Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Being Ginormica

Being really tall is really weird. As a kid I grew up with a very tall Mum and tall uncles and even for a while a really tall step dad. I was always the tall kid at school, always noticeably taller than those my age. Yet when I watched my ever beloved WWF around my friends house with their rather magical (for the time!) Sky TV, I always marveled at how tall the guys were and couldn't imagine ever being that enormous!

Yet I am. I don't feel it. You'd think being 2.03m high would be noticeable but you know what... it's just natural to me. I couldn't imagine life being short. Not being able to touch the ceiling? That's weird now. Not being able to easily reach the top shelf in a shop? Weird. Not being able to see above the heads of people in crowds and effortlessly know where to go? WEIRD!

But being tall isn't the dream some seem to imagine it to be:


Chairs of all sizes and descriptions are my second least favourite thing. Go find one of those small chairs they use for first years at primary school (US translation: first grade or kindergarten chairs). Now sit in one. Your knees are up around your ears (not in the good way! You are disgusting sometimes Dear Constant Reader, get your mind out of the gutter!), you feel completely stupid and it really is not comfortable. That's how I feel most days. Desk chairs, armchairs, barbers chairs (complete with a woman with scissors snapping around your face... shudder), airplane chairs, and worst of all; fixed booth chairs and fixed bench/table ensembles. I draw small crowds as they watch me attempt to contort into a fixed booth. It's not funny people!


Well doors are okay, I suppose. But doorways. They are another kettle of fish. At 2.03m my forehead is almost perfectly in line with the top of your average door. This has led to me developing an automatic ducking mechanism, but about once a week I forget and... BANG! Ouch... And it's always in the most public place/situation where every can see the shame of the idiotic giant who can't even duck under a door. D'oh


Superman/Kryptonite, Hitler/Stalin, Scientology/Anonymous. Everybody has their nemesis. Mine is umbrellas. Each rainy morning, I reluctantly step out of my door knowing that my trip to work is to be spent avoiding being poked in the eye by badly handled umbrellas. Pet hates: i) people who RAISE their umbrella to eye height when they seem me coming, aim for the stomach people!! ii) tiny people with golf umbrellas, ok... anybody using a golf umbrella when commuting. DIE! iii) People using umbrellas when it's only spitting.

Standing In Bars

I love drinking. LOVE IT. I love being with friends. But there really is no point if I'm standing. Your mouths are over a foot down from my ears and my ears are usually one foot closer to the music speakers/ceiling echoes than yours. I cannot hear you. I can only smile and drink. That's it. Sitting makes things a lot easier for me.


Being tall means I can see over everyone's heads. This helps me navigate more easily. But it also means I can see every stupid, annoying thing everyone does. I can see the pushers in. I can see each and every slow person holding us up. I can even see that the cause of the whole crush is someone standing in a doorway chatting on their mobile. You might give them a passing annoyed look, but by the time I've had time to plan their tragic accident involving their mobile phone "accidentally" ending up in an unpleasant place. This brings me on to:

Stupid People

I'm tall not blind/death/stupid. I can hear you when you whisper "Isn't he tall?" to your equally stupid companion. I can see you when you stop dead in your tracks, directly in my path and stare up at me like the gormless simpleton you are. I sometimes wonder... if I draw this much attention to myself I can only imagine how those who have some visible disability must feel. My heart goes out to them because I feel a little of their pain!

I really don't mind someone coming up to me in a social situation (at work, in a bar, round someone's house) and asking me how tall I am. But one of my least favourite things is when people do it in the street. I'm calmer now than I was... when I was a teenager I was rather nasty to those who did it, especially those who'd go out of their way to stop me when I was on my way somewhere. It is not cool to ask someone how tall they are in the middle of them doing something. It's not like it's a secret. I'm in front of them. They can see EXACTLY how tall I am. Do they really need to ask???

Other annoying things: getting clothes, being in direct eyeline with top shelf magazines (eek and yuck), seeing your feet and thinking "OMG they are in a different timezone!", submarines (I am officially too tall to navigate a publicly accessible submarine unless it's totally empty and I am thus able to throw myself through each hatch [as I used to do on the Soviet sub in Folkestone]), small cars, low ceilings, market stall urnings... etc etc...

But this is all made up for by the very cute macrophiles. ;)

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist


  1. I share your pain, though to a lesser/different degree. I'm "only" 1m88 but that still puts me at taller than most people and I do get the odd stare. I don't know how much of a "bean pole" you are but I'm pretty big in all directions so I'm hard to miss!

    I also find it a bit sad that so many people assume that just cos I'm 6 ft 2 and have a 46 inch chest (and it's not ALL moobs!), I'm some kind of threat when walking alone in the street late at night.

    From my own experience, small people tend to be much more threatening and aggressive, and tend to have more imposing chips on their shoulders than tall folk... We don't need to behave aggressively, most people feel intimidated if we just stand up.

    A related problem I have is that my feet are a UK size 14. Every single time I am in the sauna or steam room in the gym with a stranger, invariably they comment on them as if I'd woken up that morning with these ski-sized appendages suddenly appearing at the end of my legs and had never noticed them before! It's more than a little patronising! (On the plus side, it does break the ice, us Brits being notiously difficult at starting conversations with strangers.)

    Something people just can't fathom is that I am petrified of winding/circular staircases - I can barely get my toes on the treads and I'm always fearful of losing my balance.

    You're welcome to find out for yourself if the old wives' take about men with big feet is true in my case! :D

  2. I'm no bean pole!! Old ladies cross the road when they see me coming, lol.

    Oh God! Circular stairs are EVIL. I have had so many experiences of trouble with them. Once in a very busy tourist attraction in Prague there was a queue to get up and a queue to get down in this high tower. The thin wedge was the down queue and I have to say I've rarely been more scared!! My feet are size 15, and I have problems with some "normal" stairs with thin steps.

    My feet certainly are a point of interest, but I already know the answer about people with big feet... I once did my own personal investigation of this myth with a 7'2" guy with size 18 feet. Good times. Good times.

    Thankfully I have NEVER been in a fight as no one is that silly but the only people who have ever tried it on with me, especially in nightclubs, are short guys (5'9" and below). Thankfully their more clear headed, and taller mates, generally drag them off issuing quick apologies at me as they disappear.

    I don't want to be rude to my lovely friends who are vertically challenged, but some short guys and girls are absolutely the worst for aggression. And most big guys are pretty cool. Whilst I hate being called a "gentle giant" as it's a bit cliched I find that tall guys often match up to that image.

  3. I can't say I've noticed you in The Rose and Crown. Maybe I'm not looking high enough!

  4. Anonymous8:55 am

    ahhh...the Rose and Crown...a great place to go and be judged.

  5. Oh one doesn't go to the Rose and Crown! Much nicer pubs in Greenwich to hang out in, like me local. Last time I was in Ye Olde Rose and Crown some old guy (nothing wrong with old guys, as my friends used to say "No Giro, No Jae") kept giving me disturbing come hither looks.

    To be honest... I'm so over the scene, but I did start out on it early so I think I can be forgiven!