Being tall can be exhausting. Telling people that I used to play basketball, waiting for them guess my exact height, and ducking under doorways eventually takes its toll. I know, “Boo-hoo Josh, at least you can grab the top shelf items at the supermarket.” Yes I can. And I do it for you all the time so as a token of thanks, allow me to vent. This article has one purpose in mind. It’s not for pity. It’s to put you, the reader, in my size 14 shoes. Follow me step by long step through a day in the life of a tall person.
Let’s assume for a second that I don’t sleep all day and that when my alarm goes off I don’t hit snooze for two hours.
Let’s assume that.
My feet swing off of the bed and hit the floor. Stretching a 6’6″ frame is an act that starts on the ground and ends with fingers on the ceiling. It’s the difference between opening a step ladder and an actual ladder. By the time I enter the shower I’m feeling limber. Too bad. The shower head is a bit too low and my body folds again to maneuver underneath it.
I squeeze into my car. I squeeze out of my car. I squeeze into my seat in class and there I remain for the next hour. At one point the cute blonde behind me talks to me, only to ask me to duck so she can read the bottom of the powerpoint.
No professor, you can’t have some of my height. Isn’t it enough that you call me ‘stretch’?
It takes a lot to fuel this body. That’s why when it comes to eating I resort to 30% food and 70% beer, and lots of both. The Rat is my home. Oh look, some friends are sitting at a glider! I mosey on over and look down at the green top that covers them from the sun. I take a step back, put two hands on the awning, and swing my head under so I can see their smiling faces. This lasts for about two minutes before it becomes awkward for everybody.
I give someone a hug and now I’m worried that the top of their head smells like my armpit.
Sometimes I still play basketball. All a big man wants to do is shoot threes but that’s “a waste of height” so we resort to standing under the basket. For your information I’m the mayor of splash city and you’re all invited to the block party.
Dunked, gave someone the highest of fives.
All this running is making me tired. I bend at a 90 degree angle to get a sip of water.
After a long nap under a too small blanket, I get ready to go out for the night. My pants are the right size for my waist, but not for my legs. It’s a constant struggle. Capris are in, right?
The pre-game is bumping and the music makes me want to dance. Someone points and laughs, I laugh to show that I was just kidding about dancing (I wasn’t) and revert to my signature “stand and bob your head” move.
The Uber arrives and we quickly realize that someone forgot to order an XL. This is a problem. The game of shotgun is a well-known one, but the rules are bent when you’re tall. I want to share the wealth and offer to sit in the back but am only met with a pity-filled, “No, you should go up front.” Fine. I wanted to make awkward small talk with the driver anyway. Public Service Announcement: The front of an overly packed Uber is no better than the back, only now my knees are pressed against the hard plastic of the dashboard instead of the soft leather of the seatback.
Bars and clubs are a bittersweet symphony for giants. Yes, we can breathe and find the quickest route to the bar, but you can also see us as we stand there looking like a meerkat searching around for the next conversation. We are aware of everything. So when someone inevitably comes up and asks us to find their friend, we know exactly where to point.
I see another tall person and we instantly become friends, even though we stand at opposite sides of the room.
Ow. That doorway is lower than I remember.
Ow. That doorway is lower than I remember. Wait.. that’s my doorway. Am I home? I stumble towards my room and like a big tree falling in a forest, hit my bed. As my eyes close I dream a good dream. A dream of a land where everyone is tall and short people are weird. This is my dream.