More Tall Times as a 6’4″ Woman (Additional thoughts…)

You know, lately time seems to be flying by. Summer came and went. I’m not even sure we had a Fall and now 2014 is almost over. I’ve been busy the past couple of months shopping for the holidays and looking forward to spending time with my family next week.  We’ll play poker, Life (for the kids…right, we all love the game), drink some drinks, lounge on the couch, watch sports, and usually laugh a lot.

So recently I noticed an uptick in views of one of my past blogs (What it’s really like being 6’4″ and a woman).  I’m not sure why or how, but I’m glad people are reading and as usual, I should be writing a heck of a lot more.  Anyway, I went back and re-read my blog, I thought, “Huh, there’s a few more things I need to add.”

Yes....this is an older picture, but it simply makes sense here.

Yes….this is an older picture, but it simply makes sense here.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love being tall and there are few things that I dislike about my experiences however let’s talk about those ‘few’ experiences.  That’s really what you want to know about right?  And of course I should disclaimer this with the comment that these are my opinions but I’m going to assume that many others feel the same.

1. Going out for Happy Hour.  You’d think this would be a fun one, right?  Well, it is but there’s this place by my work which we tend to frequent (Genna’s – which BTW, it’s really great so please don’t think it’s not!!!) but the tables are SO SHORT!!  I feel like a giant when I sit down at a normal table. I look around and everyone else looks…well, normal.  In my head I’m an adult sitting at a child’s table and I’m certain that’s what I appear to everyone around me, even if I am an adult in business clothes.  Silly?  Maybe.  Real feelings?  Absolutely.  Usually I’d much prefer the bar-stools and bar-tables because they are taller, but you start to get larger groups and the taller tables don’t work.  And then when the warmer weather hits and you are outside, it’s the tiny tables outside….Sigh….then the whole world sees the big girl sitting at the small table.

2.  Being around other Tall People.  Okay, this is going to be a controversial one so buckle up and hear me out.  I almost feel like I need to bullet point, this one out because there are several points I want to make here in order to make sure I get my points across clearly and try not to piss off too many people.

  • Tall people when they get around each other, tend to want to commiserate about all the bad stuff that happens to tall people — this is gospel truth as I’ve lived it and breathed it.  I love tall people.  But we want everyone to feel our pain and when we spot another tall person we want to talk about how hard it is to (pick one): find clothes, go anywhere and not get stared at, listen to the comments about giants, date, fit into cars/chairs/elevators/whatever!
  • On the flip side, we want to be the tallest in the group.  We won’t admit it, but secretly when we see another tall person we stand taller, we size them up, and we judge them.  Oh yes we do….we want the attention because by now in our lives we’ve grown used to it.

3.  The creeper shorties….I’m not sure how much detail I need to go into here, but I’m quite certain that if you are tall and online, you know what I’m referring to.  And I’m not only talking about one gender, this goes for both men and women.  Daily I get hit up on Facebook by weirdos wanting to know my height/weight/shoe size (shoe size?).  It’s now starting to spill over onto my LinkedIn account which I really resent because this is my professional account.  Honestly people.  I DO correspond with many people when I have time however I don’t want to correspond with those interested in information I consider out of my ordinary.  Go find someone else.  If you are normal, funny, tall, and want to chat….awesome.  But the second you start that weird crap.  BYE.

4.  Talking sports…ugh.  Okay, I played sports in elementary school, junior high, high school, and college.  And I’m tall.  But that doesn’t mean that every person gets an automatic pass to discuss my athletic prowess as well as their kids.  I enjoyed playing sports for the most part but it’s not a big part of my life now.  I smile and nod but can we talk about something else for a change?  Not all tall people like sports and conversely, there are some short people who really like sports.  Go talk sports with them and we can talk about books.  Or beer.   Or BOTH!!

Have I fully offended everyone?  Height is personal and everyone has a different experience.  If you feel differently, awesome.  Read (or don’t read) my thoughts, think about them, reflect on them, and then move on. But if something resonates with you, even better.  A shared experience!

Maybe I’ll think about more of the good stuff, because that’s what I like to talk about.  That’s for next time!

Happy Hollidays!  (see what I did there?)

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Tall Attitude

I have an attitude every day of my life (my mother will vouch for this) and this morning was no exception. It started out like any other day…

I walk to work anywhere from 6:30-8:00 am depending on when I get up, what my schedule looks like for the day, and to be entirely truthful, my level of motivation. Lately, I’m all about work. So this morning it was about 6:45 and I was walking near the capital.  I decided that I wanted to stop at Walgreens to pick up some eyeliner.  I’m leaving for Mexico in about a week and it wouldn’t behoove me to run dry on eyeliner on my trip. Now Walgreens doesn’t open until 7:00 so I loiter out front for a few minutes.

I was minding my own business, playing ‘Tiny Tower’ on my iPhone and I hear this voice very clearly say to me, ‘Why you gotta be so Tall?’

In all honestly, I wasn’t in the mood.  It was early and I didn’t want to think about what clever comeback I could come up with.  So I chose to ignore it.

Again that voice, ‘Hey you!  Why you gotta be so Tall?’

I could feel someone crowding my space so I made eye contact with a very, very short woman who was glaring at me as if she had a personal problem with my height.  Immediately, I took offense.  I probably didn’t help the situation when I sniffed (probably arrogantly), looked her up and down, and turned away.

She got angrier, ‘I’m talking to you and I asked you a question?’

Softly I responded, “I heard you.  I figured that you couldn’t be that stupid to ask someone twice your size, a dumb question like that.’  I sweetly smiled and went back to playing on my phone.

She started to say more so I looked up and made eye contact again.  This time I wasn’t smiling.  Oddly enough, she moved on.

I am a nice person.  Way too nice, in fact because I tend to give people far more credit than they deserve but this woman got under my skin.  I ended up not getting my eye-liner.  I guess this means I’ll have to go back.  I should also mention, this did not ruin my day.  I actually told this story in a couple of my meetings and it got people to laugh, so all in all, I chalk it up to yet another Holli-experience.

Big hat, polka dots, water, and a smile.  Now that's a happy face!

Big hat, polka dots, water, and a smile. Now that’s a happy face!

Tall Genealogy

I’ve been researching my family’s genealogy with my mom for over 10 years. It’s one of my favorite hobbies and it’s pretty exciting finding out about my relatives and my ancestors.  We’ve been pretty successful in researching our family lineage and we currently have 7,682 ancestors linked in our tree.  In fact, we’ve been able to trace our family back as far as the 1300’s in some of our family lines.  But one of the things that I’ve always wondered is ‘Where do I get my height?’

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This picture was taken in Europe 2 years ago. Tiny door, huh?  From the 1300’s!

My immediate family is tall.  My 3 sisters are right at 6 feet tall, my dad is 6’6″ and my mom…well, my mom is only about 5’6″ (although she still claims she’s 1-2 inches taller than that).  I have 2 first cousins both of whom are female and both are right around 5’11”.  Pretty much all of the males in my family are over 6 feet tall and the females are around 5’10” – 5’11”.  So which side of my family does the height come from?

Not surprisingly much of my family, from both sides actually, is from Ireland.  We’ve got quite a bit from England as well.  Then there’s a line from Denmark and Sweden too. And one line from Germany.  While I haven’t found any royalty or famous relatives we did have some of our kin marry an aunt of president John Adams.

So back to my original question.  Where does my height come from?  And how can I find out?  You can’t exactly find out how tall your ancestors are unless it’s written down somewhere or if there are stories handed down.  Now, military records can give you some indication of height.  I did find out that my great, great grandfather on my dad’s side was of medium height when he signed his World War I draft registration cards back in 1918.  He was in his 40’s when he signed up, which itself is an interesting fact, but I also find it interesting that he was of medium height.  His sons were all around 6 feet tall.  But what does medium height mean?

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Bert Henry Jennings – he was of ‘medium’ height. How tall is that?

My mom and I are currently on Ancestry.com and that’s how we keep track of our family tree.  What’s really neat about Ancestry is that it allows the ability for others to contact you if they happen to either be researching the same family member as you or if they possibly have a relative within the same family line.

Several years ago I had a relative contact me on my mom’s side and they gave me some wonderful information.  They told me that my mom had several great uncles that were over 6’7″ tall.  We had always assumed that all of the height in our family had come from my dad’s side of the family but it appears that my mom had a little height on her side as well.  Which is actually very funny considering that most of mom’s immediate family is actually very short.

I wasn’t sure about what to do with this new knowledge since I didn’t know if there was any way to corroborate this information so I turned to Ancestry.com.  I started to look up the military records for as many of the men on mom’s side of the family and there it was, proof that her side carries the tall genes too!  The military records actually indicate ‘tall’ and not ‘medium’ height.  This doesn’t give me actual height, but it does tell me they were above average.

I guess my height comes from both sides of the family.  I’d still say it primarily comes from my dad’s side, but it’s nice to know that we have a little on mom’s side too.

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I’d guess this photo is probably from 1982-83 ish. Mom is on the far right and she still appears to be somewhat tall with her tall, young daughters. I personally love my light blue shorts with red trim. Coke is it!

So as we continue to research my family I will continue to look into the height.  My sisters and I recently bought both of my parents DNA tests.  I’m not sure exactly how the genetic markers work within the tests and how Ancestry.com will match us up with relatives across the world, but I’m looking forward to getting the results back. I’m hoping to make contact with potential new relatives and find out if there is more ‘tallness’ that I’m not aware of.  Although heck…maybe I’m just an awesome anomaly.  I can live with that.

Either way, I love my genealogy hobby!  It’s so interesting and it keeps me busy.  If you are interested in checking out your own genealogy, here’s the link for Ancestry.com.  Have fun!

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.

So you think you’re tall? And special? Why….yes!

That’s Neri (my upstairs neighbor in front!). See, I AM that much taller!

Yeah, I think I’m tall too. At least I think I’m taller than most women until last night when I went to a movie.  Let me re-phrase that.  I went to a movie with my shorter neighbors (sorry guys, but you are shorter than me).  We decided to go see Dark Knight Rising since we had some Groupons or Living Social Deals that were about to expire.  We get to the theater and while Randy waited out in the hall Neri, Leah, and I made a trip to the ladies room prior to the show and that’s where I saw her.  She was probably my height or maybe, just maybe, a smidge taller than me!  Say what!

We met eyes in the mirror, then quickly looked away.  Then just as quickly we met eyes again.  I felt as though we were doing that weird guy/girl dance of flirting, but we weren’t.  We were sizing each other up but trying to appear as though we weren’t.  You see, that’s what us tall girls do.  It’s so rare to be able to look someone of our same sex in the eye that we want to stare but we don’t want to be caught!

I looked her up and down trying to determine where she got her height.  Was she all legs?  Torso?  Properly or weirdly proportioned?  How did she dress?  Does she like being tall?  Did she stand up straight?  Should I talk to her?  Should I mention ‘our’ heights?  I wonder if she’s looking at me?  Should I smile?  Oh, this is awkward!

She washed her hands while I was still waiting in line and as she passed I stood up a little straighter and tried to catch her eye.  I didn’t say anything to her and I don’t think she would’ve wanted me to.  She walked with a little hunch in her shoulders as if she didn’t like her height and she didn’t even glance up as she walked past.  Too bad, I wanted to give her a big smile.

I wanted to shout out to her, ‘Stand up straight!  Embrace your height!  You are special!  Let your height make the world notice you but make the world love you because of YOU!

*Sigh*

I won’t get on my soapbox about this topic because then I’ll rant and rave about how awesome and amazing it is to be tall.   But I will tell a little story about the picture below:

I toast all you TALL women out there!

This picture was taken on my 39th birthday this year.  A friend of mine was visiting from Iowa and I took her to the drag show at Darcelle’s in Portland, OR.  Why am I toasting?  I felt amazing that night!  And here’s why:  I’m tall and I felt beautiful.  I bought the dress from Long Tall Sally and the little sweater cover-up as well.  When I walked into the room at Darcelle’s and while we were being seated, I had multiple drag queens ask me where I got my clothes!  I don’t think you can get a higher compliment than that.  So you can see, my night started out with an ego boost and my night only got better from there.

The point is, whatever you’ve got whether it’s height, beautiful hair, great eyebrows….whatever, you’ve got to make the most of it.  Regardless.  You’ll feel beautiful, you’ll radiate beauty and everyone wins.

Okay, I did end up on my soapbox.  Getting down now….

Your ‘Tallness’ is back

Oh boy have I been having some fun the last few months. I’ve had so many changes happening in my life that it would be impossible to go through everything so here are probably the most important updates. (and I’m sure there will be more to come, life is a bit exciting right now!)

1.  I’ve been traveling (MD, MN, CO, WI, WA, IL) and I’ve picked up a few great memories and some new friends along the way.  Here are a few pics:

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This is me and my friend’s mom. Yes, I really am THAT tall!

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This is in CO (one of my favorite states). Melissa is 5’11” and her husband, Damian, is 6’5″ish…

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In Baltimore, MD at the Belgium beer festival and I met the 2 greatest bartenders in the city!! Yeah, bold, but I said it!

2.  I’ve been shopping!  (oh dear)  And my closet has never been more full.  I’m thinking about selling some of my older clothes and I found a great website to do so.  Here’s the link if you are interested in selling some of your own, tall, ‘gently-used’ clothing:  No Heels Required

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Here is one of my new dresses (Long Tall Sally) and one of my new friends from IA!!

3.  I’m single and ready to mingle…okay, I’ve been single for awhile now and I’m not so sure about the ‘ready to mingle’ part, but I’m working on it.  (There’s really no pics to do this one justice unless I put on a sad face and take a picture…)

4.  I turned 39.  It’s my last year in my 30’s so I’ve got to make the most of this year.  I also celebrated my birthday for several days and there may have been some sketchy characters involved.  BTW…the picture below does not indicate that these people from my birthday party were sketchy, they are merely my newest friends!

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These people really know how to show a new 39 year old a good time!

5.  I took pictures with random strangers who interest me.  Oh come on…who doesn’t LOVE to do this???

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In the event you can’t read the caption on this gentleman’s shirt, it says: ‘Why R U so small?’ It’s a must-have for every tall girl!

So, as you can see I’ve been terribly busy trying to find a social life and I think I’ve done a fairly good job. So many more stories to tell…but I think I’ll save a few for a later date.  Until then…..

How to tell if you are TALL?

Some people believe they are tall. Others know themselves to be tall. Many have been told they are tall, but how do you know?  I thought it might be fun to put together a few tests that you can try for yourself.  Then you’ll know if you are truly tall or if somebody’s feeding you a line of bull.

  1. Do you spend inordinate amounts of time admiring the tops of people’s heads?
  2. Can you touch a standard 9 foot ceiling without a lot of effort?
  3. Have you ever had one of the following nicknames: Stretch, Olive Oyl, Big <insert your name here>, Giraffe, Tiny, Tree, or Tall <insert your name here>?
  4. When out with friends, do you always get the front seat?
  5. Do you have trouble finding an inseam longer than 36 inches?
  6. Has anyone ever gasped when you walked by?
  7. Have you been asked to get something off of a top shelf in a grocery store for a random stranger?
  8. Did you play sports because the coaches asked you to?
  9. If you had $1 for every time someone asked you how tall you were, would you be a thousandaire?
  10. Have you ever hit your head on a stop sign?

With the exception of number 8, I have had all of the above happen to me.  It wasn’t until number 10 that I realized, “Yep, I’m damn tall.”  I mean seriously, it’s not everyday you walk directly into a stop sign (not the post, the actual sign).

My 6'1" sister with her daughter.