Stretching manners beyond breaking point
“It must be hard being a tall woman”. That’s the pearl of wisdom passed on to my six foot four female friend by some idiot in a café. It was closely followed by “But you’ve got a good physique for a tall woman” and, at the mention of me, a fellow ‘doing-it-tough tall woman’ at six foot three, the man nodded sympathetically and said “Yeah, I bet you flock to your own kind”.
Hmm. She laughed and politely exited. I probably would have punched him in frustration.
Our own kind? We’re not martians. Women over six foot are not freaks. Yes, it’s hard to find pants long enough to fit sometimes, but that’s about the only handicap. Chances are I can see if the tosser who just made some stupid remark about my height is balding/has dandruff. I can reach things on top shelves. I can paint ceilings with just a long-handled roller and don’t need a ladder. It’s not like I do that often, but hey, the option is there if I want it.
But If I had a buck for every time a stranger has come up to me and said “Woah! You’re tall! I bet you play basketball?” (sadly I’m a cliché and do). Or “Wow, I’m really sorry to ask but how tall are you?”. If you’re really sorry to ask, don’t ask. I’m not joking when I say a conversation about my height is a daily occurrence.
Here’s a list of other height-related remarks that I’ve had:
* “How’s the weather up there?” (I get this often. Seriously. The weather is the same, just FYI)
* “I bet it’s hard to find a tall man!” (Does it really matter if he’s taller than me? If I’m OK with it, you should be)
* “You must find it so hard to buy clothes”. (Pants, as previously discussed, can be. But generally, it’s not like I’m in tears of rage because nothing fits. It’s just like shopping for a “normal” height person)
* “Do you ever wear heels?” (Yes. What’s your point?)
* “Is your partner taller than you?” (Um, yes. But I dated a shorter man for a long time)
* “You’re really just too tall” (This only happened once but it actually hurt my feelings. Be nice people. Tall people have feelings too)
* “Woah..she’s a big b*tch!” (This was said to me in a nightclub one night. I did want to punch the fellow, but was tactfully diverted by pals)
* “Are you a netballer or a basketballer?” (What if I was neither? Does that mean I’m a failure?)
I’ve also been called Amazonian, huge, and countless other adjectives for tall. I’m a little over it. Do you go up to someone who is very short and say: “Oh wow, you’re so tiny I could just fit you in my pocket. I bet you flock to your own kind”?
Or someone’s who is a little on the portly side and say: “Gosh, you are just so large that it must be hard to buy clothes. I bet you flock to your own kind”?
So, good people of the world, don’t comment on every tall woman you see. It’s just not necessary. If you really, really feel the need to, make sure you give her a dollar when you do. Because then, with all our accumulated comments and dollars, tall women can quit their jobs and live in peace on an island full of “our own kind”.
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