This past weekend there was a big football game between the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Iowa State Cyclones. I would’ve loved to have been back at Kinnick Stadium to tailgate with my fellow Hawkeyes but instead I found a place here in Portland, OR where they play all of the Hawkeye games.
What I find wonderful about this little place is that every person there exuded the spirit of true Iowa people: passionate about football, polite, friendly, and genuine. I felt like I was in my hometown except for one thing, they were all short. There was one guy there who was just over the 6’0” mark but everyone else was short! What the heck?
I went up to the bar and ordered a beer apologizing to the couple behind me for blocking their view of the game (why is it that us ‘tall folk’ feel the need to apologize for something we can’t control?) and the woman said to me, “You’re definitely from Iowa, you’re tall.” I said, “Yes I am. Thank you.” And then I headed back to my place to watch the game. I heard a couple of whispers, “I wonder if she played at Iowa?” “Man she’s tall!” “Look at that hottie!” Okay, I made that last one up but the whispers were still there which of course I love. I tried to catch people’s eyes so that I could make conversation but eyes were mostly on the game.
Being a Hawkeye is a tradition in our family because my cousin is an Athletic Director at Iowa so we are big Hawk fans and because this is an inter-state rivalry, this was a big game. I had to watch this game. The game started and the Hawks were kicking some butt. There were high fives all around and I had to laugh. This cute little blond girl made a big scene of getting up on a bar stool to give me a high-five. To which I stood on my tip-toes and really made her work for it. I love doing that. The game ended and of course the Hawks won!!
Next we headed to my Tall Club’s rummage sale. We are raising money for our TALL Scholarship and the rummage sale is one of our ways to raise a little money and help us to clean out our closets. Remember how I take pictures with short people? Here’s one I think you may enjoy. This was taken at the rummage sale (or garage sale for those not from the Midwest).
Now normally I wouldn’t share my entire day of events with you but here’s where I think every TALL person can relate: height doesn’t take a day off. Everywhere I go my height goes with me and although I usually don’t even think about it, others can’t help but see it. At the bar watching the game I didn’t think twice about my height until I went to the bar and ordered a drink. Then I felt like I had to apologize for blocking someone behind me. I’m polite by nature so it’s not completely out of character for me but it never occurred to me that a short person wouldn’t apologize, why did I feel compelled to say something?
Then of course when I was at the rummage sale and the wonderful picture opportunity came up, I started thinking again about how my height is always present. Thankfully I grew up in a family that nurtured tallness instead of cursing it, but it makes me wonder how I would cope if it were the other way around. What if I didn’t want to be tall? How do you get away from something that is always present?
I always remind myself of how lucky I am and height is one thing that I’m very grateful to have. I wish that more people could experience this and it’s too bad I’m in the 95th percentile (or something like that). Or maybe that’s a good thing…too many people like me around might make me less special. Either way if you are reading this, hopefully you can relate. I guess the moral of the story is, height doesn’t a vacation, so you should always be prepared to take pictures with short people.