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OP-ED: I am Short and Pret Scares Me


Photo by Katharine Cocherl / The Daily Pennsylvanian

Ah—to be tall. To be able to reach things on shelves without throwing out your shoulder and collapsing your mold covered Quad closet. To be able to get from the DRL to Huntsman in ten minutes without coming into class needing an oxygen tank. The privileges of height are many, and nowhere do we see these benefits than in the hellish rush for food that is Pret-a-Manger at class breaks. 

For my tall brethren on Penn’s campus, a trip to Pret is a laissez-faire event, where they breeze in on absurdly stretched out legs and stroll out with a freshly packaged salad clutched in gangly, impossibly long arms, cutting through the crowd without a second thought. Anyone below their eyesight might as well not even exist, judging by the way these callous tall monsters treat their vertically challenged classmates.

But for those of us who do not have the luxury of wearing pants without rolling up the legs, Pret is a terror-filled obstacle course. Walking in, the fight to get to the counter and order my essential coffee “inspired” drink is a daily struggle. Just because I'm shorter than the average American woman, I am considered the weak link in the line. The crowd can smell blood, and I am the person these multistory trees choose to cut in line in front of. Terrified of their height and the general size differential, I have done nothing, and have contributed to their power and dominion over the world. 

But no longer. 

I say that we rise up against their tyranny.  

We will not be afraid! No longer will we stand meekly by as a tall person cuts through the line in front of us or pushes us out of the way for the privilege to order their almond milk iced latte a few seconds earlier than they otherwise would. My vertically challenged siblings—we must rise up. The next time that a gargantuan Penn sports player with their shiny new unused sports backpack cuts in front of you because they “just didn’t see you there,” drag them down to your level, and stomp on their perfect, newly accessible faces. 

There’s a saying about shorter people. That we’re closer to Hell. And you know, they’re not wrong. If the devil will get me out of the chaotic Tartarus that is Pret at 11:55 on weekdays, he can have my soul. 

I’ll even throw in my hard-fought latte to seal the deal.