Part of the package of being tall is long arms. I used to call them “my orangutan arms” when I was younger. They were long and gangly with no muscle definition. I felt that they were so long I could drag them on the ground. (“Do your arms hang low do they wobble to and fro…”) And after The Incredibles came out when I was in high school, my nickname became “Elastigirl”. You know those games that boys play where they hit girls and run away? Well they couldn’t get away quick enough from me. They would hit me and go to run and I just stretch my orangutan arm out and hit them back with the quickness.
And of course, with these orangutan arms come too-short sleeves. The too-short jeans are not much of an issue anymore, but the too-short sleeves on sweaters/jackets/coats and etc have continued to be a problem. Why is it that long enough sleeves are so hard to find? Why is it that when I put on a long sleeve shirt that fits everywhere else, the sleeves are sooo short? Making it look like I had unfortunate incident with my washing machine or I stole someone else’s clothes. I feel like I’m back in middle school. I’ve decided that “normal” people must have munchkin arms. There’s no other explanation.
But too short sleeves are easier to hide. I just do my patented “sleeve scrunch”. It looks intentional. But you can’t do the scrunch when it’s 30 degrees outside. Or when the AC is too high at work. So I sacrifice my wrists and my pride and unscrunch my sleeves to prevent the rest of my arm from becoming numb because of the cold. But what can I do? I can’t ask for shorter arms as I would look totally disproportionate and would get even more stares than I usually do. I used to buy shirts from a “regular” store 2 sizes too big just to have the sleeves long enough. So they fit in the sleeves but way too big in the body. I look like I’m smuggling something.
Someone called me out on my scrunch once. In middle school actually. I was wearing a jean jacket (with the sleeves scrunched of course) and I was sitting at lunch and a guy friend at the table next to me turned and looked at me and said, “The sleeves are too short, right?” He caught me off guard but all I could say was “Yep”. But I’m like how did he know that? I thought I disguised it perfectly. I mean he was tall too but he’s a dude how did he know my secret? He must’ve did the same thing I guess.