Approximately three weeks into our relationship my then new boyfriend, now husband segued our phone conversation into unsettling territory. He drew a long breath, paused, and took the plunge. ‘Can I ask you a personal question?’ My stomach immediately began to quake, my palms began to sweat. I did not have a scandalous past, my closet was relatively skeleton free, yet I feared whatever his question was, whatever my answer would be, it could potentially end my first real relationship with a real live wonderful man that I already adored. With blood pounding in my ears I tried to reply in a calm fashion ‘sure’.
‘How tall are you? I don’t care myself but my friends were asking.’
Now this question was more than a statistic, more than curiosity from his male friends that had eyed me across a distance. It was noteworthy because I had a few solid inches of height on Brent. Gasp, I know.
Trust me, I always counted on marrying someone taller than me. I stand at five foot nine, so I needed a man of above average height. Brent was five seven in robust shoes. But he came pre approved by trusted friends and I thought he was gorgeous. Brown curly hair, hazel eyes, strong jaw, and broad shoulders. He was kind, generous, funny, and smart. In fact, I pursued him! While I had instantly given up my height stigma, had Brent? Was he embarrassed at the thought of being seen with me?
On the other end of the phone he laughed and assured me that he didn’t care himself. With time and familiarity, and wedding rings, he continued to assure me. Actually, he encourages my height! As a massage therapist that worked with chiropractors he is constantly coaching me to have good posture and walk tall. His ongoing compliments struggle against a lifetime of curved shoulders and slumping trying to shrink. As my husband he encourages high heels, loving how I look in them (I don’t wear them too often, I am in a lifelong awkward stage and have the grace of a drunken baby giraffe).
We both have a good sense of humor about it, but it continues to amaze me that it surprises so many people. Brent’s mother randomly informed me in week four of our relationship that ‘Brent has always liked being shorter than his cousins. He has an easier time fitting into small cars.’ I guess she worried I hadn’t noticed yet and when I did I would turn tail and gallop away on my long stems. But now with her intel, I could rest assured in the knowledge that my boyfriend wouldn’t protest any future compact car purchases.
I know for the entirety of our marriage we will continue to be a curiosity to our fellow humans. I am fine with that. But as appealing as it once was for me to ponder gazing up into my future husbands eyes, now I think it would result in chronic neck pain. My hope is that all tall girls like me find someone, taller, shorter whatever that make them feel as wonderful as my hubby makes me feel. Well it’s my hope for the petite girls out there too.
Caitlin is currently living in Nowhere, Indiana with her hubby and four children of the four legged, furry type. She writes as a hobby and to relieve stress.
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