I thought I was 5’7” for most of my life. Imagine my surprise when I recently discovered I’m really 5’6’’. My drivers license is officially a lie. Department of Motor Vehicles, I have played you for a fool all these years! Tragically, the karmic wheels of justice caught me on OKCupid and my poor shoes were the ones that suffered.

You see, in the land of OKCupid, 5’11’’ is the male equivalent of the stats on my state issued drivers license: open to personal interpretation.

Apparently, 5’11’’ is a very broad, catch-all number that actually includes anything down to 5’8’’. I have learned this through very thorough and scientific first person exploration. My calculations are based on a complex equation of: (self-reported height on his profile) ÷ (his actual height) – (my height) + (my heel height). Or something like that.

Before discovering the subjective nature of height, I didn’t know I had to wear flats (which I didn’t own) to all my first dates. There was no other way to find out how tall these men really were. I actually made a roommate measure me in all my platforms one night so I could still go on dates packing heat, but even this was too much. Going in with my 5’6’’ baseline was the only thing for it.

I realize this is beyond ridiculous and terribly outdated, but I like to feel small next to a man. How else will he throw me over his shoulder?

And what if it rains and I have to borrow some pants and the only thing that fits are his sweat pants that are too small? Exactly. Disaster.

Back to square one and the need for flats.

So, I had to start buying new shoes. Or even one pair of shoes that qualified as flats that I liked enough to wear. This was very hard for a woman who made a personal pledge to wear only platforms last summer. (Success, by the way!) Wearing flats felt like some monstrous crime against fashion humanity. And we all know a little height does a booty good.

My first shopping attempt was a complete failure. I came home with 3.5 inch wedge Guatemala-print espadrille sandals.

I showed my roomie, “look! I bought some smaller shoes!”

She very patiently pointed out the massive heel and indulgently said, “maybe you’ll do better next time.”

Friends would crack up when I’d say, “I’m looking for flats…with a wedge.”

But this was no laughing matter! I’m in good shape, but a lot of flats make my feet look like baby bread loafs. That’s not sexy. No one’s gonna develop a foot fetish from that. Maybe a baker? But I’m gluten-free. Ahhh!

After a lot of hard work, I found some very cute shoes that one could term sneaky flats. They have just enough lift to make my ass happy, but aren’t more than half an inch so I can still use my height as a baseline for measurement.

The real truth here is, Gentlemen, I will totally date you even if you’re not 6’2’’. But I need to be prepared! I understand the desire to be taller…haven’t I been misleading every state I’ve lived in since I was 16? But don’t let me show up in 4 inch platforms because you said you’re 6’ when you’re really 5’9’’. Nobody wins! And, I have the right shoes at home!

And now that I’m back in California and have to get a new drivers license, I swear, I’ll say I’m 5’6’’.

(What’s been your biggest surprise when you showed up for a first date? Share! And if you like my blog, put me in your RSS feed!)