Being tall

Hello. My name is Beth, and yes, I know I’m tall, but thank you for pointing it out.

Being told I am tall accounts for many of my first encounters with people in both my adolescent and recent life. In elementary, middle, and high school, it was usually the first or second conversation topic when I met new people. Or, if we’d already met, they’d confidently assure me that I’d gotten taller. Following these assertions, they’d ask an inevitable question: “So, just how tall are you?”

My bff Abbie and me at Virginia All-District Choir junior year of high school. Notice that I am a whole head taller than her.

This question always troubled me, since 1) I was self-conscious about my height – mostly because I was taller than everyone except for like ten boys in my high school and 2) I got very inconsistent answers depending on who you asked. The doctor’s office measured me at 5’8″ in early high school, but my dad measured me around the same time and swore I was at LEAST 5’10”, maybe even 5’11”. Being one inch from six feet was troubling to a 15-and-a-half year old girl, so I usually just split the difference of the measurements and said I was 5’9″.

One of the things I was most excited for coming to college was that I probably wouldn’t ever have to deal with people pointing this out. I was done growing and there were bound to be a vast amount of people taller than me at a school of 32,000.

But no.

I am now 21 years old, and people still point it out pretty often. During my summer internship, I got up from a conference table at the end of a meeting with someone I’d never met before and they stared at me for a second before saying, “Wow! You’re REALLY tall.” Even corporate America is impressed by my height.

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And just a week or two ago, I was in the grocery store when I heard a voice call, “Excuse me!” I turned around to find a short woman staring at a carton of orange juice on the top level of a refrigerated shelf.

“Would you mind getting that for me?” she asked, pointing upwards. I smiled and handed her the juice. She thanked me as I walked away. At least I’m useful.

Nate making me feel short, yay.

I’ve accepted my height. I don’t mind it. My roommate, Hannah, is the same height as me, and my boyfriend Nate is 6’1″, so at least around them I feel normal. But I’ll never quite get used to squatting in pictures to make myself seem like the same height as everyone else, or wearing dresses as shirts, or hitting my head on low-hanging light fixtures, or my feet hanging off the end of beds.

But hey, I can always reach the top shelf.


4 thoughts on “Being tall

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