I'm tall. Not just any tall -- 6' 10" tall. Having had a growth spurt my entire life, it's given me a unique perspective on the world that most people will never get to experience.
For the most part, I'm pretty glad things turned out the way they did. Of all the heights to be, tall is one of the better ones, so I don't want to come off as ungrateful. However, there are a lot of misconceptions about being tall, and some downsides that most people probably aren't even aware of.
Here are 20 of the worst parts about being a really -- and I mean, really -- tall person:
It’s Like Being A Celebrity (Without Any Of The Cool Benefits)
When you step into public as a celebrity, you're guaranteed to have someone come up to you and express how much of a fan he or she is. As a tall person, it's guaranteed you'll have someone come up to you and tell you that you are tall.
As a celebrity, people will ask to take pictures with you because you're famous. As a tall person, people will ask to take pictures with you because you're tall. Celebrities have the paparazzi, and tall people have Asian tourists.
I don't mind it, really; it’s just that for their troubles, celebrities get to be rich and famous, and at the end of the day, I'm just tall.
Every New Interaction Is A Press Conference
As a tall person, you don't simply introduce yourself when you meet someone; you shake hands and wait for that person to say something.
Sometimes, the person you're meeting is apologetic about it and precedes his or her questioning with, "I'm sorry but I have to ask." That's only if you're lucky.
Regardless, you are going to face a barrage of questions concerning your childhood, eating habits, genetic profile and athletic ability. Speaking of which...
You Play Basketball Even If You Don't
This has a couple of meanings. The first is that if anyone asks (and they will), you do play basketball. Even if you don't, you do.
It's worth it to save everyone from having to deal with the irrational amount of disappointment that will be manifested when you say no.
The second meaning is that even if you don't play basketball, you will. Someone will recruit you for an intramural league, refuse to take no for an answer and then be angry when you don't live up to expectations.
Life isn't fair.
It Doesn’t Automatically Get You Girls
People assume that being tall automatically makes you a ladies man. The rationale behind this is that a lot of girls say they like tall guys.
The problem with that reasoning is that a lot of girls are liars. Girls don't like "tall guys." Girls like suave, rugged, good looking mountain men.
"Tall" is one trait out of thousands. Not to mention there is a very fine line between what is considered "tall" and what is considered "freak of nature."
For a lot of girls, it seems that line is around 6' 6". That's a cute height, I guess.
You’re An Expensive Drunk
You know how some parents give their babies a little bit of whiskey to "help them" go to sleep? Well, being tall is the opposite of being a baby, and chances are you're going to need whatever the opposite of "a little bit of whiskey" is if you want to get drunk.
You don't necessarily buy alcohol based on what you enjoy drinking, but rather, based on what's going to get you where you need to be the quickest and cheapest. More often than not, this is a bottom-shelf vodka in a plastic bottle with a vaguely Russian name on the label.
It's like college, only, you don't really have an excuse for it anymore.
You Will Play Footsie With Total Strangers
Your feet are always bigger than you remember them being, and this often results in awkward situations, such as having to explain to the man in the stall next to you that while his offer is incredibly generous, you did not mean what he thought you meant.
You Can't Participate In Winter Sports
Have you ever tried to rent ice skates or ski boots in a size 16? You can’t, because they don’t exist.
As a result, this means I can't go ice skating or skiing unless I suddenly acquire the skills needed to become an NHL player or Olympian and have a company custom make them for me.
Chances are this isn't going to happen because it's the definition of a Catch-22, and as a white person, that is absolutely devastating.
Your Clothes Don't Fit
The last time I went to the store and bought something I could wear below the waist, I was in eighth grade. It was a pair of faded Levi’s and some bright white New Balances, and you could have been excused for mistaking me for a 45-year-old dad from behind.
The Internet has made things a little easier, but there's still no guarantee clothes in "your size" are going to fit.
More often than not, an XXL shirt is going to make me look like a pregnant woman who already had a kid but still insists on wearing maternity clothes. Want new shoes? Have fun choosing between the six options in size 16 (even though your foot is really size 15 and 1/2).
It's hard to be fashionable when the fashion world hates you.
You're Terrible At Hide And Seek
Any "It" worth his or her salt will know that you can't fit in 80 percent of the more conventional hiding spaces, and most times, the game will be over in 20 seconds.
You'll slowly lose friends because you're no fun to play with and develop deep-seeded psychological issues later in life. All because of hide and seek.
Everything Is Tiny
The world is not designed with height in mind. Tall people are reminded of this on a daily basis, thanks to cars, showers, beds, airplanes, coffins, movie theaters, subways, roller coasters and many, many more.
You Don’t Necessarily Have A Large Penis
Not that I'm speaking from personal experience, of course. It's just that expectations might be set too high, leaving people horribly, horribly disappointed. Again, I'm not talking about myself. I've, um, heard it from other tall people.
You Die So, So Much Earlier
Tall people's hearts have this tendency to explode at an age they're not supposed to. We die earlier. That's just how it is. If you ever want to really make a tall person cry, pull this one out and wait for him or her to get existential.
You Will Trip Over People
As in, you will not see someone because he or she is too short and you will trip over him or her. It doesn't happen often, but it happens. This is why parents should always watch their children and little people should always be aware of their surroundings -- so they don't get crushed by a giant person.
You're Constantly Exploited For Your Height
It's not that I don't mind helping out. But if someone needs a lightbulb changed (also the lightbulbs are kept on the top shelf), it's not exactly a secret who is going to be called upon to change it. Every. Single. Time.
Freak Shows Aren’t A Thing Anymore
If I had been born in 1903, I would have been set for life. I never would have had to master a marketable trade. I could have found a traveling circus and made my way across the country making $5 a week by standing around in a tent for a few hours.
Not anymore, though. Apparently, we’ve “progressed as a society” and no longer resort to this type of "exploitative" behavior.
Whatever. If being exploited is getting paid to literally be myself, then sign me up.
You Have So Many More Common Enemies
Most people have a list of things they legitimately have to worry about: starvation, tidal waves, people on bath salts, Bitcoin volatility, etc.
But when you reach a certain height, you acquire a set of enemies that normal people could never dream of worrying about outside of an episode of "This Old House": doorways, low hanging pipes, ceiling fans, the occasional ceiling.
Most of the time you remember to duck, but sometimes you don't. When that happens, it's not even the physical pain that hurts the most; it's the shame of knowing what you did and that other people probably saw it and laughed.
You Really, Really Can’t Dance
That’s not a “white people can’t dance” joke; it’s a “dancing is based entirely on the interaction of two people with the assumption they will have similar proportions” joke. I physically cannot dance with another person.
At my junior prom, my date left crying because I was too tall to properly slow dance with her. At my senior prom, I didn’t bother showing up. In college, a girl managed to somehow break my nose while dancing at a bar.
I expected things to get a little bit easier in the real world, but apparently most people don’t like having a groin shoved in-between their shoulder blades while they dance. Prudes.
You Make A Terrible Criminal
I'm not saying I necessarily want to be a criminal, but it would be nice to have the option. Once you reach a certain height, though, it's just not practical. There's no such thing as being able to keep a low profile. If I ever robbed a bank, this would be the extent of the investigation:
You Can Never Be Anonymous
Even if people don't know your name, they know you. You're always the tallest person in the room. There is nowhere to hide.
You Get Cut Out of Pictures
I swear, it was a great picture of me...