The Burden of Being a Tall Woman

By the end of 8th grade, I was 5 feet, ten inches tall. This was back in 1968.  I was a super tall girl for my generation.

I know women who are 6 feet tall or taller, but except for one, they are all younger than I am.

There are many advantages to being tall.  I can reach stuff in the upper cabinets.  I can see over people’s heads while in a crowd.  I can pick higher fruit than my shorter girlfriends.

There are disadvantages, as well.  I am never in the front row for a group photo. I am never in the front row in a chorus.  I am taller than most guys who like to dance (it’s a short man’s game). I am taller than some guys who want to date me.

I tried dating a short guy. I thought, why not? Don’t discriminate because he is so little. But it didn’t work out. I felt big.

Being tall does not equate being big in the sense that many tall women are slim. But we are still grouped with the the big ladies anyway. And sometimes we were grouped with the guys. In 9th grade I had to be a guy in the PE class dance unit because there were too many girls.

Ugh! The therapy I’ve gone through for that one.

I see tall men with tiny little women and think, what a waste! If those guys want little dolls for girlfriends, what chance do I have in landing a tall guy?

I have landed my share of tall guys. But, by requiring guys to be tall, I might’ve missed out on some great men.

Like the guy in college who followed me around, made me mixed tapes, and invited me to go skiing with him and some friends in Colorado. Maybe he was my soul mate and I cut him off because he was a few inches shy of me.

Or the good cook in Omaha who was scrawny and my height. Maybe he was my soul mate, but it was all over when my long-distance boyfriend showed up in Omaha right before a blizzard. I would’ve gotten away with dating them both at the same time except for the fact that long-distance guy wanted to cross-country ski on the golf course, and we ended up on the cover of the Omaha World Herald the next day for their “winter blizzard fun” article.

I was caught in a little white lie because I had told the cook that I was going out of town.  Oh, well. At least he taught me how to steam broccoli to a bright green instead of the soggy army green color I’d served and been served my whole life up to that fateful day in 1982.

The long-distance guy wasn’t much taller than me, but those blue eyes! The beard! The hairy chest! Then, another blizzard turned my life in a different direction, and instead of driving through the storm to visit him in Minnesota, I stayed in Omaha and had my first date, on New Year’s Eve, no less, with my future husband (now ex), who is 6 feet, two.

My son is taller than that. His sisters are average height. I am happy for my daughters. Their dating pool is much larger than mine ever was.

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