Tall girl in a new city

I’ve lived in Portland for almost 5 1/2 years.  I moved here in April of 2007 from Denver, CO where I had lived since July of 2003.  I moved for my dream job and my dream city both of which were happening at the same time.  I was excited, happy, bursting with energy and ready to embrace both city living and my wonderful new job.

One of the pictures from my going away party from Denver, CO back in 2007. That’s almost 6 years ago!

But now, my rose-colored glasses have fogged a bit and I think it’s time for a change.  I lived in Des Moines, IA for about 5 years before Denver and I’m thinking it’s time to get back to the Mid-West.  I miss my family and I miss seeing my nieces and nephew growing up.  And I really miss my sisters and my parents (and Grandma!)  So what’s a tall-girl to do?  I think it’s time to get closer to home.

Once I had made the decision I had to figure out where in the mid-west I should end up.  I picked 4 cities: Des Moines, IA; Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN; Madison, WI; and Chicago, IL.  I figured any job within this 4-point radius would be feasible provided it fit within my salary range.  AND, more importantly, it had to fit within my ‘happiness’ range.  This means that my next job must make me happy.  I want to lead a team and help people.  I used to do this and it made me extremely happy.   It’s SO important to me that I be happy doing what I love.

SO….what does this all mean….

I recently found the job that looks like it could be that perfect fit.  And it happened to be in Madison, WI.  Everything happened so quickly it was a blur.  And now, as of yesterday, I’m in Madison, WI.  I’m beyond thrilled.  I have that feeling again…the one that makes me want to embrace the city and the job.  I’m ecstatic and in my gut (which is the most important tell-tale sign), my gut says this is the right move.

There’s a tall club here and one in Milwaukee that I’m planning on joining.  I’m living downtown next to the capital so I’ll be within walking distance to all of the ‘weirdness’ that everyone here has assured me I will see.  There’s a University here where I can see college football and tailgate (although I will never leave my IA Hawks).  And best of all, I’m within 5 hours of my family.  I can actually come home for Christmas this year and maybe Thanksgiving too!  Bring on the homemade egg-nog!

So, with a fresh new city and a fresh new outlook I’m ready to get out and make some memories to share with you.  Now, if only my furniture would arrive….

More to come….in Madison, WI!

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.

Too Tall for a Massage Table

Interesting how we mold ourselves to 'fit'...

I’m really too tall for any tables.  I started noticing this about 10-12 years ago when I had to have several surgeries.  The nurses were really kind and sometimes the hospitals would have extensions for the beds and the operating tables but most of the time my feet would hang off the ends.  And even now every time I go to the doctor those teeny little tables are made for toddlers.  I simply don’t fit.

I have this problem when I go for a massage too.  I awkwardly position myself on the table and the masseuse has to maneuver around my legs because usually the rooms are fairly small and there’s not a lot of room to move around.  I obviously don’t want to stop getting massages (or surgeries for that matter) but what do you do?

You know, now that I think about it, sometimes when I get my hair done at my awesome hair salon (Blades) I sit so high up in the chair that Gaylynn, my stylist, doesn’t even have to raise the chair.  I don’t necessarily think this is an inconvenience though, unless I’m sitting too tall.

In my everyday life I’ve stopped thinking about these daily occurrences because they happen so often that I’ve gotten used to them.  The tiny airline seats, being unable to fit in movie seats or sporting events bleachers, un-tucking the hotel sheets in hotels beds because my feet hang off, having to bend over sinks to wash dishes, ducking when I see hanging plants or dining room lights…the list goes on and on.

I make up for these daily annoyances because so many good things happen to even it out.  I’ve been asked if I’m a model more times than I can count (it’s the height), little old ladies always ask how tall I am and I’ve frequently been asked to assist with getting groceries off of a top shelf or putting luggage away in the luggage bin for someone much shorter than me.  I think it’s wonderful!  Oh, and I can gain 10 pounds and no one complains except for the poor buttons on my jeans.

I really don’t mind being tall, even if there are a few inconveniences that go along with it.  Things could be a lot worse….right???

An Interview with Joy Dawson, Miss Tall International 2010

Me crowning Joy as Miss TI 2010.

I nabbed it!  That’s right, the exclusive interview with Tall Clubs International reigning queen, Miss Tall International® 2010, Joy Dawson.  The wonderful part of conducting an interview with someone that you know (and like!) is that it’s fun and makes my writing pastime even more enjoyable for me.  This interview is extremely special to me because I was the outgoing queen who crowned Joy as the incoming queen.  Typically in a situation like this it can be a little bittersweet but from my perspective I was incredibly excited to pass the torch.  All of the candidates in the 2010 pageant were truly amazing women, but Joy stood out amongst the group.  So today I get to tell you a little bit more about her, in her own words, and what makes her so special.  I’m also going to give you some information regarding the next Tall Pageant so if you are interest in attending, you’ll know the 4-1-1 and who to contact.

Without further ado, let’s talk about Joy!


Height: 6′ 2″ barefoot

Local Tall Club:  Tall Club of Greater Washington, DC

Advantages of Being Tall:  When you find an item of clothing that
fits, it looks fantastic.  Even a simple piece looks elegant and
dramatic on a tall person.

Disadvantages: Sometimes you have to go to go as far as Canada or
England to find something that fits!  Shipping charges are a bear.

What is a day in the life of Miss TI
:  I get dressed and go to work
just like everyone else.  However, I am referred to as “Your
Highness” in the places I frequent, which is hilarious.  When I go
somewhere wearing the crown and sash and someone says, “Oh…who are
you?”  I smile and tell them my name is Joy…feigning as if I were
not wearing a sparkly crown and a regal sash.  The person laughs and
it starts a conversation about Tall Clubs and what we are about.

If I may talk a bit about my life as Miss TI when I am doing publicity and
raising awareness, I am so honored that I have been able to bring
attention to my platform, which is bullying.  My platform is
height-related, as is expected of Miss TI.  I was 6′ tall in middle
school and kept growing.  Because of it, I was ridiculed and harassed
mercilessly.  Plus, I didn’t play basketball.  If I had, it might have
taken some of the pressure off me because people would have seen me
using my height to my advantage.  It would have earned me some
respect.  However, I had to be who I was.  I was not going to let
anyone else decide what was best for me just because only fit into one
acceptable, ideal box in the minds of the public.  I have noticed that
tall young people, before they figure out who they are, are always
singled out.  I wanted to use my experiences to help them and other
unique young people.  I have been traveling the country doing speeches
in middle schools.  Why did I wait until I was crowned?  Because few
things make people pay attention like a crown.  And when I wear it and
my fiercest pumps, I look about 6′ 7.”  With that and my message, I
have kept the attention of huge crowds of children for an hour at a
time.  It is energizing.  I only hope that I was able to help someone
and provide some encouragement.

Any favorite moments as Miss TI:  It is hard to choose, but a day
after I was crowned in New Orleans, I got to ride a police horse!!  I
was not going to let the fact that I was wearing a long gown and high
heels keep me from riding this horse.  The dark beauty was eighteen
hands high (gigantic for a horse).  I knew that perhaps I would never
again have a chance to ride a horse that was tall enough for me.  So I
hiked up my dress and hoisted myself up.  However, it
was one of the most beautiful moments of my entire life.  I giggled
like a twelve-year-old the whole time.

Joy atop a NOPD horse!

Where do you buy your clothes?: I am probably Long Elegant Legs’, Long
Legs’, and Long Tall Sally’s most popular customer.  I am becoming a
frequent shopper with Simply Tall, too.  I have noticed that the
selection has really improved in the last decade.  Now I can get
clothes in colors other than black, brown, navy, and white.  Also,
smaller sizes are more readily available.  I really appreciate that.
You may be aware that pretty much all of the storefront locations of
the tall women’s specialty shops have closed down in the last couple
of years.  Long Elegant Legs has a warehouse sale twice a year in
Hillsborough, NJ.  I drive up there every year for at least one sale.
It makes me feel like everyone else for a change.  I think women of
average height can not understand what it is like to never be able to
walk into a store and buy clothes.  I am sure it would be a rude
awakening for anyone if one day he or she walked through an entire
mall and only bought a magazine and cup of coffee because nothing else
will ever fit.  We must frequent the businesses I mentioned so that we
statuesque ladies can engage in retail therapy at the mall just like
everyone else.

Any funny moments as a tall woman:
Forgive the personal nature of
this story, but I think it’s hilarious.  I was in a very, very old
building.  You know how much shorter people were a hundred years ago,
right?  Well, nature called and I went to the ladies room.  With the
size of the stall, the height of the bowl, and the length of my legs,
let’s just say I had to choose between sitting down or being able to
close the stall door for some privacy!  Actually, it’s only hilarious
on hindsight.

I would like to close with a few things people/children have exclaimed
upon seeing me.  Sometimes I had on my crown and sash, sometimes I did

“Now that’s a tall, COOL drink of water!” (It was the “cool” part that
made me laugh).
“Look at that tall little girl!”
“Look!  It’s Princess Tiana!”
“Oh!  I thought you were a mannequin!”


A HUGE Thank YOU to Joy for helping to make this interview happen.  Being Miss Tall International has lots of responsibilities on top of your daily life so I appreciate the time Joy took out of her busy schedule to make this happen.

The 2011 Tall Clubs International Convention will be held in Seattle, WA beginning June 27th through July 2nd.  The Miss Tall International Pageant will be held on Wednesday, June 29th.  Details can be found at the Miss TI Blogspot or Tall Clubs International (TCI) website.