Friday, 4 May 2007

Long Tall Sally

There were two very tall girls in my class at school. They were always on the back row of the school photos, slightly round-shouldered and stooping, as if to try and apologise for the extra space they were taking up in the world. When we all got to our early teens, and boys became a huge feature in our lives, their height became even more of a problem, despite the fact that they were both pretty. Most males in their early teens still look like little boys, albeit a bit spotty, but the tall girls looked like fully grown women.

No teenage boy wants to look like he is slow-dancing with his mother, so at the school discos the tall girls never experienced the thrill of the ‘last dance’ gropefest. For them, there was no opportunity to inhale at close quarters the hormone riddled essence of pubescent boy. They were strangers to the sound of grinding tooth enamel resonating through the skull, and the feel of an alien tongue writhing like a fat maggot in the mouth.

I often think about the tall girls, and wonder if they made up for lost time when they were in their twenties, and all the boys had finally caught up in height with them. Maybe they eventually got to wear the slinky high heels we all coveted, instead of being confined to the calf-widening effect of flatties. Did they recover from being marked out at such a young age? Did they go on to revel in their physical superiority?

I suppose I also think about the tall girls because I see my daughter developing into one right before my eyes. Currently she sees her height as a source of pride, as it gives her a big advantage at sport, but I worry for her teenage years, when the boys who are her age will be about the same height as her navel.

It is hard to find tall female role models that are not anorexic clothes horses, but I think we have found the answer. Since netball is her current passion, we are off to a Super League match this weekend. Forget the school netball days of sweaty airtex and corned beef legs, these women are lycra-clad goddesses, all young, lean limbed and athletic. Here the amazon is queen - I don’t think there is a player under five foot ten.

They sometimes televise these matches on Sky Sports, so you may see us in the crowd (I am the one with the hip flask).

Tonight, though, I am getting stuck into a Hardy’s Crest Sparkling Pinot Noir Chardonnay (was £9.99, down to £4.99 at Tesco until 15/5 – you really can’t go wrong) as recommended by my mate Dulwich Mum. Like her, it is smooth, classy, and a little bit fruity. Unlike her, it is cheap, easily available, and has a hint of yeast.

I suppose from my daughter’s point of view, there will be some huge advantages to being tall. She will probably look old enough to get into clubs when she is fourteen, get served with alcopops when she is fifteen, and snog fully grown men when she is sixteen. Maybe I need to go easy on the confidence boosting talk about her height.

Have a great Bank Holiday weekend!


mutterings and meanderings said...

I think she's very lucky to have you as a mum...I don't think you'll ever let her worry about her height.

Stay at home dad said...

Can I come?!

As long as you don't fill the flask with Hardy's sparkling. Yeuch..

Have a good one yourself.


dulwichmum said...

Darling Drunk Mummy,

What a compliment to have my name mentioned in your terrific post!

That is rather a nice drink - I could drink it till the cows come home. I am drinking vodka tonight and remembering my teenage years when I smuggled it into night clubs in a pump hair spray bottle! Shhh I am still terrified of my mothers disapproval...

beta mum said...

Get her into basketball as well - although when I tried it I found it hard to run and bounce a ball when I'd been used to doing just the two steps allowed in netball.
I was always really small for my age and didn't get into adult sized shoes until I was about 15. So at least your daughter will be able to source cool gear from an early age... good for her, but perhaps not for her mother.

Drunk Mummy said...

M&M - thank you for your lovely comment - I will yell that at her the next time we are locked in disagreement.

SAHD - You would love it - its great fun, but there are lots of shrieking little girls!

Dulwich Mum - you are very welcome. I definitely need to stock up on this, especially when it's half price.

beta mum - when she was younger, we used to go clothes shopping, and she wanted pretty, pink and flouncy stuff. All we could find to fit her was older kids' crop-top goth grunge. You are right, as she gets older she can choose from the full range of adults clothes (Oh no!)

The Good Woman said...

I'm five foot ten - have been since I was 14. So I could answer some of those questions. But I don't think your daughter would thank me.

Have a good one too.

debio said...

I am 5'4" with hideously stuplidly small feet which I use as an excuse to buy only designer shoes - groan from my husband!.
My daughter is almost as tall as me already (age 12) with larger feet and...legs up to her armpits - how I wish.
But she only wants to be my height with my size feet.
I am working hard on positive strokes and pointing out that she is lucky she will never inherit my posterior.
I worry about her being uneasy with herself at such a young age.

Omega Mum said...

Just tell her that Select is only ever interested in signing up the tall girls. (Leave the drugs and anorexia bit of this morale boosting chat until she gets to 14..)

Anonymous said...

Urggh, netball! I'm now fighting the memories of standing folornly on the netball pitch, last to be picked as always. Da*m these scars, will they never heal!!!

Your daughter will have no problems with you as her mum! If she ever (in the future) has a wobbly 'tall' moment, please tell her from me that supermodels and athletes are not 5'3", and that the sole advantage is being able to fit neatly under someones armpit in a crowded Tube at rush hour. Whoopee. ;-)

Anonymous said...
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Drunk Mummy said...

Hello good woman!
I would say from reading your blog that it seems to have all worked out very nicely for you as a Tall Girl (apart from the cold Scottish weather that is!)

debio - it seems that the grass is always greener on the other side - even in the land of sand.

omega mum - you are right, I need to adjust the flow of information!

spymum - thank you for your kind comments! I had forgotten about the armpit crush on the Tube.
You have reminded me that anyone who missed out on the gropefest of the school disco only has to travel on a rush hour Tube to re-live the experience, in all its sweaty unpleasantness.

Lizzie said...

I was the tallest girl in my year. I learned never to sit down at dances as you could guarantee that the shortest boy would amble over to ask me to dance. I married, 1st time round, a tall man. (Second husband is not really high, but a bit higher than me.) Daughter number one married a man shorter than she,(and she's tres attractive & intelligent, in case you might be wondering!) I try not to look when they are together. Do you think that makes me shallow? Daughter number 3 is about 5ft ten & proud of it.

EmmaK said...

ha ha, very good. Your descriptions of snogging teenage boys made it all come rushing back. I especially remember the eye wateringly chemical scent of pimple cream wafting up my nose while some lad thrust his 'maggot tongue' down my gullet. Also there was usually a lot of hair gel used by lads in the mid eighties, which sometimes melted under the hot disco lights and stank too.

I think your daughter will be fine, maybe you are worrying unnecessarily?

Drunk Mummy said...

Hello Lizzie - you seem to have a full range of Tall Girl dating experiences there, and it doesn't sound too bad.

enmmak - there was also the 'great smell of Brut' (and I'm not talking champagne) mixed in too! Usually borrowed from some hapless Dad.
Of course you are right that I'm worrying unnecessarily - I'm a mum, its what I do!

Motheratlarge said...

Writing as a woman who's nearly 6ft, I sympathise with your concerns. I'm sure she'll be fine, though. She sounds like a lovely girl and any man would be lucky to be with her.

It took me a while to come to terms with being tall, not because of lack of boyfriends, more through self-consciousness, but I rarely think about it these days. Mind you, I am getting on a bit. Advantages of age, and all that...

There must be lots of lovely strapping young lads of your daughter's generation who easily break the 6ft mark.

Personally, I married a man who's 6ft 6in, which was great in the wedding photos, but I was a bit taken aback when my health visitor told me shortly after my daughter's arrival: "You will be the shortest member of your immediate family." There'll be some novelty of being the shortest person around.

By the way, the main danger, of course, in being tall is attracting men much shorter than oneself who have some kind of point to prove. But I fell in love with and married a gentle giant.

Drunk Mummy said...

Hello Motheratlarge!
Wow - what an impressive family you will all be (especially when tall baby number 2 pops out) although I would hate to sit behind you in the cinema.
I think you are right about our children all growing taller than us. I think it is nature's way of showing us when it is time to stop telling them off.

jenny said...

I'm a mere 5ft 7, but all this talk of taller women make me feel small! Compared to my mom, I'm a giant and was wearing her shoes when I was 10. I have since bypassed her shoe size.

But speaking of 'fat maggot tongues', I had to laugh!!! My first kiss was on a dare when I was 12 and it was a long while before I kissed like that again! But the 2nd time was less like a fat maggot and more like a serpent's tongue, darting in and out! Ahhh... the thrills of dating!

I like your posts and I'm adding you to my links!

Drunk Mummy said...

Hello Jenny!
Thanks for the link - I am more than happy to reciprocate - you blog is fascinating. It sounds idyllic where you live - I would love to have that much space around me!