A couple of weeks ago on my favorite radio station, Way-FM, the DJ was discussing bullying and teasing. He wanted to know if anyone could still hear the voices of the tormentors in their heads. He also wanted to know if those voices kept you from doing things in your life. I thought back to all the teasing I received in elementary and high schools. At that moment, I definitely started to hear the teasing again. I heard the name calling, and the bullying comments. However, I realized that I had not heard them in a very long time.
I grew up quickly. I am not talking about maturity. When I say “grew up” I mean that literally. I was 5’12” early in my teenage years. Yes, I know that 5’12” is technically 6’, however, it sounded better to be in the 5s instead of the 6s while a teenager. Adding to the abnormal tallness I possessed, I had the “gift” of being exceptionally shy. Yea me! These two lovely traits added up to many days of relentless teasing. I could not wait to get out of school. I got to hear “how is the weather up there?” “Do you play basketball?” (I still get that one), and so many others. Now they seem so silly.
When I finally got out of high school, I was sure I would no longer be teased for being tall. I assumed that mature adults would not be so unkind. I was wrong. There were many evenings while at a disco (yes, I’m that old) I would be asked to dance (while I was still sitting), and as soon as I stood up the
idiot gentleman would say “Lord you are tall!” and walk away. No, I am not kidding. I was taller than the average guy. And to top it off, it appeared to me that every many over 6’ was dating a woman under 5’. That isn’t a bad thing, I have just noticed that. I guess that is a topic for another blog entry.
So, even though I was out of school, I still dealt with people with middle-school mentality. I still felt too tall. I just wanted to meet a man over 6’ tall and be able to feel normal. What I didn’t realize was that I was normal. My height didn’t define me. I was just the height that God wanted me to be.
I had this dream man in my head when I was younger. He would be blonde, blue-eyed, and tall. Definitely tall. Then I met Barry. He was shorter than me. He had brown hair. He had brown eyes. And he was PERFECT! He didn’t exclaim “Wow are you tall” when I stood up. He didn’t care if I wore heels. When we would meet people and they would say “She is taller than you!” (yes, that is true), he would respond with “NO, You are kidding! I had no idea.” And make me laugh. He liked my height. He liked me. Not the outside, he liked the inside. He drowned out the voices in my head 25 years ago. I didn’t even realize it until I heard the DJ as that question on the radio. “do the tormentors from your past keep you from doing things in your present?” NO! Not at all. I’m tall and I love it! I enjoy the weather up here, I love to help people get things from top shelves, I love being taller than most people, I like the view, and I wouldn’t change a thing.
Barry, thank you for loving me, and teaching me how to love myself.
The weather is fine, thank you very much!