting to grow.

Yes, I remember my height being instrumental in a lot of the feelings I had about my own image.

There were the birthday parties where a pile of shoes would be stacked by the door and 
some arriving parent would feel the need to comment on the size of my shoes compared to those of a much smaller and more petite friend.
They meant no harm really. 
They probably just thought that it was cute... the other end of cuteness... right?
But in those days, it stopped me dead in my tracks every time.
I would stare down at those very tiny, fit in the palm of my hand little Adidas and imagine what it would be like to own them.
A size 5 
versus my rather awkward... size 9. 
I guess the only good thing was that I had no inkling that 9 would eventually become 10.

I remember the comments by parents of friends that felt desperate to tell me that I should play basketball.
But I really sucked at basketball. 
They just didn't know that.
They only knew that I was tall.
I remember feeling very inadequate because of it.
I had a sense of not belonging or fitting in.
I recall going on a friends boat and her father informing me that due to my height I probably counted for 2 people versus 1.

Oh how I desperately wanted to be short.
Somehow short was cute and little and sweet and adorable and....
well, not tall.
But, that just wasn't me.
I grew quickly and reached my ultimate height of 5 ft. 7 and a half by the time I entered high school.

So when I looked at Jack the other night sitting next to his peeps in the living room
I wondered if he was feeling that way.
Jack turned two not very long ago.
That means he would be 14 in human years 
which puts him smack dab in the middle of that very time 
when I too was feeling like a misfit.

These days Jack squeezes himself into places that would normally seem more appropriate for a 
small dog...
not a tall, big dog.

Jack is a golden doodle.
He is social, very social.
And, I would guess that he is now fully grown 
and attempting to deal with his rather large size 
compared to that of his pug girlfriend Maisey.

He would probably love to sport a cute wool sweater coat in the winter months like she does
or have a different costume for Christmas when she plays one of Santa's little elves with her sweet tiny elf costume that somebody carefully picked up at one of those boutique pet shops.

Nope, Jack will never fit in to any of the clothing that is presently marketed for dogs these days
and I am thinking that just maybe he feels like I did about those palm-sized Adidas.

 I think he too would like to wear a size 5 rather than a size 9.

So, Jack
we have all decided that
nobody around here is going to complain
when you struggle to get up on laps
and attempt to cuddle next to us like any little dog might do.

Nope, we are just going to smile and appreciate you for who you are.... 
Just loveable Jack.

I am sharing Jack over at A Stroll Through Life


  1. Awww Jack is beautiful!

    I can understand your problem with being tall, I shared some of the same thoughts, however, mine were for being too short! As a matter of fact, I think I pretty much wore heels throughout all of high school & college years in an effort to appear taller and therefore...thinner. ;)

  2. Jack is so sweet! He loves attention. I like that! He is a big boy, but that's okay, too. He's a gentle giant.
    I'm hoping to get a fur baby soon. I've grieved myself to death over Bonnie Blue!


  3. OH Jack is so precious. Ok I have to say this and it may upset small dog owner, but I would rather have a large, fluffy or not fluffy dog crawl up on my lap any day! Its like having a giant teddy bear to love on! My sons dog Sarge (shepher/and something big mixed) he is big and climbs on my sons lap like a little dog will.......he is a big ole'baby :) My Bella who is a lab, isn't as big as her father, thank god, but she is a good 110lbs :)

  4. Donna, I just love this post :) Just like you I was always the opposite spectrum kid, as opposed to your tall stature I was always the smallest. In fact don't tell anyone but I am not even 5 ft tall. I am 4'11.. I would like to stress I am 4'11 and a half!! I always wished to be 5'7. I was first in the line up at school and the one who needed help reaching things. I hated it as a child. Thankfully, now as an adult when people comment on my height... I always advised I am small and mighty lol just like Napoleon ( and in many ways much like a dictator)

  5. Jack is so flippin adorable...and I luv this post...well put...Donna, I have a shoe size 10 and I am 5'8...lol...and I love big dogs, we seem to have a lot in common!!! Smooches for Jack, I miss our gentle giant Brucie....RIP

  6. Like Jileen, I stress the 4'10 AND A HALF. No matter what the intent, personal comments are not kind, cute or funny. Especially when they are directed at kids. I had no idea Jack was such a big dog. He looks adorable and so very happy in his family!

  7. Jack is a lot bigger than I thought he was but he's such a sweet dog no matter. He's like a cuddly bear.

  8. This brought a tear to my eye, because I'm reading about the love you have for your dogs and I'm lucky enough to have a dog too.
    I didn't realise Jack was so large, but he's so adorable. We allow dogs into our café so we see all shapes and sizes and I love to see them all.
    I can't relate to your height issue when you were younger, and I'm sorry you went through that. I'm 5 ft 3 and had more problems with fitting in because I was quite shy. I think all of us have had issues when we were young, it's not at all easy being a teenager.


  9. He's a beautiful dog. I love his color.

    I have a toy poodle with hair the same color as mine.

  10. at 5'4 I always wanted to be taller lol - and was thrilled that I was taller than most of my friends !
    BUT I had a girlfriend who literally crippled her feet wearing shoes that were a size smaller most of her
    life - her toes were crooked for many many years because of it!
    Can you imagine the pain she endured to say she wore a size smaller?
    God that's one gorgeous dog !!!

  11. I think that when we are teenagers we are always made fun of for something, except if you're one of the "cool kids". I was made fun of because I have no breasts when every girl was beginning to have some. I was called "cutting board" (before vintage cutting board were trendy). So it's decided, I won't make fun of my cats for having no breats... Wait, there all male. Well, I won't make fun of them for having no balls!
    Jack is the sweetest... And he can't dream of having an elf costume, his fur is too gorgeous!

  12. Oh my Jack is too cute!! Didn't have the issue with height because I stopped growing at ten. 5'2" that's me. My sisters and brother towered over me. I was the youngest of 5 and the largest at birth. 10 and a half lbs. Yikes my poor mom.
    So I guess you can say I'm vertically challenged.

  13. 5"10" here! I hear you! I so wanted to be small and dainty when I was younger, and even now I long for wee feet so I could fit into wee vintage shoes. But, my cousin who is tiny and lovely always wanted to be tall, so go figure.
    I love Jack! He's the most beautiful guy, and he looks so very, very sweet, I would love to cuddle with him! And how wonderful to have such a big, fluffy guy to snuggle with on a cold evening, no worries about being chilly ever again. Please give him, and his dainty little girlfriend too, best regards from me and my three furry buddies. I'd just love to give him a big hug. I've only ever seen one other golden doodle and he's huge too, and very sweet. It must be a trait of the breed. I think maybe I need a huge, fluffy friend in my future…..


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