Saturday, November 8, 2008

I'm Tall Not Deaf

Let's get this out of the way. It's something that comes up every day. Practically every time I go out and sometimes I don't even have to go out. I am tall. Very tall. Over six and a half feet tall. I'm also thin. I wear a 28 waist if that gives you any indication.

Come on, I didn't get the nickname Scarecrow from standing out in fields telling birds to move along.

Being tall and thin is not like being short and fat. Sure, people who are short and fat get comments made about them, but it's mostly behind their backs. I'm not saying that's preferable. People shouldn't be criticized because of their physical make-ups. A person can't help being short or tall and sometimes they can't help being skinny or fat. What I mean about the difference is when you are tall and thin people make the comments directly to you or in front of you as if you can't hear them. That's why a friend gave me my t-shirt that says "I'm Tall Not Deaf."

I was in a store and a mother pointed me out to her children. People make fun of me for being tall and skinny saying I must have eaten my vegetables but not my proteins or say I look like I was put on the rack and stretched out. I don't hear them telling very short people they look like they were put in the dryer too long and shrunk. Everyone assumes I play basketball. Well, I did, in high school until the board passed a rule making me ineligible which is another rant entirely.

Just going to the store I can be asked a slew of questions. How tall am I, am I tall enough, why am I so tall, do I like being tall, why am I so skinny, don't I eat enough, do I sleep at an angle across the bed, how do I find clothes that fit, do I bump my head on doorways, etc etc etc. I especially like it when people simply ask if I get tired of all the people asking me dumb questions about being tall.

Sometimes I get asked very personal questions by total strangers. Because I have big feet and hands people want to know if "everything is in proportion" or if it's true what they say about men who have big feet and hands. [Usually I answer, "Yes, we wear big socks and gloves."] Is it true that when having sex everyone's the same height? [That one took me awhile to figure out what they were talking about. It's a waist up thing. So the reply to that is along the lines of well, if you're going to be boring and limit yourself and she's not short-waisted or anything, I guess so, kinda maybe.]

I have a girlfriend [I call her PB online which is short for the Perfect Brunette] who is also tall and thin. She's a bartender. I hear people say to her, "God I hate you, you're so tall and thin" and she just smiles at them and often other people agree, even her friends, and they have a bitch fest about how people like her who are just naturally thin are evil. Now what if she were short and fat and that same person came up to her and said, "God I hate you, you're so short and fat." Would anyone agree with that person? Or would they jump to PB's defense?

I'm not really going anywhere with this. I don't have some wise or dramatic statement to wrap this all up. I just thought I would start with something obvious about me. I'm that tall thin guy. That's one reason I'm the Scarecrow.


Pan Historia said...

I work with a woman who is exceptionally small and petite. She is always being teased and ribbed about her size and she usually totally goes with the flow, even adding jokes and comments. But after reading your blog I have to wonder if it's just a coping mechanism to deal with the repeated insults. Food for thought, my friend.

Scarecrow said...

I have automatic responses to the most common questions and comments that I get, depending on my mood.
But when people really start in on my I do occasionally lash back at them. Someone says I took all their height away from them, well, it was in retaliation for them taking all my extra weight.
It's a self-defense mechanism to make the joke before someone else does.

Pan Historia said...

Right, and I know what you mean. As a Yank in the U.K. I used to have the same reflexive response when I got tired of all the "what are you doing here, aren't all Yanks rich?" etc., comments. But this woman always seems to be really having a good time with sparkling eyes, like she's enjoying the attention. But she could be way better at masking her discomfort than the rest of us.