Tall Tales

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 interesting.

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.

Looking up at the sky makes all the height differences seem small.


  1. -giggles- as another shortie [5’3 1/2″] I don’t feel qualified to comment about tall person problems, other than to say that in games, I /always/ make myself look taller. 😀

    Oh! I tell a lie. The one thing I have noticed is that tall women almost always wear low heeled or flat shoes. As I love high heels, I’ve always thought that was so sad. I mean, if you are lovely and tall, why not flaunt it? -sigh-

    • Candy Korman

      One of my tallest friends LOVES to wear heels. She takes great pleasure as she stands up and a dance partner realizes just has tall she is!

      Yes, I do think that flaunting your height is cool, flaunting your lack of it is near impossible. I joke that my hair adds inches and, since I am shorter than you, my hair makes us just about even.

  2. I’m five foot five, so life for me is seen from an average height. My love is on the short side, and I’ve found I like that we are similar in size. He’s five six at best, but tends to insist he’s five eight. Haha. He does walk tall and people have noted that more than a few times when I’ve been in his presence. I’m not one for high heels and can’t see how women can stand them!

    • Candy Korman

      My driver’s license says that I am 5’1″. Let’s just say that I stand tall like your love!

      At 5’5″ you truly are the average height and I think you should try out the character of EVERYWOMAN… Fiction is full of everyman characters, but is short supply (sorry for the pun) of stories that tell the story of everywoman.

      I’m off to the Netherlands—home of the tallest people in Europe—and on this trip, I want to chat with the heads that are many heads above mine to discover if they see the world from a specific perspective. I suspect that they do! Any thoughts? Please share…