Monday, May 5, 2014

varied conversations with men about height

1. On a blind date

When I arrived at the restaurant, I spotted him at the hostess station. I approached him, and he turned and recognized me and we gave each other a quick, awkward hug. Then his first words, after saying hi and how are you, were, "Huh, I've never dated a tall girl before. How do you feel about being tall?"

2. At a friend's birthday party

The subject of my height came up in an indirect way. First, the the taller one and I talked about people we knew in common, then of my friend - a female who happens to be a baller (his words, not mine, and meaning really good at basketball). The taller one and shorter one, both guys, were roommates, and so knew each other fairly well. I knew them only marginally, as friends of friends, though I'd developed a slight crush on the shorter one when I met him a month or two before.

"So do you play basket-"

The taller one started to ask me if I played basketball, but I cut him off. "You're not really asking me that, are you?" I thought he'd hear the flirting at the edge of my voice, and that, as a tall person, he'd get the joke. We started laughing, and his smile and mock-shocked look in his eyes told me he felt both sheepish and pleased.

After we'd joked about it, the shorter one asked, "How tall are you?" And always more earnest and direct with men who make me feel nervous, with men I like, I told him. He said he was the same height, and never considered himself tall. I said something about being a tall woman and the strange mix of responses my height draws from people. Like when I wear heels at work, I said, and everybody automatically looks down at my feet to understand where my height is coming from. What I was getting at is that I stick out, people look, and there's no way to avoid it.

We endured an awkward silence, neither of us knowing what to say next, and moved on.

3. Shopping in downtown Los Angeles

"How tall are you?" He asked this while my friend, the customer at his store, looked at shoes for her fiance. "Six foot?"

This was actually the second verbalized response to my height that afternoon. Maybe it was my short dress that made my legs look especially long that day? Just an hour ago, while we were walking around downtown, a homeless man had yelled at me from across the street, "Yo, did you play basketball in high school?" I'd ignored him, and my friend had laughed.

I answered the store owner's question about my height, and he thought me lucky. "Most women are five foot, five foot two." I smiled and tried to decide how frank I wanted to be with this man about the "luck" of being a tall woman. My friend interrupted by asking for a shoe size in the model she was interested in.

I stood at the front of the store, looking at something on my phone, and joined my friend when she paid. He gave her a business card, then handed one to me and said he'd like to take me out sometime. "I really like tall women," he said. I said ok, or thank you, or something like that, eager to leave, but also strangely grateful.

"You should call him," my friend said as we walked to the car. His card is still in the cupholder of my car.


  1. By the way... I am loving your blogs! Thanks for sharing and I say, "Call him!" :)

  2. I like that you are tall! But I sympathize with it eliciting a grab bag of responses. Most of the verbal responses to my shortness are over now that I am no longer in elementary school. : )

  3. Love it:) I actually love writing about everyday height. I find them strangely comforting!