Tall Tales

A 6'3" perspective on life

Tall comment of the day: Oct. 3 October 3, 2014

Filed under: Tall comment of the day — Stilts @ 3:43 pm

Today, someone at work with whom I exchange pleasantries very regularly saw me walk into the work cafeteria and said, “There she is! The tallest woman in the building!”

 

I thiiiink that’s an exaggeration but he might have been right. Either way, that wasn’t the part of the conversation that got weird. No no, it was only when he told me his weekend plans included “having a tub” with his wife. Not an image I want floating around in my head, thankyouverymuch … but nice to know there’s some romance there?

 

Tall comment of the day: Oct. 1 October 1, 2014

Filed under: Tall comment of the day — Stilts @ 3:32 pm

In my effort to post when people mention something about my height (just because I want to highlight the frequency with which that happens), here’s my latest:

 

Riding the elevator up to my floor at work, a man I’ve never met before very politely said, “I hope you don’t mind … how tall are you?” I answered, “6’3,” and no, I don’t mind.” What I “didn’t mind” was him asking, but he took it as me not minding being so tall. He AGAIN very politely responded with, “NO! Nor should you! It is a beautiful thing!”

 

Man, if only all tall comments were so polite.

 

Tall comment of the day: Sept. 22 September 22, 2014

Filed under: Tall comment of the day,Uncategorized — Stilts @ 9:34 pm

I’ve often told people I hear at least one tall comment per day either from strangers or people who’ve known me my whole life. But saying that anecdotally and actually tracking it are two different things.

So I’ve decided why not track it? It’ll be a fun little experiment for myself and/or any of you fellow tall ladies or men who hear similar comments on a daily basis. If I don’t hear one, I’ll open the forum to the rest of you and chime in.

Let’s see how this goes. Let the ignorant (or sometimes nice) tall comments fly!

Tonight while I was walking home from work, a man asking for money outside a Walgreen’s said, “Hey big woman … any spare change?”

Because yes, the best way to get a female to donate to your cause is by calling her BIG WOMAN?

And no, I did not donate.

 

Long legs + tiny airplanes = stupid fights (and premature landing of planes???) September 8, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Stilts @ 11:17 pm

It’s been a while since I last blogged. I’ll use the excuse that “I was really busy,” which was true, but my tall girl stories…they just don’t stop. I’ve been talking about them a lot at work lately, and I’ve decided it’s time to get back into sharing them with the world. So I figured a column I wrote for RedEye a couple weeks ago would be my official “relaunch,” if you will.

It was about one of the many recent fights that have brewed at 30,000 feet in the air because people just can’t seem to act like adults when they’re on an airplane.

Look before you recline

Published Aug. 26, 2014

I’ve contemplated buying the Knee Defender before. There, I’ve said it. 

“What the hell is a ‘Knee Defender?’” you ask?
 
Well, you clearly haven’t heard about the kerfuffle between two passengers on Sunday’s United Airlines flight from Newark, N.J., to Denver that led to the plane’s premature landing in Chicago. Allow me to fill you in:
 
During the flight, a man used a gadget called the “Knee Defender,” which is intended to “help you stop reclining seats on airplanes so your knees won’t have to,” according to the product’s website. 
 
A United flight attendant told the man, 47, that the airline doesn’t permit the use of such gadgets on the plane. He refused to listen.
 
When the 48-year-woman sitting in front of the man realized she wasn’t able to recline her seat, she got stand-up-from-your-seat-and-throw-water-on-someone angry, according to United. A fight ensued, and the pilot landed the plane in Chicago.
 
Given that I’m 6’3” and absolutely despise flying due to the lack of legroom on today’s planes, I’ve read about the Knee Defender longingly, but I’ve never bought or used one for fear of getting into potential fights with unbending individuals. Like in this situation. 
 
 

$hit People Say to Tall Girls February 22, 2012

Filed under: Funny,Vertical Video — Stilts @ 3:30 pm

My fellow tall film friend and I decided to make a video in response to all the other “$hit…Say” videos out there right now. A little late to the meme? Perhaps, but we had to represent! Hope you enjoy. And let me know if we forgot to include any huge (pardon the pun) lines you’ve heard before. Who knows? Maybe we’ll make a part II!

 

College campuses accentuate my height October 11, 2010

Filed under: Did that seriously just happen? — Stilts @ 11:30 pm

I’ve come to the realization that I might be one of those people who perpetually believes I’m the same age as college students. That is, until I actually step foot on a college campus again and the fact that I’m at least six years older than everyone there hits me like a ton of bricks. I am currently getting my masters degree at DePaul University, which means I get a discounted gym membership. Score, except for having to work out next to girls who don’t yet know what the term “metabolism” means … or its mighty power.

Tonight I was walking to DePaul’s rec center, deep in my own thoughts, when I got sucked back into reality by the sound of what I’m guessing is a college sophomore saying to his friend, “Whoa, that girl is f—in’ tall!”  Correction: yelling to his friend, “Whoa, that girl is f—in’ tall!”

I’m always so mad at myself for not having the wherewithal at the time to say things I later realize would be clever or appropriate. By the time they actually passed me, it was too late to say anything, but I wish I had at least screamed, “I can HEAR you!”  Did he think I was deaf? Or too stupid to know I was the f’n tall girl? Or worse, did he just not care that I COULD hear him? Ignorance is bliss, I guess.

Either way, there was one redeeming thing about his flippant comment: His noun usage. He called me “girl.” Not “lady,” not “woman,” but “girl.” I guess that means I must qualify as looking college-aged to actual college students. Hey, it might have been dark outside, but I’m going with it … for at least another year.

 

Breast cancer awareness month and one tall cabbie October 9, 2010

Filed under: Did that seriously just happen? — Stilts @ 12:24 pm

 

I was lucky enough to ride in this! (Photo courtesy of NBC Chicago)

 

I was hailing a cab the other day and the first one that approached me was a van. First thought: “Score! I love roomy van cabs!”  Then, as it pulled up next to me, I noticed it was a bright shade of bubblegum pink. It didn’t take me long to make the connection between the color and breast cancer awareness. It is October, after all.

When I got into the cab, I was again surprised to see the driver was a woman. After about four years of taking cabs in the city, I think I’ve ridden in a female’s taxi maybe once.

I said, “Cute cab!” She was initially  a little cold, maybe because she thought I was insincere? She just stared ahead looking like she was thinking, “Ok Blondie, shut up now.” But the more I smiled at her through the rear view mirror and asked genuinely inquisitive questions, the more she warmed to talking.  And once she started, she was hilariously entertaining!

She told me she is 6′, which is why she chose to drive a van cab over the normal sedans, or even the boxy Scion with its low ceilings. And when they tried to sell her on the Smart Car, forget it. The makers of the Smart Car claim the cars can comfortably seat two men over 6′, but this cabbie wasn’t buyin’ it.

“When I tried out the Smart Car or even the Scion, I bumped my head,” the female cab driver said. “It was like sitting in a clown car!”

“I feel ya,” I said. “I’m 6’3″”

We instantly bonded and had a good laugh talking about the “joys” of being a tall woman trying to fit in spaces “normal-sized” women can easily maneuver.

While I was excited to meet a fellow tall woman (I’m always thrilled to bond with the vertically blessed), I was more excited to learn more about her eccentric pink cab. She resolved my suspicions of the cab raising awareness for breast cancer awareness month, which occurs every October. And I learned that I had actually stepped into the ONLY pink cab in Chicago (at the time)! I felt so lucky! Like it was fate that she drove by.

The kind cabbie explained that her cab was originally yellow but that she allowed her company, Yellow Cab, to paint it pink — the same exact pink they use to paint Mary Kay vehicles. She said some passengers who had hailed her cab mistakenly thought she was a cosmetics saleswoman on the side.

The cab driver, who wanted to remain anonymous, said Yellow Cab is painting two — and only two — more cabs pink, and they’ll employ only women to drive the bubblegum mobiles. Some Checker cabs will have some parts of their design painted pink.

“The idea started in Chicago with Jeff Feldman, CEO of Taxi Medallion Management, which manages Yellow, Checker, Blue Diamond and American United here,” a recent Chicago Sun-Times story said. “TMM has put pink decals on cabs for years during October, but this year, Feldman proposed pink cabs to the national Taxicab, Limousine and Paratransit Association. About 100 cab operators across North America will participate.”

And these cabs aren’t just raising awareness. The Sun-Times story said for every ride the pink cab makes, one dollar will be donated to the Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation of Chicago, which supports understanding, research and treatment of breast cancer. So it turns out I donated to the cause without even knowing it, just by taking a little ride! How cool is that?

My cabbie said once October is over, she’ll be happy to paint her cab back to that beautiful shade of sunshine.

“It looks like a frosty pink bite!,” she said through her Jamaican accent. “But it’s for a good cause.”

I couldn’t agree with her more.

 

Tall hopes for Halloween! September 20, 2010

Filed under: Tall ideas — Stilts @ 11:01 pm

It’s not even Oct. 1 and I’m already getting excited about Halloween!

Unlike most people, I think about possible costume ideas year round. So far this year, I’ve thought about being Gumby (as you might have previously seen on my blog), Neytiri from Avatar (see right) and Chewbacca from Star Wars. I always post my latest and greatest costume idea on Facebook as a status update, and while every idea has garnered a lot of positive reaction from my Facebook friends, Chewbacca seemed to excite people the most. Strangely enough, telling people I want to be Chewy makes them automatically think I’m offering to host a Star Wars-themed Halloween party. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for it, but it’s funny that it’s the only costume that seems to motivate others to dress up.   That, in itself, helped me nail down my choice this year. I just put down my deposit on my Chewbacca rental yesterday. The photo on the left is me trying it on for size. The beauty of renting a man’s costume is it’s most likely going to be long enough. This one fits perfectly!

I’m ALWAYS really excited to dress up (probably because I’m used to being 6’3,” so standing out in a crowd is nothing new), and this year, especially, I seem to come up with a new tall person costume every day. Since I can wear only one that night, and since I’ve noticed most people don’t exactly share in my enthusiasm, or at least in my thinking-about-costumes-a-month-early enthusiasm, I’ve decided to share my costume ideas to get allyour creative juices flowing. Some of these might be, well, blatantly obvious, but others might make you go, “hmm.”

Feel free to share some of your ideas here, too!

  • Jolly Green Giant (left): Super easy to put together. Get some green tights, green make-up, green slippers, and some sort of one-shoulder-strap dress with fake leaves stapled or sewn on. You can even go the more unconventional route and do green boxers and a green tank top. People will get the idea.
  • Statue of Liberty (right): I’ve actually already dressed up as this back in college. It was a cinch to assemble. Get some minty green make-up from a costume shop or some big box store’s craft section, buy a long piece of mint-green fabric, fashion a crown out of cardboard and cover it in aluminum foil, carry around a tiki torch and book all night, and you’re set!
  • The aforementioned Gumby idea (left): Always a good choice if you have a shorter friend who’s willing to be your Pokey.
  • Stay Puft marshmallow man from Ghostbusters (right): Granted, this would have to be a renter, but I’ve already put the deposit down on my Chewy costume, and let me tell you, it’s worth it.
  • Brigitte Nielsen (left): Remember what a pair her and Flavor Flav made? If you can team up with a Flavor Flav lookalike, this one could make for a killer combo at costume contests.
  • Sue Sylvester (right): If Glee’s popularity hadn’t soared this year, I don’t think this costume would as popular as I’m predicting it will be. Either way, this would be a fun (and comfortable!) tall costume idea!
  • Jessica Rabbit (below): If you have the body for this, nothing’s stopping you!
 

Katie Holmes as ‘Queen of Oompa Loompas’? July 12, 2010

Filed under: Did that seriously just happen? — Stilts @ 11:45 pm

Katie Holmes as 'Queen of the Oompa Loompas'?

On June 13, Huffington Post published a blog item about Katie Holmes and Daniel Radcliffe presenting an award at the Tonys. The award was for Best Feature Actress and it went to the lovely and talented Scarlett Johansson. The blog post featured two photos of the night: one of Holmes and Radcliffe and the other of Holmes and Johansson. (You can see the photos below, courtesy of HuffingtonPost.com).

Ok, so I know I’m an optimist and at times I tend to live in a snow globe of rainbows and puppies, but here is an example of what I WISHED I had seen in the comments section below that blog post:

Comment #1:

“Oh, they all look so glamorous. Congrats to Scarlett!”

Comment #2:

“Wow, great job! And Katie Holmes looks so elegant! Daniel, you are lookin’ sexxxxy these days.”

Instead, I was shocked to see what people were writing. Every single commenter cared more about the “extreme” height difference between Holmes and Radcliffe (and Holmes’ ill-fitting, blah-colored dress) than their purpose for being there.

Here’s a sampling of some of the gems people left in the comment section:

Comment #1:

“She looks like the queen of the oompa-loompas.”

Comment #2:

“What, is she a tree?”

Comment #3:

“Daniel Radcliffe looked cute. Sort of embarrassed to be standing there with her, but cute.”

Comment #4:

“She should start a website called Amazon Dot Tom.”

Comment #5:

“Believe me, she IS that tall. The chick is a giant. It’s the only reason I noticed her when I saw her in a restaurant about 8 years ago. IMO there is nothing else notable about her other than her height.”

Comment #6:

“A regular Statue of Liberty isn’t she? She just TOWERS over other women and boys.”

Comment #7:

“The first photo reminds me of one of the scenes in the Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy is welcomed by the Mayor of the Munchkin City (in the County of the Land of Oz).”

I could go on and on, but I thought these were the most jarring of the bunch. Not everyone was leaving evil, height-related comments. Some people were defending Holmes and her “natural” hair and uneven hem line. And one comment made me particularly happy:

“She keeps up the slouching and she’ll look like she’s got a hump in her back in a few years and possibly back trouble. She has terribly rounded shoulders.”

This comment is so true. When I first started acting in theater in high school, I would always slouch over to “fit in” with all the other shorter people on stage. After a few performances, my family members finally told me my slouching didn’t make me any shorter and it didn’t make me blend in with the background. Instead, I just looked like a humpback and it actually made me stand out more than if I had good posture. So I started standing up taller and people started using words like, “striking” and “elegant” to describe my height. I wish someone would tell Holmes this.

Regardless of her slouching, she is tall, but she isn’t gargantuan like these comments would suggest. IMDB.com claims Holmes is 5’9″ and Radcliffe is…*cough*…5’8″. (Side note: No amount of magic will make you that tall, Mr. Potter). And she was wearing what looks like 2″-3″ heels, which doesn’t help reduce the height difference. If she would just improve her posture, I don’t think this would be as noticeable. However, I know firsthand that it can be incredibly difficult to follow that simple rule when surrounded by a room of average-height people, especially when you know there’s a whole blogosphere out there just waiting to pounce on you in the comment section.

Katie Holmes and Daniel Radcliffe present at the Tony Awards

Katie Holmes awards Scarlett Johansson with the Best Feature Actress Tony Award

 

How dare you say ‘vertically deprived’ January 24, 2010

Filed under: Tall ideas,Tips for the non-tall — Stilts @ 8:33 pm

I went to a Pampered Chef party today (for those of you who don’t know what Pampered Chef is, it’s like a Tupperware party but with cooking/baking utensils) where the demonstrator was teaching us how to use one of the kitchen tools to cut a pineapple. During her demonstration, she kept looking over at my friend who is roughly (I’ve never asked her official height) 5’3″ while she talked about how to cut the pineapple if you’re “vertically deprived.”  She said that her mother was “vertically deprived” (yes, she used the term more than once) and used to try cutting food on a tall kitchen counter until she suggested to her mother to cut the pineapple on a chair so it was “at her level.”  My friend began noticing she had become the demonstrator’s focal point of the conversation and replied with, “Hey! Stop lookin’ at ME!” in a semi-joking tone. The demonstrator continued to harp on it and say, “Well look around, honey, you’re clearly the shortest one here!”

After the party, some of the girls started talking to my friend about the demonstrator’s comments and how rude it was for her to say such things. I, too, thought it was out of line and thought she took the joke too far, but it got me thinking about comments like that and brought me back to the same point I always think about regarding my height: Why is it OK for strangers to gawk at tall people and make comments like, “How’s the weather up there?” and “Oh my God, you’re sooo HUGE!” when one or two comments to a short person in the same tone is not acceptable?

When I was younger, I used to get WAY more bothered by tall comments than I do now. Older tall people used to comfort me and tell me that “someday, you’ll grow to love hearing those comments and will embrace them.”  Well, I can’t say I’ve reached the point of embracing the remarks, but I have definitely grown into my tall skin recently and don’t think about my height every time I walk into a crowded room or a public space. It’s a much better feeling than how I used to feel, when I’d slightly bend my knees or pop my hip just to shrink that liiittle bit to be more eye level with who I was talking to.

But being more comfortable in my height still doesn’t answer my question. I don’t understand why it’s socially acceptable to rip on a person’s height ONLY when he or she is tall. I don’t buy the whole, “well it’s a compliment and that person is just admiring your elegance” because, believe me, about 75 % of the comments I hear are NOT complimentary.  I do, however, slightly buy into the jealousy-rooted comments because sometimes, depending on the delivery of the remark, I can physically see the envy in their eyes that I can see over anyone at a concert or that an additional five pounds of weight gain on me doesn’t appear as drastically as someone who is a foot shorter than me.  So until I find the perfect answer to my question, I’m going to stick with that. Anyone have any other ideas?