How tall are you? Do you play basketball? Wow, you’re tall! I wish I had your height! These are the comments I get on a regular basis. Very rarely does a day go by without someone speaking or staring at me. You should see some of the looks I get. People look like their eyes are going to pop out of their heads, as if they are about to have a heart attack or something. It is actually quite funny sometimes. Everywhere I go; restaurants, grocery stores, the mall, 7-Eleven, public bathrooms, or just walking down the street someone comes up and tells me about my height. I can feel their eyes follow me as I walk by. Sometimes I get the buffer: “you must get this all the time, but”… to prevent me from getting too mad at the obvious intrusion. At least they realize and acknowledge that I just might get tired of that question. But yet, there curiosity must overwhelm them and they ask anyway.
If I had a dollar for every time someone has asked me if I play basketball, I would be rich right now. I’m serious. I try to be polite, but admittedly it gets on my nerves. I have perfected the “I’m-going-to-be-polite-but-I-wish-you-would-go-away-smile. It has taken years of experience.
And this has been going on for as long as I can remember. I have always been taller than everyone else. And those “less fortunate”, as my mom calls them, just have to tell me how much they want to be tall too. Do you? Do you really? Do you know what you are asking for?
Sometimes I want to say:
“I’m glad you feel comfortable enough to come up and talk to me, but can’t you see I’m shopping/washing my hands/paying for my soda and chips?”
Don’t get me wrong, I love being tall, I would hate to be short; and sometimes the comments are funny. I even feel like a celebrity sometimes. (No flash photography please.) But sometimes is the operative word. I bet even celebrities get tired of all the attention they get.
So to answer your questions:
I am 6 foot, 3 inches tall. No, I do not play basketball, and I don’t plan to play basketball ever in life. No I am not a model. Yes, I know I am tall. There is no need to tell me.
So when you see me and even after reading this you feel compelled to speak, please follow these few simple rules.
- Be creative. Tell me something I haven’t heard before. Put a (genuine) smile on my face.
- If you don’t have anything interesting to say, keep it to a 5 word minimum; 1 minute or less.
- Bring a gift; preferably an expensive one. It will help you get on my good side.
- Flattery is always good.