The Weather Up Here

My perspective of being really tall.

January 18, 2016

What happens when your parents met through a group called Tall Texans? Their daughter grows up to be 6'5. Yep, that's me. I've always been head and shoulders taller than everyone and it has its highs (ha ha) and lows.

During my day-to-day life, I wouldn't really notice my height if it weren't for the comments I receive on it, or unless I see pictures of myself (see below). Whether I'm just walking through the mall or standing in line at Subway, strangers feel the need to comment.

I received the most questions and "witty" comments when I worked in a convenience store in high school. From "How's the weather up there? ha ha ha" to "Do you play basketball? No? Why not, all you have to do is stand there!" As a store employee, of course I always acted like it was the first time I heard the jokes.

Speaking of sports, people I meet assume I must be some all-star basketball or volleyball player. In reality, anyone who has actually saw me play, suddenly knows why I don't play. Fun fact: I broke and sprained my foot when I was 18 from tripping on a Wal-Mart sack and landing the wrong way. That's how klutzy I am. My mom told me that when I was 4, she put me in dance lessons in hopes that it would make me less clumsy.

I receive all kinds of personal questions from strangers, from how tall the men are that I date and what my clothing size is, to how tall my parents, brothers, cousins, grandparents, etc are. In any other setting I feel like these kinds of questions from strangers would be taboo, but for some reason they're fair game for me.

But of course, I do enjoy a lot of interactions I get from strangers and I receive a lot of compliments on my height. Sometimes people will come up to me and ask where I buy my jeans, because their first cousin's aunt's husband's daughter is 6'1 and has a hard time finding jeans, so I'll tell them about the places online I shop and they seem very appreciative. Old ladies (and only old ladies for some reason) compliment my posture. Meeting other tall people is fun too.

Most of the time, I really don't mind answering these questions. People are generally nice about it. However, some people are rude and will literally yell at me across the aisle in Wal-Mart when they're 20 feet away, "Wow how tall are you!". Once I had a grocery store employee point at me and tell everyone, "Look how tall she is!" while ringing me up. When people are rude, I like to give them funny answers to their questions. When asked why I'm so tall, I'll tell them that I grew a lot. When asked how tall I am, I'll measure my hand up against my head and jokingly say, "This tall." For the majority of people though, I'm happy to talk to them.

Whenever I visit relatives around the holidays, they insist I'm a few inches taller than a few months ago or last year. I'm 22 and my growth plates fused years ago. Then comes the mandatory standing back-to-back with cousins and uncles to compare heights. I should give them a life-size cardboard cutout of me so they don't have to wait for me to come every Christmas to measure.

Finding clothes that fit my body is really my only complaint about being super tall, especially since most clothes are made for women who are a foot shorter than me. I haven't been able to buy pants or dresses in a store that fit since I was 16. Online shopping is a necessity. Shirts in the stores are a hit or miss. For most dresses I have to buy a large size for the length, then get them tailored. Otherwise most dresses are just expensive shirts. Even shoes are problematic since most stores don't carry women's size 12. I buy my running shoes in the men's department. I do have a few tricks when it comes to jeans, though. Several pairs of my jeans are regular length. When I wear them with boots in the winter, nobody knows they don't even reach my ankles. In the summer, I just roll them up once or twice and nobody knows they're not actually supposed to be capris.

Don't get me wrong, being tall has its benefits. I always get the high shelves in apartments since my roommate(s) are usually much shorter than I am. I have saved tens of dollars per year from not needing to ever purchase a step-stool or shower cap, since shower heads are too short to reach my hair when I'm standing up. In fact, before college, I didn't even know that the reason people used shower caps to prevent their hair from getting wet was because they had no choice in the matter, while when I wash my hair I have to duck underneath the shower head. People always remember meeting me, even if I don't remember them. And my view at concerts is always amazing! Getting served at crowded bars is easier when you're a foot taller than the people standing in front of you (this one does make me feel a little guilty). Being tall requires me to eat more calories per day than most other women, so I can eat a lot more while still maintaining a healthy weight.

Most of all, I love my height because it's something that makes me unique.

I'll end with a picture of me standing up in an airplane bathroom.

Questions? Comments? Don't hesitate to contact me!