Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The life of a tall person- secrets revealed

Vertically blessed. Giraffe. Further up. Lanky. Skyscraper. The one who can reach the top shelf.

These are a few ways to describe the above average height that I enjoy on daily basis. I am 6'1'', and a female. According to google, that places me in higher than the 97th percentile for women in the US. I'm pretty sure I deserve a gold medal or something.

When I meet people for the first time I get lots of comments like:

"Wow you're so tall!"
"How tall are you??"
"You're so lucky!"
"Mommy mommy look how big she is!" (I overheard a toddler say this to his mom at a store one time)
"You should be a model!" (Me: Oh stop...but go on *flips hair)
"Do you play volleyball/basketball?"
"I bet it's hard to find tall guys to date huh?"

I don't mind these at all, I have fun with my height and it's a surprisingly great conversation starter. I do however feel like it's time to let you average sized people know about some of the challenges that tall people have that you may or may not be aware of. The majority of these are exclusive to the female side of the tall fence- so sorry in advance to the tall guys that won't relate.
  • Near (finger) death experiences with ceiling fans- (This one just happened last night and gave me the idea for this post) I have clipped my fingers more often that I can count (on my fingers) on ceiling fans. I'll go to enjoy a nice relaxing stretch and wha-bam! Ceiling fan smack-down.
  • Dating woes- On the same site that I procured my percentile information on, it had some other fun stats about tall people, one of which was: 3.1% of men in the US are taller than 6'2". Three-point-one percent. Of all men in the US. Now factor in things like my religion, my age, my physical location. Not to mention compatibility. Sometimes I wish I didn't have such an affinity for tall men, but alas, I do. One of the benefits of this you ask? Well, I can walk into a room and scan the top for the heads poking out, and know that I have 5 potential options right away. It also means I can walk into a room and know I have no options right away. Either way, it's a quick and easy (ok ok, and shallow) way to find/eliminate potential.
  • Awkward Dating Moments 1.0: Getting hit on- I try to never be sitting when I'm somewhere that guys might hit on me. All too often a mini-man comes up to chat me up, and I get to watch his gaze shift upward and his face shift to a shocked/scared look when I finally stand up. I'm sure it's mostly awkward for him, it's usually pretty funny for me. I tried to search for a picture to illustrate this and found this one of Tiger Woods that is pretty close. Haha- it makes me laugh.
  • Awkward Dating Moments 2.0: Attempts to monopolize on my genetics- That sounds really odd doesn't it? Here are a couple of examples for you. I have had not one, but many parents/aunts/uncles/grandparents tell me that I need to marry their son/nephew/grandson because they want that particular young man to be able to produce tall children. Now I think that these people know that I have a sense of humor and maybe wouldn't say that ordinarily, but how should one respond to a remark like that? Example two. Once I was on a date with someone tall, and he told me that he won't let people set him up with women that aren't tall because he was "not about to average children". Ha! Glad I can be here for breeding purposes, I'm flattered that you invited me on this date.
  • Accidentally injuring others- I have tripped on a lot of small children. They are just out of my line of vision. (I am notoriously unobservant as well, so that really doesn't help matters) I have also elbowed a lot of people in the face. I might bend my arm to do one thing or another, and next thing I know I've popped the girl behind me in the face. Oops. Here's a tissue for that bloody nose...
  • Weird looks in public- I like to make a game out of this sometimes. I'll notice that when I'm walking around in let's say, a grocery store, that people will see me, then immediately check my feet to see if I am wearing heels. When I am wearing heels it's even funnier because you see a look of relief on their faces when then see my shoes. It's as if they're thinking "Ohhh- that's why she's a foot taller than me, because she has 3-inch heels on."
  • Not fitting- In clothes, on planes, in showers, in cars, in shoes, under tables. Finding well fitting clothes can be such a hassle. I have a 37" inseam, and a wingspan the same as my height (6'1"). Even "tall" sizes in stores are almost never long enough for me. I do most of my shopping online when it comes to anything full length, it's a pain, but I don't have a lot of options here. Also, with legs like these, fitting in any kind of area with designated leg room is typically quite uncomfortable. I'm squished on planes, in cars, on buses, trains, roller coasters, at concerts, at sporting events. I have banged my knees on nearly every table or desk I've ever sat at. The upside to this same issue is always being given the front seat in the car, people are so careful to make sure to give me enough leg room. I love never having to call shotgun!
Now that I've ranted for a full page I feel the need to balance that with a few of the reasons why I love being tall:
  • I never need help to reach things on the top shelf
  • People look up to me literally, and because of that, figuratively too (on occasion)
  • I almost always win the "hey, let's see who's taller!" game
  • I can check all of my friends for dandruff
  • I stand out in a crowd
  • Height (for me) is like built-in confidence
  • When I'm with a group of girl friends I immediately feel like a mother hen guarding my chickies
  • It makes me feel special and unique and gives me something to write a funny blog post about
  • I have to gain 20 lbs before it looks like I gained 10 (Downside- this works in reverse too. Sorry, done ranting, I promise)
  • Long legs
  • Funny stories- oh so many of these!
So for those of you who meet me and tell me how lucky I am and how they wish they could be this tall. Yeah... you're right, I am lucky. And for any of you who wanna hate on me strapping on a pair of heels, well, I can step on you. I may have already on accident. Oops.


    1. Shelly. You may not remember me, but I am stalking your blog right now. This is hilarious. I totally relate. I especially loved what you said about walking into a room and scanning for dating potential. And shorter man hitting on you never ends well. I'm seriously depressed about the number of men over 6'2". Good thing I believe in miracles. Anyway I think you are great.

    2. @Caitlyn: Of course I remember you! And I love that you are stalking my blog. I so hear you on believing in miracles ;).

      @heidikins: Thank you!

    3. I married a guy two inches shorter than me. Its not such a big deal. (I am 6ft). Obviously you don't want to have to kiss someone like 8 inches shorter than you, but you could probably go for guys 5'11 and up :)

    4. You forgot to mention how it often difficult to look on bottom shelves especially in the fridge and so you don't see food until you clean it. How they charge more for extra long clothing. People talk about your height next to you thinking you're deaf and then you have to let them know, I'm tall not deaf.
      Don't settle! My average height was 6'0 for girls I dated. My former spouse's height average was 5'10 for guys she dated. If I can date 6'0 girls, then girls should have the abiility to date guys over 6'0.
      Yes they all were either in college or graduated from college and active lds. Well the ones I was really dating were.
      I don't really see any problems being tall. I just see advantages except when it comes to playing on the playground with my baby girl.

    5. OMG SHELLY. Your fingers have been whacked my ceilings fans at least twice and I saw it happen @ Amiee's room too!!! X_X

      Btw, I'm stalking your blog now. It makes me feel like I'm hanging out with you.

      I'm such a loner/loser. LoL *goes to dark corner and cry*


    6. Yes! Yes!!! I feel like I could cry! Maybe not. I don't think I've really noticed it until now, but I have been needing some tall girl empathy. I'm somewhere between 5'11" and 6', and I completely understand your predicaments and several experiences, especially the comments you get from people. All my friends are shorter than me, so I kind of have these tall-girl-problems that have been stewing undetected in the back of my head until I found your blog. Like, especially, are guys intimidated by girls as tall as or taller than them? I'm in high school, so it might just be that they aren't really mature....Hmm.