For about as long as I can remember, people have always commented about my height. Even as a kid, I was tall for my age, usually head and shoulders above my peers, and sometimes could look my elementary teachers in the eyes, which I think freaked them out a little (something about a second grader being on your level can’t be great for the psyche). In the end, I am just over 6’4″ tall, with a size 15 shoe.
What I find crazy about it is just how people react to it when they realize. Sometimes they don’t realize it at first…in fact, last weekend, a friend from church whom I’ve known for a little while now commented “I don’t know that I’ve ever seen you standing up before! You’re REALLY tall!” That’s the majority…”You’re really tall!” Thanks Sherlock. Any other clues you’d like to point out? I’m also really bald, and really ruggedly handsome, but you don’t always mention those, do ya?!
Some people become street-fair side-shows when they see how tall I am. “Wow, you’re pretty tall. Did you play basketball?” Yes, when I was a kid, but I found that being tall wasn’t the only prerequisite, no matter what you’re high-school guidance counselor may have suggested. You also need to be good at basketball, which I was not.
My personal favorite is when people get upset with me that I’m tall…like, “Oh man! You’re so tall! I always have to crane my neck to see you! Stop growing!”. Hey, listen, it wasn’t exactly by choice. In fact, when I was kid, I didn’t even want to grow up! I only wanted to be tall enough to reach the cookies on the top shelf.
What you “short people” don’t understand is that there are SO MANY reasons that being tall is not as cool as you’d think. I constantly hear things like “man, I wish I’d ever gotten tall like that!”… no you don’t. Being tall sucks most of the time. Here are a few reasons:
First, you bump your head on EVERYTHING. When I was a kid, I had bunk beds in my room. I hated it! When I slept on the bottom bunk, I’d slam my forehead on the top bunk. When I slept on the top bunk, I’d hit the ceiling. There was no safe zone. In my pre-adolescent years, we’d go out to USS Silversides, a WWII submarine that was set up as an overnight destination, where you could spend the night on an actual submarine. Sounds cool, until you get the only giant 12 year old giant, who has to pretend to be Quasimodo all night, hunching his back over to pass through the maze of tunnels, so he doesn’t bump his fool head every time he turns around. Even as an adult, there are actual times I need to duck under door frames. Bottom shelves are a hassle, because if what you need is in the back of the shelf, you’re inevitably getting a lump along with it. I think I have enough dents in my cranium to constitute disability…maybe I should claim that on my next job application…
Secondly, “fitting” anywhere or anything. cars are an issue. I would love to drive a smaller, more fuel-efficient automobile. Unfortunately, it would look alot like driving a Chevy Spandex…My wife drives a Cobalt. I almost need a shoehorn to get in, and I feel like I’m folded in half every time I have to drive it. Back seats are rarely a good idea, as you need 40 feet of leg room, and get all of 4 inches. My head typically brushes the ceiling of most cars if I sit straight. Even in my old car, I have to not only put the seat on the lowest setting, but then tilt it back. I’m the most gangsta white guy who doesn’t look like a complete idiot driving down Woodward these days! This also also usually means that I drive most places, because I can comfortably sit in my own car…and that’s an inconvenience for anyone who needs to ride in the back seat…I can’t spare a whole lot of room for your length either! And don’t get me started on clothes. Big and Tall is twice as pricey, and still sometimes doesn’t have what I need. I need to order my shoes most of the time online…and last year for Halloween, the best I could do was to go as a normal sized guy on stilts!
Lastly, people are much more forward with you. I’m not just talking about all of you who comment on my height, like I mentioned in the beginning of this post. I’m talking about that random person who approaches me at Kroger because she needs me to reach the Special K Cereal on the top shelf. I’m constantly the “kill the spider in the corner of the ceiling” guy, and the “can you hold this up here while I hammer it” guy, and the “can you see my friend, he’s wearing a blue hat” guy. Also, the worst tall-jokes float around. “Big Fella” is a regular nickname, and the weather up here is just like yours, you horrible person.
So, keep all this in mind next time you wish you were taller. Just because your date can’t wear heels because she’d be taller than you, doesn’t mean you’ve got it rough. At least you won’t slip a disk in your back bending down for a kiss…and when you dance together, it won’t look like you’re doing the cute father-daughter “stand on my feet” thing either. Enjoy your midgetry.
Until next time,