What people always want to know if you are taller than average

Being Tall wearing heels

I am 183cm and don’t see why I should not wear heels. I am proud to be tall.

Being a tall family…

Once we were standing in an elevator. Another family came in. The mother looked up to us and shouted “That’s a tall family!” Somehow she thought it necessary to shout. Okay, we are tall, but not deaf.
Her husband added jolly: “You guys must play ball! How’s the weather up there?”.
Although I wanted to answer: “Well, that’s a short family. How cute. You do play mini golf, don’t you?”, I did not. I held my tongue. It is not polite to remind anyone of how short he or she is.
We just smiled graciously.

This was not an one time experience. Although it happens less in Europe than in USA, strangers frequently come up to us asking always the same questions. So if you are one of them I will provide my answers below.


How tall are you?
I am 183cm or 6ft tall. And yes, I wear heels.
When people ask this question I always wonder why it matters. Are they testing their ability to estimate heights? Or it is a politeness to inform?
My daughter told me that people often don’t believe her when she tells them her height. They declare she must be taller.


Are your parents tall, too?
Not really, I think. When I introduce my parents, I don’t like the way people look from me to them and back to me again :-( This look is always followed by the next question:


How did you get so tall?
I don’t know. It has never been of any importance to me to do any research. It just happened.


When do you ever stop growing?
I am 40+. I have been this height since I was about 14. Still, some people insist I have grown since they last saw me. Really?


Do you play basketball of volleyball?
Actually, I do. And no, I am not an excellent player. I am way too slow.
I started to play basketball when I was a teenager because my brothers – who are of an average height – played. I’ve been loving the game since then. For the teenager who hated being tall, it was nice to meet other girls and boys who were of the same height. Thanks to them I learned to accept my height.
Please be aware that the fact that I play basketball, does not mean all tall women do.


It must be hard to be this tall?
It used to be when I was a teenager, but when I met my husband (who is about 2m – 6,5ft), I became more confident with my height. Since then being tall is hardly on my mind. I sew my own clothes and in our house everything is high and long enough. We made most of the furniture ourselves. So the beds are extra long and the tables and desks are high enough to cross my legs under it. And, naturally, all mirrors are high on the wall.
Only when I am on a bus or a plane, I am reminded of being tall. My legs are always in the way (It goes without saying that I feel terrible sorry for all who are taller). Or when I am shopping and it starts to rain. I am really afraid of umbrellas :-(


Could you get that for me?
Yes, I could. I don’t mind if people ask me to grab something for them off of a high shelf. I am happy to help them. But it is a bit of a downer if they make some awkward comment about my height instead of saying thanks.


More about being tall by Memento Vivi // Irèn Nooren

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