“Wow! You’re sooo TALL!”
Wow! You are sooo observant! Have a cookie.
Normally, I don’t get to rant about things like this. Because most girls I interact with aren’t tall enough to have these annoying things happen to them. But the girlfriends I have who are above average height can somewhat understand how irritating it can be sometimes. And I say my girlfriends because the way people interact with tall guys is certainly not the same way they interact with tall girls. On that note, I’ll be speaking from my experience. But don’t get it twisted – I love my height! I’m all of…. *drumroll* ….6 feet and 2 inches tall (Yes, I’m over 6 ft) so no I’m not just a little tall for a lady. But guess what? There ain’t no shame in my game. There are some persons though, who seem to go out of their way to say the most unnecessary things. (*whisper* I think a lot of it stems from some unaddressed insecurities, the poor things) but why a soul feels the need to fill that void with unwarranted and sometimes straight up arsey behaviour beats me! However, there are some fantastic things about being as tall as I am. And even though the height sometimes comes with downsides, I wouldn’t give up even a centimetre.
So today, I’m going to write about being tall. Why? Because while there’s so much more to me than my height, it really is a part of who I am. And now you guys get to hear from the giraffe’s mouth (haha, get it?) about all the cool and not-so-cool stuff associated with it.
Let’s start with the pains:
Unsolicited Comments ~~~
This is probably the biggest pain, because it can just hit you out of nowhere. You’re minding your own business, being tall and fabulous, and some vertically-challenged mushroom decides to offer his/her commentary that you didn’t file a request for. And dem well and think seh dem a contribute to yuh life enuh. But not really. Anyway, the most common comment is…
1. “Wow, you’re sooo tall. Do you play netball/basketball?”
Now this isn’t so bad. It gets annoying only because I’ve heard it so. many. times. I usually say no, because it’s true; I’ve never quite been the sports enthusiast. I’m as clumsy as a potato riding a bicycle. But this is where it gets better (by better, I mean worse, just to be clear). They then say, “No man, but why yuh nah do nothing with di height!? You wasting it man! Such a shame.”
LISTEN. TO. ME. I didn’t ask you for career advice. So refrain from suggesting that I’m wasting some non-existent talent. Let’s be clear. One – there is no reason for me to pursue something I’m not interested in just because it looks like it would suit me. Two – I don’t owe that to anyone. You wanting to see me play sports won’t make it happen. Three – there is a lot more to playing netball or basketball than being tall, and I am not the one. Four – there’s a lot more to me than being tall. And I repeat, I am not the one. There’s lots more I’d rather do, that I’d actually be good at. Me not playing a sport is not “wasting” anything.
2. “Sit down when you’re talking to me.” or “Stand over there (on lower level) when you’re next to me.”
I feel like this is just another way of saying, “Your very presence makes me feel inadequate and that’s uncomfortable for me. It’s a threat to my self-esteem so I’d like for it not to exist. So let’s create the illusion that this is not happening right now and that you’re not actually much taller than me.”
Now when we put it that way, it sounds sad. And that’s exactly what it is! We’re having a fine conversation and this person is so insecure that they have to pause to make such a lame demand. I don’t know why it bothers some people so much, but honestly it’s not my problem. That’s something you need to work out on your own, honey. I mean… The audacity to want me to adjust myself to make you feel better about yourself! *clutches pearls* I’m flabbergasted! Usually, I politely decline. “I think the person with the problem should be the one to address it. Don’t you agree?” They normally just respond with a sour look when I say that. So before you tell me I make you feel short, ask yourself, “Is she? Or am I just making myself feel short looking at her?” Deep stuff. I could be a psychologist. We can talk about the consultation fee later. Wink wink.
3. “How are you going to find a boyfriend???”
*Ten thousand groans* really? Fam, I kid you not. There are people out here telling me I’m not going to find a man because I’m tall. The first mistake is this unfounded standard that my partner has to be taller than me in the first place. (Several gasps are heard in the distance). YES I SAID IT. THE GUY NEED NOT BE TALLER THAN THE LADY. Fight me. I’m not sure if it’s because most people are shorter than me and I’ve grown so accustomed to everyone being lower than eye level that I’ve developed no such criterion. But dang people! It’s not that big a deal. Especially considering I’ve been with someone for almost 3 years now who isn’t even brushing 6 feet. (Teehee!) Take that, nay sayers!
These are only some of the annoying comments. You have the reverse with people saying I should be with someone short because “Think of the children!” No! You think about how dumb you sound! Asking me how the weather is up there. What? Sorry I can’t hear you, being so far up and all. People asking if I wear heels (why yes, yes I do). People asking why I wear heels (well for one, because I can. And two, because I look fantastic, duh – so get over it). Random dudes telling me they could never date a taller girl… as if I asked them. Oh nooooo. I’m soooo distrauuught! Really.
Shopping for Clothes & Shoes ~~~
Ughhhhhhhh! Average-sized people have all the fun here. Not having to worry about something being in their size at the store. First of all, I can’t just buy cute shoes at the random vendor by the roadside. Because they are not going to carry my size. And I have to keep my expectations low in stores when I see shoes I like so as not to be disappointed when they say they don’t have my size. *Turns into pretzel* I’m not salty, I swear! Also, when it comes to clothes, it seems my catchphrase is: “That’s not a minidress, it’s a blouse!” so leggings have become a close friend of mine. And pants? Let me just say I have legs for days. And these cute jeans I just spotted in this boutique are not having it. Having to cuff my jeans because otherwise they look like flood pants… is sadness I tell you. Sadness. *sniffles*
Bumping My Head Into Things ~~~
Going into vehicles, getting out of vehicles, low door post thingies, tarpaulins, random shrubs. You name it. The shrubs though. This one hurts my soul. Because the people in my neighbourhood who trim up their plants feel as though 5’10” is high enough. Because they themselves are tiny. Now I have burr-burr in my hair. Today I walked to school with a twig hanging out of my hair. Big up to my classmate who alerted me of this fiasco. And branches slapping me in my face. Leaves getting up close and personal. What have I done to deserve this assault? A casual walk to school has become a game of limbo. Now I have to walk in the road because the sidewalk is a hazard for me. Y’all inconsiderate. Fo sho.
Getting Cramped in Small Spaces ~~~
Like buses and cars. And some kind of seats at school. My legs need room to stretch, dangit! I don’t want to be kneeing the old man in front of me in the back! He probably already has back problems, the poor thing. Have you no remorse that you’ve subjected me to this evil deed? Because of your tiny ve-hickle? Ugh. And let’s not talk about the back of the minibuses because every pot hole is accompanied by a slam of my head top into the ceiling. One of these days it’s going to be a concussion before you guys take me seriously. Hmph!
But enough about the negativity! Now let’s talk about how AWESOME being tall is! And man, it is awesome indeed.
Always Getting Shotgun ~~~
Because of everlasting legs. To my friends, I be like, “Get in the front” and in response, they be like “Oh no hun, you’re the tallest. Go in the front.” and I be like “Aww you don’t have to…” while smirking to myself on the inside because yaaas front seat! Unless this is a family setting, where my brother is taller. And in that case, drats!
Seeing Over Crowds ~~~
This can be especially useful when you arrive late to some gathering and you’re seated or standing at the back. Because no problem! You can see over everyone’s head. Also, as a bonus, this makes it easier to locate your cute little friends who got whisked away by the crowd. “I see you Jess! I’m coming to get you, munchkin! Stay right there!” *dives into crowd heroically*
Looking Like A Modelllll ~~~
Yes, people ask me all the time if I model. And yes, I do sometimes. And according to my mom, I have the type of look that makes me look great in anything I wear *beams with pride because obviously mom is a solid point of reference, thank you, hahaha* There’s just this elegance that comes with being tall. Well, it’s the way you carry yourself. But being vertically inclined definitely helps.
I Give Great Hugs ~~~
To my shorter friends, I am a present cushion in the time of trouble. A lot of my friends reach me at chest level. I know it’s nice having someone bigger hold you when you’re feeling low. So yes, rest in my bosom, oh tiny one. “I should totally make this a part-time job,” I think while I pat the head of 5’5″ Danielle and she smiles in satisfaction. Hugs are healing, okay? And my huggability is off the charts. Bonus: People use me for shade from the sun too. I’m literally a super hero.
I Get To Eat More ~~~
Do I really need to elaborate? A well-fed Sihle is a happy Sihle. And being tall means literally having a longer gut. Hahaha. And that means more room for all my favourites. And all that food has a large body with long limbs to provide nutrients for. And so, fat accumulates rather slowly. Also I don’t get weird looks because when people see my plate they go, “Oh a because yuh tall!” Heheheheh. Riiight. That’s it. (On that note, do people really only have one patty though? Is that a thing? I’m still concerned about this. Am I greedy?)
Getting Used to Being Looked At ~~~
People are going to notice you. It’s unavoidable. And it’s gotten to a point where I’m so used to it that I can tune it out. I used to slump and hunch over when I was younger but as I learned to appreciate how I looked, I started owning it – and being fabulous! Now I don’t feel self-conscious anymore. And this actually spreads into other areas of my life. I’m so used to being observed that I’m comfortable in situations which would cause other persons to feel anxious.
Reaching High Things ~~~
This one should be pretty obvious, but it really is such an advantage. In a store I don’t normally need help reaching the cereal on the top shelf. One time, a guy working in a supermarket I was browsing saw me pick something up off the highest shelf. He was actually further down the aisle standing on a step in order to pack some things up on that same shelf. He said, “a you wi need fi work here so!” Lol. Not to mention that my limbs stretch farther than the average person. This means screwing in light bulbs by myself. It also means using my foot to turn off the light at nights, which is obviously essential for survival. Getchyo self a me.
So these are some of the… highs… *snicker* and lows of being a tall girl. I mean, am I really too tall? Or is the world too small? Ha! So what’s your height? Do you like it? Do you wish you were shorter or taller? Whatever your height, you should try to embrace it. You can’t really change it anyways. So it’s better you learn to love it, because you’re beautiful! And because, well, variety truly is the spice of life 🙂
Hasta pronto, amigos 😉
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