Trials and tribulations of the vertically blessed

6’1”. That is the answer to the question I’m sure you were just about to ask me: “How tall are you?” Or maybe you were just about to make the enlightening comment: “Wow, you’re tall.” Maybe your five-foot self is experiencing a small twinge of jealousy.  Or maybe you are wondering why a person gifted with the grace of height would ever complain.  But, before you offer me cheesecake in exchange for three extra inches (yes, this is a true story), here are a few downsides that you should know:

1. Plane rides are awful.

Curse whoever sits in front of me  on airplanes and feels the urge to recline his or her seat into my legs.  Can’t you see that my knees are already in my face?  Now, I give you my (semi) fool-proof strategy: use your knees to prevent said selfish person from reclining their chair.  It will either end in a victory, as the person gives up and assumes his or her recliner is broken, or with you panting and pissed off, while your tray table digs into your stomach.

2. You are always in the back of photos.  Always.

I would like to meet just one photographer who asks the tall people to come to the front. Granted, if this occurred, the photo would probably just show my smiling face, but would that really be so bad? On the bright side, you are usually saved from the passive aggressive measuring of height back to back. Because whether you are 5’6” or 5’7” will determine the quality of our group photo. But don’t mind me, I’ll just be chilling in the back row.   

3. Wearing heels is a constant battle.

Let’s go back to eighth grade graduation, when I made the controversial decision to wear one inch wedges. Innocent me was unprepared for the backlash that ensued. Wearing heels when you already surpass six feet does not exactly make you popular among your vertically challenged friends. But you get the final laugh when you watch other girls teetering along with blisters. And that, my friends, is karma.

4. The Shirt/Dress Dilemma.

Is it a shirt or is it a dress? This existential crisis was described in the previous “Short People Problems” column. Yet, this is a tragedy encountered by us, tall folk, as well.  Say you find the dress of your dreams, only to discover that this article of clothing is a bit questionable. It looks like a long shirt. Do you wear pants, leggings or tights? Don’t ask me. I can’t solve all of your problems.

5.  No, I can’t dunk.

I sincerely feel sorry for anyone north of six feet who had exactly zero talent in sports. The next question after “How tall are you?” is sure to be “Do you play sports?” and no one wants to be that awkward person to shake his or her head. But sometimes this assumption goes a little too far. Take my encounter in seventh grade, when a random classmate asked if I could dunk and I had to be that awkward person who shakes her head with embarrasment. We tall folk need to draw awareness to the cruel stereotype that says every tall person plays basketball like LeBron James. If I did, I would probably already be competing against Brittney Griner in the Women’s National Basketball Association (not that anyone cares to watch women’s basketball, but that is another rant altogether). As you can see, I am just a lowly high school student struggling to survive in the cruel world that expects too much of my athletic ability.

So next time you complain about your lowly stature, just understand the pain that you would endure as a tall person. Maybe you’ll want to take back that cheesecake offer (I swear this is a factual conversation).Foronline