Tall Girl on TV…

So, let me put this out there right away:  I’m not going to be on TV.  However in the past couple of months I’ve noticed a dramatic uptick in the number of emails I’ve received from ‘TV Producers’.  Over the past few years since I started writing on the Tall Blog and since I joined Tall Clubs International (and won the Miss Tall International pageant), I always seemed to get a request or an email about once a month from someone indicating that I should contact them regarding a new, exciting TV show about Tall people.

The first time it happened I was SO EXCITED!  I was living in Portland at the time and this is also during the time when the TLC show ‘Little People, Big World’ was really gaining momentum.  I thought that maybe I had a shot of becoming a hit reality series especially since the Roloff’s live right outside of Portland.  I could totally relate!  That new star could be ME.

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Me…on a bike! Cool.

The producers and I exchanged many emails and I sent multiple videos answering their many questions.  I thought I was a shoe-in!  This went on for several weeks.  And then….nothing happened.  Each day I’d excitedly check (and re-check) my email until one day I finally realized that I wasn’t going to be a star.

Now fast forward several years later, multiple emails later, and many videos later.  I’m still not on TV and I’m not as naïve to the process.  I still think I’m quite funny, witty, and totally TV material…but I’m not on TV.  And actually now that I’m a little older (and wiser?  Yes, definitely wiser) I think I have good material to be on TV, but I don’t think I should play myself.  But that’s a whole other blog.

What I find interesting (and definitely a learning experience) about this whole process is the direction that each of the producers wanted to take the series.  Lonely, TALL woman can’t find a man because she’s so tall.  Woe is her.  Well…that’s not real life.  It might be real for some women, but it’s all about choices.  This makes me digress into another quick story.

I could’ve been on TV.  Right after I moved to Madison, WI in the fall of 2012 I got an offer to be on the Steve Harvey show to be part of a dating show.  They asked me to be the Tall Girl and they would have 3 Tall Guys that I could pick from.  They would then film a ‘Dating Game’ if you will, and the winner and I would then go out on a date.  Which of course would be filmed for TV.  I declined the chance to be on the show citing my brand new job as my main reason, but I also wasn’t completely comfortable with another outlet providing the message that Tall Women can’t get dates.  That seems to be the usual message.  Hmmm….frustrating.

So I suppose the whole purpose of this blog isn’t to stop producers from emailing me.  Quite the opposite in fact.  Keep those emails coming, however let’s focus on real life.  I’m a normal person who happens to be a little taller than most people.  That’s it.  For now let’s continue with all of the glorious adjectives that describe me….and we’ll also go with the fact that I’m normal, but taller.

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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.

Tall Singles Groups

You never know who might show up at your Tall events...Prince maybe?

How cool is this?  There is a Tall Singles Meet Up Group in Portland!!!  So you know I’m a member of the Portland Skyliners which in turn is a member of Tall Clubs International (TCI).  Our Tall club hosts many events through Meet Up and we have been attracting quite a bit of attention lately particularly through our Meet Up site.  We’ve been posting our social hours, dinner events, misc. events, etc and we’ve been getting quite a few new faces showing up to socialize.  Well, there is a Tall Singles Meet Up in Portland that isn’t affiliated with our Portland Skyliners!  New faces…of course I had to join!!!!

I then did a little research on Meet Up and I found 39 different Meet Ups with the words ‘Tall and Single’ in them.  Now when I filtered through the 39 I actually came out with 23 groups that were specifically for Tall People.  Some are off-shoots of actual tall clubs but some are true tall, singles groups.  They range from FL to NY to Canada and there is a grand total of 2,370 Tall Persons joined throughout the US and Canada.

Elvis always did have a 'thing' for me....

I haven’t been to an event yet but there’s a sushi dinner tomorrow night that looks tempting…I think I’ll be brave and go.  I love meeting people!!!  And I can’t turn down sushi.

This is wonderful!!!  I’m sure many of you  have already found this information but I always enjoy passing along what I hope is useful.  I created a quick list of all the groups I found on Meet Up and pasted it below so if you see one in your area you can check it out.  I also linked them so my hopes are that you can find a fun activity in your area!  Good luck all!!

Group

City, State

Members

Tall Singles Portland Portland, OR

135

Bay Area Tall Singles San Francisco, CA

247

Seattle Tall Singles Kirkland, WA

92

Boston Tall Singles Boston, MA

129

SoCal Tall Singles Los Angeles, CA

163

OKC Tall Club Oklahoma City, OK

12

Tall Club of Toronto Toronto, ON

133

Kansas City Tall Group Kansas City, MO

150

Tall Club of North Carolina Raleigh, NC

56

Silicon Valley Tall Group San Jose, CA

108

Atlanta Tall Club Atlanta, GA

158

Milwaukee Talls Milwaukee, WI

24

Tall Austin Singles Austin, TX

161

Tall Club of Las Vegas Las Vegas, NV

36

Tall Club of New York City New York, NY

270

Portland Skyliners Tall Club Portland, OR

44

Tall Toronto Social Club North York, ON

27

Denver/Boulder Tall Singles Denver, CO

130

Boston Beanstalks Tall Club Boston, MA

113

Tall Professionals of South Florida Miami, FL

170

Carolina Tall Club Greenville, SC

9

Tall Girls Group Palm Bay, FL

3

 

 

The Tall Convention

Where has Holli been???  Yes, I have taken a little vacation from writing but now I’m back because I have stories.  And I have to tell you where I’ve been.

Last week the annual Tall Clubs International Convention was held in Seattle, WA and let me tell you I had one of the best times ever!!!  I laughed and I partied until 3:00 am just like I was young (er) again.  It was an incredible time.

Ylian shot video after video and they are awesome!!!  I’m unfortunately not going to say much on my first day back at blogging I will, however, leave you with this wonderful link to go check out the videos for yourself.  Don’t stop at the first one, there are about 10 videos from 2011 as well as many videos from previous Portland Skyliner events.

Incidentally, Miss Talisha Tolliver is your new Miss Tall International 2011!!!

Miss Tall International 2011, Talisha Tolliver

You all should be checking out your local TALL clubs because this is too much fun not to share!!!

The ‘aha’ Tall Moments

Now this is not an original idea for a blog post. I actually got this from Megan Lukens the former President of Tall Clubs International and good friend of mine. She had posted this idea on the Facebook page of the Tall Blog and I realized that this is really a great topic of discussion. It’s also a great idea for thinking about because I think there were many times throughout my life where I had the ‘Aha! I’m having a TALL moment’.

The very first one I can remember goes back to about 6th grade. I started taking dance lessons when I was 4 years old and they continued through my 12th year (6th grade). In total, 8 years of dance lessons.  I was 5’7″ in 6th grade so I was quite tall.  Much taller than my dance instructor and many of the other students.  It never fazed me until it came time to buy dance costumes for the yearly Dance Recital.  My costume had to be made longer particularly through the leotard.  This made my (and my sisters) costumes a little more expensive on a really tight budget.

In junior high I was 5’10”-6’0″ and this is when size began to matter.  Sports really came into play during this period of my life.  I learned about volleyball and basketball.  When you are tall and have some semblance of control over your gangly body (thank you mom for the 8 years of dance lessons), coaches love you.  My ‘aha’ moment was realized when the coaches seemed to give me some preferential treatment.  I’m not sure I was any better than anyone else, but height mattered in sports.  In any case, it scared the other teams.

Freshman in high school where I started on the varsity basketball team. I'm the tallest one in the back and my sister, Heather, is to my left.

High school and college I had many moments.  You’ll recall my spitting on the UNI wrestler and telling him that it was ‘raining’ when he asked me how the weather was up there.  Lots of crazy things like that happened to me.  I was a magnet and my friends and I liked it that way.  ‘Aha’ moments actually felt like a way of life.

My first job is when I had another ‘aha’ moment.  I’m a pretty fast learner and I learned the job very quickly.  I also tend to speak up in my attempts to make processes better and more efficient. I was quite confident in my ability to assess the situations and this caused many people to mistake me for the boss.  This happened many times throughout my career.  I had a phenomenal supervisor when I worked at Principal and she always told me that it was my height and the way that I carried myself.  I knew my job, I was confident, and I was taller than everyone else so without meaning to, I commanded attention.  Her advice to me:  “Use your power wisely”.  She was a great supervisor.

I had another ‘aha’ moment when I joined my Portland Skyliner Tall Club.  They’ve heard this story a million times but I enjoy telling it because I think it has value.  The first event I ever attended was a pizza party.  There were probably about 20 people or so there one of which was Megan (whom I mentioned above).  Megan is 6’4″ and one of her questions to me was ‘What are you known for?’  I didn’t really understand what she meant and she had to explain.

When you are in a tall club, height becomes normal and you can no longer be ‘the Tall One’,  You have to be known for something else.  I said that I was going to be known as the Funny One.

Holy Crap!  I’m no longer the Tall One.  This means when I’m at a Tall Club party and someone says, “Which one is Holli?”.  You can’t answer, “She’s the TALL one talking to so and so”.  It’s a crazy thought!!!  In order to fully understand, I had to post a picture of me and some of my fellow Portland Skyliners in one of our Parades.  You can see, we are all about the same size.  None of us are ‘the tall one’.

‘aha’.

At one of our parades in western get-up.

I Take Pictures With Short People

I never turn down a photo opportunity particularly when it’s with a person shorter than me. Now I know that may sound a little odd (that’s me!) but let me explain. These photos ALWAYS turn out great. Even if you look horrible, the picture itself is usually priceless. For example, when I was in New Orleans for Tall Clubs International Convention this past June I took this picture with the bartender at Johnny White’s.

Lil' Lucy and me.

Johnny White’s became famous during Hurricane Katrina for being the only bar in New Orleans to remain open during the chaos of the Hurricane. Here’s another interesting tid-bit about this bar, well about the bartender. I attended a Mardi Gras back in 2001 or 2002 and a close friend of mine and I came to this bar during the day for something to wet our whistles. This particular bartender was working here! I remember her because of her crazy, sarcastic attitude. It was awesome. Just like our picture.

Fun with shorties in Ireland!

Here’s a picture from my trip to Ireland that I think is just hilarious. In order to understand the hilarity behind the photo, I must point out a few things that happened while taking this picture. The man in the back is standing on a crate. He brought it from the back because the other chaps in the pub were giving him a hard time for being ‘short’. The woman directly in front of me is a little person. She is also standing on a crate that she uses in the front because she works at this pub as a bartender. The other woman in the picture is my best friend from Iowa, Molli. She’s only 5’3” so when we are together it’s Mutt and Jeff. But seriously, isn’t this a fantastic photo!!

I’ve noticed that both of my photos have been taken behind a bar so in order for you not to get the wrong idea, let’s switch this up. I have another really geeky photo from Ireland that I’m going to include because it truly shows the difference in height between Molli and me. She barely comes up to my shoulders but again, the picture is awesome in its badness.

Horrible picture, but you get the joke.

My next picture is taken with a friend of a friend so I don’t recall his name but he was definitely the shortest guy in our birthday party group.  Now he wanted his picture taken with me so of course I took the picture, but I had a little fun with it too.  I’m standing behind him but I’m not standing on anything.  This is a true depiction of both our heights.  I think he enjoyed the picture. I know I did and I hope you are too.  See, isn’t this fun?  (Notice the Iowa Hawkeye sweatshirt in the background…Go HAWKS!)

Stranger Danger!

That’s probably enough for now.  I love taking pictures like this because there is a story behind every one.  I have many more and I’m sure that those of you who have experienced the tug on the shirt and the exclamation of: “Wow, you are so tall.  Can I have a picture with you?”You probably have some of these pictures as well.  Unless you aren’t like me and take your own pictures too.

Man…I LOVE being tall.  The things that we can get away with…

The Top 9

Remember a couple of years ago before all of the popular social-networking sites detailed your every move, when one of the fun things to do was to send out mass e-mails to all of your friends with lists of questions? What are you wearing right now? What did you eat for breakfast? Who was your first boyfriend? What color of socks do you have on right now? Who was your first kiss? Weren’t these fun? I’ve got scores of these that I’ve saved because, well quite frankly, I think that my comments are really funny but what I’d like to do today is write about some of my Top Memories as a TALL Person. I’ll keep my list to 9 today. I have more than 9 but in the essence of space (and keeping you in suspense) I’ll save the rest for another time.
1.  Growing up in a family of TALL sisters. My sisters are my best friends and we are all blessed by being 6’0” or taller. You can’t help but notice us when we walk anywhere together. Throw in a couple of 5’11” first cousins (both female) and we are TALL group of walking estrogen.

I don't look so TALL next to 3 other 6-footers, do I?

2.  When I was attending the University of Northern IA, I once had a really short guy come up to me and ask, ‘How’s the weather up there?’ I’d had a couple of drinks and being 19 years old at the time, I had a pretty bad attitude as well…I turned around, spit on the guy, and said, ‘It’s raining’. He was not happy with me but boy did I have a story for my friends!

3) Making it to Nationals for Basketball in college in 1993. We placed 7th in the Nation (I won’t tell you out of how many) but the trip was amazing. It was my first time flying, I traveled with 13 of my good friends, and this was back when I was young enough to do stupid-crazy-fun things. Oh the stories….

That's me in the back, right in the middle. The hair!

4.  Lying. Okay, take this one with a grain of salt. Back when I was a little younger people inevitability asked me if I played basketball. I always said yes and I always said that I played at a big name school. For the record, I played at a very small school (see above) and only for 2 years. This was the most fun when my youngest sister was with me and we would tag-team because we’d make up stories about the practices, the coaches, the last close game and not one time was I questioned. You can do that. But only when you’re 6’4”. And especially when you are with your sister who is 6’2”.

5.  Halloween always rocks! No matter what, my Halloween costumes are always

You can't ignore this Halloween costume.

awesome!  I’m so tall that it doesn’t matter what costume I wear, I’m going to get noticed. It can be a wonderful thing and a curse. Now occasionally it can work against me if I’m wearing something that hides my gender because the height can make it seem that I’m male, but that can actually be part of the fun too. Seriously, try to ignore the picture on the right…doesn’t work, does it?

6.  Being in a TALL club. That’s right, there are clubs out there intended for men over 6’2” and women over 5’10”. The club is a social club so the intent is that you meet friends however it also supports several charities as well. I’m in a club in Portland, OR and I’ve met some pretty amazing people. There are about 60 clubs all over the US with sister clubs all over Europe and Australia. I joined when I moved from Denver, CO to Portland, OR because I wanted to find a way to meet people. Bang! I met a great bunch of people. This social club is a wonderful network to get you started and makes you some wonderful friends for life. (www.Tall.org)

7.  Automatic shotgun. I always get the front seat wherever I go. Unless, I’m with someone taller than me, or my dad (who is 6’6”). Otherwise I’m riding shotgun and I like it.

8.  Wearing ‘real-people’ pants and passing them off as crop pants. True story. I had a roommate in college that was 5’3” and we wore the same size. One night I was unable to find anything that I felt was appropriate to wear to a party and I had a meltdown of sorts. In her sweet way she offered up anything in her closet. I jokingly put on a pair of her jeans and they fit me exactly as pair of the now popular crop pants. I liked the look, found a sweater of hers that I also liked and I wore the entire ensemble to the party. I was clearly way ahead of my time, but you can see how my height benefited me and I realized that I was no longer boxed in by my inseam. From that day on, I wore short jeans with pride. (I like to think I started the trend however I’m not completely delusional)

9.  Becoming Miss Tall International®. Being in a tall club has its perks and I was lucky

At the Portland Skyliner Christmas party.

enough to be chosen as Miss Tall Portland in March of 2009.  I then went on to represent my club at the annual Tall Clubs International Convention in Las Vegas in June 2009. I won the Miss Tall International crown which I kept for a year. This was so special to me because I was able to travel to many of the Tall Clubs all over the US and meet many wonderful people. What a great experience for me. And hey, how often do you get to wear a crown and sash in your mid-thirties….who doesn’t want that?