Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Adventures of a tall woman

I have spent my life with people asking me if it bothers my husband that I'm taller than him.  I just want to look at them and ask, "If it bothered him, do you think he would have still proposed? Do you really think we would be in a successful relationship if every time he saw me standing up, he felt annoyed?"  (Those of you who know me and Enoch know that barefooted, I think the difference is an inch to an inch and a half - I've often wondered what kind of grief people with a greater difference experience)

I remember when I was in high school, it really bothered me to be taller than guys I was dating (okay, not really dating, I didn't really date anyone in high school except for the last six weeks) but I was never bothered being taller than guys who were just friends.  And in the ward I lived in, the shortest girl my age was 5'9" so I really didn't have many really short friends or notice that I was extraordinarily tall.  

I loved college, because the guys there had enough confidence in themselves to ask me out on a date once every other blue moon, but the people who were setting me up on dates assumed that because I was tall and their friend was tall, we must be compatible (incidentally I just had a conversation with a great single friend of mine who said that she is having that problem with people setting her up on dates with guys because they are over 30 and single.  I guess this is the point when I can say that compatibility isn't based on height, availability or age...) I think that getting set up on these dates made me more self-conscious of my height because that was what I was hearing I needed to be looking for.  Then I met Enoch (or rather rediscovered since we have known each other since he was 8)

I think Enoch and I had been "not-dating" (story for another time) for a couple of months before I really realized that I was taller than him.  It just wasn't something I thought about, I was too busy having the time of my life with him.  It was when people discovered we were dating that the questions started being asked of him - not of me about dating someone shorter than me, but him, because how awkward it must be to be around a taller girl.  He took it in stride, just like he does with most things, but it started to bother me and I wondered if all the questioning would make him have a change of heart about me.  Then we picked a wedding date, bought a car, got engaged (yeah, in that order) and married, and the rest is history.

Yes, I still wear heels.  No, I don't care.  And no, neither does he.  

You may wonder what triggered this trip down memory lane.  There was a portion of The Today Show that I heard about from my co-worker and fellow tall female friend Erin, who has a tall female twin that outlined the prejudices our society has against people of certain genders and "acceptable" heights that got me thinking.  I can't link to the clip right now - my school server blocks YouTube, but you can read a bit of the woman's experience here.

The point of this post?  Embrace who you are, who you love and disregard what "society" tells you you need to do to be happy!  


Charlotte said...

I can TOTALLY relate! I'm not even that tall (5' 8"), but when I was in high school and much of college, I seemed to hit it off with a lot of guys that were my height or shorter. I was somewhat insecure and about it, and I think they were too (but maybe they weren't at all, and they just didn't like me very much and that's why they never asked me out.)

Anyway, I grew out of that insecurity, and it's a good thing I did. My Eric is 5'7", and neither of us have any problem with that whatsoever. I wear heels to church and whenever else I want to, and and he loves it.

We'll see how I feel in a few months when I'm big and pregnant and I weigh more than him though. Now THAT might be a little hard on the old ego!

Erin said...

You go sister! The first time someone said, "If you were taller I would date you," I was hurt because I was so shocked that someone would say it (though I wasn't naive enough to think that they weren't thinking it). After the initial shock, I got really ticked off. And the second time it happened I knew what to say: Just keep telling yourself that I would date you, no matter how tall you were. Hasn't hurt me since.