Height happens. Are you over 5’8? If you are, then maybe you’ve been called “tall” at sometime during your life. I was 5’8 when I went to college, and I ended up 5’10. So, what is my fave animal? It is the giraffe, of course. (Hooray for local hero, April the giraffe!) Have you ever seen one of those things run? Hysterical, the poor creature is all neck, knee caps and toe nails. That pretty much sums up my years in middle school.
I was that tall girl in your class who was always in the back row. Tall girls don’t gravitate to the front row, even though they may be “pay attention” types. There was nothing more embarrassing than the “cool” kid telling you that you make a better door than a window.
Why is it that tall girls want to be smaller, and short girls want to be taller? Why do tall girls always feel big? Not just tall, but big. I think the thinner air up here affects our judgement. I always feel big, and my husband is always telling me I’m not that big.
The anti-me would be petite. Evil Ani would be pint sized. I say that, but at this point in my life I would not want to be a mini me. Tall is power once you know how to use it.
I do have an aversion to the word petite. Why? It isn’t a human issue, I have a lot of petite friends, right Linda? My friend Kim is perfectly petite. I got new living room furniture that I loved because it was big and filled up a very big living room with high ceilings. When Kim first came over for Friday afternoon tea and chat she sat down on my brand new loveseat and ShaZam, she looked exactly like Stuart Little perched up there on my couch. Her feet didn’t touch the floor. We get together for tea and chat several times throughout the year, and we call it “Stuart Littleing”.
I don’t like the word “petite” because inevitably, when I’m shopping at a store I wander into the petite section without noticing. I’ll peruse the cute tops at Kohls, start at Vera Wang, pick through the trendy stuff, and as I reach for that adorable crepe shirt with the bold print I’ll recognize the sign above my head (but not that high above), Petite. Uck. But listen up, tall girls can use petite shoppers to their advantage. A petite friend will never compete with you for the same stuff. And, if you are unsure of a purchase, or shopping for someone else who will show up later, you can always pop a size 12 top or a pair of size 11 shoes into a smaller size rack, where they will go untouched by the mini minions. I did that once for my girlfriend Colleen. She was searching high and low for size 11 silver shoes to wear to her son, Nathan’s, bar mitzvah. While in TJ Maxx I had a silver shoe encounter. I lined up 5 pairs of size 11 options in the size 6 shelf for her to check out at her convenience. Two weeks later I was back, and all 5 pairs of shoes were still on the size 6 shelf. Tall girls unite!
Tall girls need a handbook on how to handle their stature. If I had possessed some self esteem earlier in life, I could have rocked being a tall teen. Instead, I spent my time trying to disappear, shrink, and blend in to the scenery. What a waste!
People make assumptions about tall girls. Do you play basketball? That would have been nice, but no. My height was wasted on me when it came to basketball. I had a soccer coach who begged me to play on his basketball team. Despite zero understanding of the game, and no experience on the court, he wanted my height under the basket. Lisa Leslie, your job is safe. A basketball may as well have been a gyroscope, I didn’t know what the hell to do with it.
Tall girls have safety issues at bars. Yes, bars are danger zones for tall girls. Why? You sit down, men walk up to the bar to order, start talking to you, offer to buy you a drink, and then if you move to a table to sit with them AAAACCKK! As you stand up and keep standing and standing, and standing you go from eye level, to staring him in the forehead, to checking out the top of his head. Tall girls stand up at bars. There is nothing wrong with dating a guy that is your height or shorter, but it isn’t a truth you want to discover at a bar. Tall doesn’t always make a good first impression. I don’t think tall girls mind so much, I think it is the guy that gets uncomfortable. He doesn’t measure up, so to speak. But, real men date tall chicks.
Tall girls all have something in common other than their height. Their feet. Big foot has nothin’ on tall chicks. We are tall. We need a good foundation to keep us from tipping over in the wind. I wore a size 10 shoe until I gave birth, then each kid added a half size to my gunboats. Yes, gunboats. That is what a salesperson at Kinney Shoes called my feet when my mom and I went shopping for school shoes one year. After measuring my foot on that little gun metal grey measuring slide he said “We are a shoe store. We don’t sell gunboats.” Ouch. Can you see where the lack of self esteem may have come from? I don’t know why that guy was surprised when we got up and left. He may have been kidding, but don’t mess with tall chicks and their flipper feet!
Maybe that early experience is why I now have a fetish for fun shoes. I embraced my big tootsies and now dress them in the most adorable, outstanding and fun shoes I can find. I have a thing about my shoes matching my outfit. Lime green golf shirt needs lime green Keds. Pink shirt and floral golf skort needs floral pink espadrilles with hot pink ties. Every Friday at work is “spirit” day and teachers wear our school colors of Orange, Black and White – Go Tigers. Of course, I have my perfect pair of Nikes with orange swoosh.
Where do tall chicks find their “gunboats”? Burlington Coat Factory offers a needle in every haystack, just don’t fall into the slut shoe aisle or you may never crawl out. I scored some adorable sporty slides there one year, and now I go back seasonally to search. Zappos.com helps too, but they are pricey for a teacher budget. Attention Target shoppers, Target didn’t sell over a size 10 until 2 years ago. Now Target stocks size 11, and they have some adorable, affordable and funky stuff. Kohls has size 11s, but they only get 1 per style. Their Vera Wang shoes come in 11, but again, only one pair per style, so don’t wait to find them on the sale rack.
Best Tall Tales:
1987, traveling with the Va Tech Basketball team as a sports photographer. I had to sit in the middle seat between two players because I was the shortest passenger in our group. I loved it! I always got the middle seat because I was comparatively puny!
Nashville, TN in 1989, I looked Lyle Lovett in the eye while shopping at Tower Records.
Wedding 1993, I wore customized ballet slippers with my wedding gown so I wouldn’t tower over my new husband. Remember, real men not only date tall chicks, they marry them!
Tall Teachers Rock! No need to yell, standing over a group of teen boys while using your teacher-look is discipline enough in most instances. In middle school hallways I can stand in the middle of a busy hallway like a beacon. No Child Left Behind? Don’t get me started. But, at least this tall teacher can ensure that no child will get away with bad behavior in her hallway while she’s watching.
Tall chicks have tall kids! My oldest son went to college 6’0 and graduated an All American baseball player at 6’2. His “little” brother is 6’4 and still in college. Tall genes come from Norway in our family! Yah!
So, while you may think “everything looks good on tall chicks” or “you’re so tall you can eat anything, and it doesn’t show” remember this . . . don’t make assumptions until you have walked a day in my size 11s.