I was never one of those tall girls who stooped over to hide her height. Never. Not even when I had crushes on shorter boys. My height has always been a source of pride … and more than a little vanity.
I was surprised when I learned there were tall girls who tried to make themselves look smaller, tall girls who didn’t love being tall. I couldn’t fathom it. Being tall was like having a super power, winning a lottery, being born with a tiara. Who wouldn’t want that, wouldn’t revel in it?
Well, clearly, lots of girls. Lots. So how did I, the poster child for low self-esteem, not have issues with my height? How did I wind up loving my height?
I credit my cousin Pam, a woman on my dad’s side, a woman I’ve never met but whose signature feature — her fabulous height — was a subject of note in my house.
My father’s family had lots of tall people. My father was just a hair off of 6’5″. His Uncle Ambrose was taller. All those men were tall.
And then there was Pam. The main thing I was ever told about Pam? That she was six-foot-two … in her stocking feet.
(Just like that. No one ever only said she was 6’2″. She was always “six-foot-two in her stocking feet.”)
And it was said with a kind of wonder, an amazement at what she had managed to achieve. And somewhere along the line being as tall as Pam became one of my strongest wishes. Fox, my sister, shared this obsession with me. Both of us running around wishing we could be six-foot-two in our stocking feet. Thank goodness I had Fox for company. I didn’t have to dream myself taller all on my own … and I had someone to commiserate with when I stopped growing before hitting the six-foot mark.
In my stocking feet? I’m just edging up on 5’10” … not short, exactly, but I’ve long-ago had to accept that I’d never get my wish of being like Pam.
It’s the 10th annual Slice of Life Story Challenge!
Head over to Two Writing Teachers to see all of today’s slices!