Walking Tall

I’ve started walking this past week. That’s my way of starting to get in shape. I’ve been so lazy the last 2 years and since I’ve got it in my head that I’m going to hike Mount St Helen’s this fall, I need to start somewhere.

Today on my hour long walk I encountered many, many people. It’s Saturday, the weather is amazing, and the Farmer’s Market is in full swing.  Usually on my walks I put in my ear buds, turn up my music, and don’t pay much attention to my surroundings.  Today I actually paid attention and I’m glad I did because as I was walking through a huge throng of people downtown, I heard someone comment very loudly, “Look at that beautiful height!”  Then I heard multiple others agree and some really nice compliments made me smile as I passed.  As graceful as a gazelle???  Me?  I pretended like I didn’t hear, but I did, and it gave me the biggest glow from the inside.

What I find interesting is that I was about 7 blocks to my destination and just before I hit this large group of people, all I could think about was “how much my knees hurt, and that little twinge in my back, oh sweat just rolled in my eye….”  And with that one comment (and the others too), I was walking on air.  All of my little hurts were forgotten.  In fact, I probably could’ve kept going for even longer than I did simply because someone made me feel good.

Look at the joy on my face!  That's how I fee today.  (That's Troy in the corner)

Look at the joy on my face! That’s how I feel today.

I overheard a few other comments as well, mostly from young kids.  You know, the point and ‘Look at that tall lady, mom!’  I don’t mind those.   I usually wave and smile.

So I guess today is a great day to be tall.  Sure glad I am.

So you wanna start a Tall Club, eh?

You’re tall.  You feel like you hang out with a lot of tall people.  You think it would be fun to start a tall club.  So you talk to your other tall friends and everyone seems to think it would be fun and a great idea.  Now what?  Well, that’s what I’m here for!  I’ve got the inside info on how you can start your very own tall club and also how you too can become affiliated with Tall Clubs International.

The basic requirements:

  1. Men must be a minimum of 6’2″ and women must be a minimum of 5’10”.
  2. All members must be at least 21 years of age.
  3. Start-up clubs should be active for 6 months prior to application for membership
  4. Minimum membership prior to application for membership is 15 members.
  5. TCI annual dues are $3 per member, minimum of $45, due in January of each year.

The basic steps

  1. Name your club and elect officers
  2. Publicize your club (Facebook, Twitter, Meet-Up, etc)
  3. Begin having regular meetings and social events to attract more members
  4. Write your bylaws (samples available)
  5. Open a bank account and start collecting dues to fund events
  6. Once you have 15 members it’s time to apply for members ship!  (you must have authorization by a majority vote of your members directing the club president to seek membership through TCI)
  7. Contact TCI’s Vice President of Membership (tci-membership@tall.org) at least 60 days prior to the annual convention (usually the last weekend in June) to submit your application for membership.  You will need:
  • Letter of Application from your Club President
  • Letter of Sponsorship from another TCI club in good standing (find one that’s close in proximity to you or perhaps make friends with someone in a club OR contact me and I’ll direct you to someone close to you)
  • Send a check for 1/2 of the annual dues (minimum $22.50 for 15 members)
  • List of founding members (Include: names, officially measured height barefoot, zip code, and email address)

If all is in order, your new club will be nominated for membership at the annual Delegates meeting during Convention.

Some of my tall club members at Convention in Las Vegas in 2009 when I won Miss Tall International.

Why should I become affiliated with Tall Clubs International (TCI)?

  • Charity–TCI is affiliated with several charities so your funds go to some great charities such as Marfan Syndrome and Habitat for Humanity.
  • Parents–TCI is a little like your parent.  You have your local club and then TCI above your local club.  It’s a great dynamic.
  • Parties–do you like to party?  Yeah, me too.  And so do many of the TCI members.
  • Tall People–do you like to party with tall people?  Yeah, me too…..see where I’m going with this?
  • Tall Stores–what better place to swap stories about tall stores or even better swap clothes.  Or how about this, many tall stores offer discounts to members of TCI!!!
  • Miss Tall International–Are you single, female, and always wanted to wear a crown and a sash?  Perhaps you should consider running for Miss Tall International.
  • Ummmm…FUN–I don’t think I need to expand on this

Me and my tall friend Jan. This was taken at a Tall Christmas party!

Now, if you’d like to start a tall club please do!  If you would like more information on this please feel free to contact TCI Vice President (currently Genie Williamson) at tci-membership@tall.org.

I can also assist if you would like to contact me at misstallgirlramblings@gmail.com.  I can direct you to clubs near you or directly to TCI for further assistance.

If I could change 1 thing because I’m tall it would be…

Why not bigger tree houses?  We need bigger tree houses to better suit our taller bodies!

I’ve actually thought a long time about this…a long, long time and I’ve wanted to write about it but it’s a difficult and personal thing for each individual.  Someone that is 5’10” is going to want something much different than someone who is 7’8″. And the difference between males and females is also going to vary greatly as well.  I think what I personally would like to change is going to be very, very different than say, a guy that’s 6’10”.  But I guess we’ll see.

The more I thought about this the more I couldn’t narrow it down to one thing.  I can think of one thing that I want more than others, but there are multiple things that I want.  Typical female…I moved my list around so many times although my #1 stayed the same.  Here goes!

If I could change 1 (okay, more than 1) thing because I’m tall it would be:

1.  Airline Seats–now I know this one is obvious but I wouldn’t actually change the width because I fit fine in the actual seat.  It’s the distance between the seats needs to be longer!  My knees are right up against the back of the seat in front of me.  And if the jack-hole in front of me chooses to recline in their seat…I’m going to be a very unhappy passenger.  Or, the airlines could save the bulk-head and exit row seats (provided we can assist in the event of an emergency) for passengers over 6’2″ AND NOT CHARGE US EXTRA!!!!

I chose this for my number one because I travel a lot.  I spend so much money on extra leg-room and checking my luggage that my trips become much more expensive than I’d really like them to be.  An extra $25-$45 for the leg room both ways and then another $20-$25 for my bags, we’ve now added another $100-$150 to my already expensive trip!  Yikes.

Who has extra cash?  Apparently me…

2.  Tall Clubs InternationalTCI (Tall Clubs International) is such an important part of height awareness and they have so much to give as a social club and as a charity, but unfortunately the group is dwindling.  The club began in 1939 and there are still approximately 50 clubs throughout the Unites States with nearly 2,000 members however there was a time when the active membership was nearly 5,000.  I’d like to help get TCI back on the map with some beefed up membership and more active members but I’ll be honest, even I haven’t been very active myself lately.  Life tends to get in the way.  More membership, more advertisement, more sponsors…we need to get more activity!

My 6’4″ friend Megan who is a former President of Tall Clubs International and of course, Moi on the left.

3.  Clothes–okay, let me be a little more specific because personally I don’t have a terrible time finding clothes however there are 2 categories of tall people who need help with clothing:

  • Tall, plus sized-this combination is nearly impossible for women to find good, quality, and reasonably priced clothing.  Most women can’t spend $100 per shirt or $150 per pair of pants.  That’s simply too much for the average woman so there needs to be better availability of tall, plus-sized clothing as well as better pricing.
  • Clothes for the super tall-allow me to explain further.  I have a friend, Chris, who is 6’9″.  He shops at 1 store for almost all of his clothes.  1 store!  I don’t know how he does it.  For those men and women over 6’6″ with inseams over 38′, they need specialty stores that also aren’t horribly expensive and they also need greater access to these stores.

This is Chris and these are actually his hats. Wait, that’s not true. He really wears hats like this to distract people from his 6’9″ height. Okay…that’s not true either.

4.  Height Awareness-I’d like to change some perceptions that people seem to have about tall people.  We all play basketball, we are all freaks, tall women only want to date taller men (okay, for those of you that read my last blog yes, I am searching for a tall guy but that doesn’t mean I haven’t dated shorter guys in the past.  Don’t judge) and all the tall men only date women under 5 feet.  We all get labeled somehow.  We’ll I’ve come up with a few examples of things I’d like for people to know that it’s NOT okay to do or say.

  • It’s not okay to come up behind me when I’m not looking and stand back-to-back with me while your friends take your picture.  You might get punched, seriously.
  • I may or may not have played basketball and unless you know me, you probably should be careful what you ask.  Is it okay to touch a pregnant women’s belly?  Consider my feelings like that pregnant women’s belly…tread lightly.
  • To point and stare at me as I walk by is downright rude.  Learn some manners (unless you are under the age of 8, then it’s acceptable)
  • Thinking you are funny by saying something clever like ‘How’s the weather up there’ or ‘What’s up shorty?’ is really your way of indicating your very low IQ
  • Please don’t ask me to compare hands with you.  Yes, my hands are probably bigger.  I’d also wager that so is my brain.
  • No, my parents aren’t tall.  They are very short, I’m a mutant.  Who can explain science?

My family! All right…my dad is really tall, so is everyone else in my family.

So there you have it.  4 things that I would change and I KNOW I didn’t touch on some topics that others would want to change.  I wonder how much would actually change if I could at least get my wish with the first 4…..hmmmmm, I think I’ll go ponder that for awhile.

My Zappos order came!

If you are an avid reader of my blog (and I know you are) then you’ll remember just a week or so ago when I was in a hotly contested debate with myself what shoe I should buy from Zappos.com. Chuck Taylor or Sno-Tire? And if you are a follower of my Facebook Fan Page (and I know my Mom…. isn’t. It’s not her fault, she still uses AOL as her email account) then you already know that I went with the Chuck Taylors.

As I patiently waited for their arrival, my good friend, Ficken Esquire, asked me what they might ship these colossal shoes in?

Ficken: It’s coming the box they ship piano’s in. You better get a crow bar.

Me: Fick, that’s absurd. The biggest box they will come in is the kind they ship coffin’s in.

The box it came in was actually pretty big, but not too terribly so.

Wait a second. I just realized that there should be something else in the photo to give you perspective. How about this?

Now that’s just ridiculous. How is my talking Jesus doll supposed to give you perspective?

Theeeeeere we go. Thank you Ganesh. It is all clear now.

Anyway, I proceeded to open the box, with lead me to a slightly smaller box which lead me to my long awaited Chuck Taylors.

The only way it could have been better would is if a bright, shimmering light had come out of the box with the sound of Kareem Abdul Jabar’s voice whispering in my ear, “That’s right my child. Shoes to fit our gloriously large feet.”

I immediately put them on.

Pretty, aren’t they? It’s as if I traveled back to when I was 10, reliving my youth through my canvas covered feet. Ah, the joyous memories……

Only problem is they’re actually TOO BIG!!! Can you believe it? I ordered huge shoes and they are too huge. Go figure. That’s the last time I ignore the advice of relitavley anonymous advice in my comment section. (Sorry JLD)

Tomorrow they go back into the box and back to Zappos where I’ll grab a smaller size and see how they work out. And how do I do that? I just print a label, slap it on, and drop it off. I know… awesome right?

Anyway, Friday I am off to Vegas. God willing, I will have some interesting tall tales to tell when I return. Enjoy the weekend everybody!

Tall Feet = Tall Shoes

I swear that for most of my life I have hated shopping in general. Shoe shopping in particular. When I was a kid, I actually wore a pair of high top shoes so long that eventually, the back end of the shoe separated from the heal. I eventually made them into puppets.

Eventually, as I got older, it got worse because stuff just stopped fitting. I’d literally walk into a show store and take whatever pair of shoes they had that fit me because most stores only stock up to size 12. Of the size 12, they have maybe 4 kinds to choose from. Once I hit size 13, it was all over. Now I’m a size 14D, which means my feet are wider than “normal”. I was wearing 15’s for a while, which kind of feels like wearing clown shoes.

I considered shopping online, but I never liked ordering something that might not fit only to have to figure out how to ship it back. I’ve never been pleased with many companies return policies and have felt screwed on several occasions.

Lucky for me, at the MBA program I was in a class where we got around to talking about websites and one of the one’s that was mentioned was www.zapos.com. Apparently, this site not only makes it easy to order but they also include the packing to SHIP IT BACK!!! Seriously, right along inside. You hate it, throw it in the return bag and it goes back.

I’ve finally decided to try it out as my running shoes a long time ago, a sad looking pair of New Balance, really don’t go with my belt. And if there is one thing that my gay friends taught me is that my shoes better match my fucking belt.

So here are the two pairs I’ve narrowed it to:

I like brown, just cause I’m not a terribly colorful guy when it comes to my clothes. I think it has to do with the already “public life” that tall people lead, which means I don’t need to do anything extra to draw attention to myself.

Which brings me to a question to you, my wonderful readers who might give a shit about this: which pair do I buy as my first attempt at Zapos? I’ll let you know how it goes, if I return it and how smoothly that all runs. I figure, better me wasting my money to try it out and let you know if it’s something you should use as opposed to all of you trying it and end up hating the service. It works, I’ll add it as a link on the side bar. If not, I SHALL BURN YOUR WEBSITE TO THE GROUND ZAPOS!!!! 🙂

PS: I’ve added a link to Zinn’s Big and Tall Bike Shop. It’s a bike store that is solely dedicated to making bike’s for tall riders. Sorry guys, I don’t have enough money to actually buy one and try it out for you. But if you want to buy one or convince the nice people at Zinn to send me one I’ll let you know how it handle’s on the streets of San Francisco.