I’m short. There, I’ve said it. I have a bunch of tall friends and, in the interest of understanding the issues related to HEIGHT (as opposed to the issues related to the lack there of) I pay attention to their descriptions of TALL problems.
From my perspective, way down here, the problems inherent in being ABLE to reach the top shelf seem trivial, but there are real issues: beds that are too short, knees pressed up to chests in economy airplane seats, pants that fit at the waist but hover above the ankle, and heads bumping into low ceilings. As I don’t think I should limit my fictional characters to shorties, I want to understand what makes a tall man habitually thrust his head forward and down in order to look shorter people in the eye and what makes a tall woman harbor desires to feel petite.
It’s unlikely that I will ever feel TALL, but I want to have an idea of what it feels like to be 10, 12, even 15 inches taller than my own 60 & ½ inches. This has inspired me to listen and pay attention to complaints and stories that are easy to dismiss.
One of my taller women friends does fine when shopping for most clothes. In fact, she’s done some modeling and her tall, slender build enables her to wear a wide range of beautiful styles with ease. But her long legs make certain styles of pants a challenge. As she is an adventurous traveler (horseback riding in Africa, trekking through Southeast Asia in the rainy season, etc.) she has a fondness for those trousers with tons of utilitarian pockets and the ability to quickly convert to shorts. She has to buy a size meant for men and they are not flattering. With her in mind, I checked a couple of catalogs and she’s right—they don’t make convertible pants with inseams designed for tall women!
Another BIG friend—a large, athletic 6’5” man—faces challenges when traveling for business. Not only does he get scrunched in standard sized, economy airplane seats, but his feet hang off the end of all but the longest of hotel mattresses.
I’ve been thinking about how I can use these “trivial” but real inconveniences in a mystery. If you have any thoughts on additional heighted issues, please share them! It’s a new POV for me.