By Hannah Finley
The notion of ever wearing heels is now a distant thought of the past– partly because I’m not that talented on stilts, but mostly because I’m already too tall as is.
For an entire day, I took on the challenge of wearing stilts. This height boost put me at a solid six feet and ten inches, just above the average NBA height. With this wardrobe change, I was able to relate to the many struggles encountered by the individuals that tower over others for the first time in my life.
I began my day as usual… kind of. I reluctantly rolled out of bed after my fourth alarm finally sounded, slipped on my stilts and set out to get ready. I hopped, very carefully, into the shower, where I encountered my first obstacle: the shower head height. My shower head stands at a whopping 5’4”. I can just perfectly stand under the water stream normally, but with the added height I found myself ducking awkwardly, praying not to drop any of my necessary shower items. After I finished my excessively long and difficult shower, I tried to plan an outfit. NOTHING fit right. Every pair of leggings hopelessly ended mid-stilt at best. I decided to go with a simple romper in the hopes that I wouldn’t get dress coded for the illusion created by my extra long legs and rather short shorts. I began down my flight of stairs to rush out the door and unexpectedly smacked my forehead on the overhang. I could finally sympathize with the friends who always left my house groaning and holding their forehead.
As I began to gain a rather pessimistic view towards this so-called height “advantage,” my luck began to turn! I enjoyed the benefit of the first perk of being a friendly giant when I actually made it to school on time that day. The height boost increased my step length and cut my 7 minute trek to school to only 5 minutes. That mild change of heart quickly vanished as I sat down and my knees pressed firmly against the bottom of my desk. Here comes a long day of uncomfortability.
As I walked from first period to second period, friends inquired, “how’s the weather up there?” I was beginning to get used to the friendly teasing. I arrived in my second period class and began to work. Ten minutes in, the earthquake drill sounded and the students were ushered to take cover under their desks. Fantastic. I can hardly fit IN a desk, let alone under one. My legs helplessly poked out from beneath the shelter of the desk, exposed to the potential debris that would fall in the event of an earthquake (luckily the rest of my body would be protected from the falling ceiling by a half inch thick desk…). I slowly began to realize that I would never succeed in a game of hide and seek with these stilts hindering my hiding ability.
I made it through second period and walked out to the parking lot to socialize. The confused stares piled up as I made my way through the lines of cars. Friends asked if I planned to play basketball this year with my new found height advantage. How original. I stood in a group of people and towered over everyone. As I gazed out across the parking lot, I didn’t see a single person that was even close to as tall as I was. The tallest individual stood a solid 5 inches below me. If I was always this tall, no boyfriend I might have at Arcata High would ever be taller. I know that height difference doesn’t truly mean anything, but I could say goodbye to the cheesy photos of the girl standing on her tiptoes to receive a kiss.
As I entered third period, my teacher commented that I was tall enough to be a model (she said nothing about looks though…). I made it through yet another period and began to get anxious in fourth period for the long awaited lunch. I spent most of the period helping my teacher stack boxes of camera equipment on top of the highest, out-of-reach shelf. Typical.
The moment I had been waiting for all day finally came: lunch. I headed out to the parking lot at record speed and met up with senior Rio Crossen. As I bent down to get in his car, a feeling of panic washed over me. There was no chance I was about to fit in Crossen’s Fiat. I accepted that I would no longer fit in environmentally friendly cars. Luckily, the crisis was averted when senior Kate Breyer invited me to hop in her Chevy Silverado truck. Hallelujah!
Upon hopping in the car, I saw my reflection in the mirror or the first time that day. Wow! Can you say, “bad hair day? Thankfully, very few
people had the opportunity to see the top of my head. Woo hooo! Score two for the height boost! We made it back from lunch and I completed the rest of the day without much more excitement. In sixth period, previous Arcata basketball coach Eric Vollmers jokingly asked if I was playing basketball this year. I was becoming used to the frequency of that question.
As the day came to an end, I looked forward to taking my stilts off. While I know that being tall is not as much of a burden as my experiences suggested, I did not plan on spending any more extended amounts of time on stilts. I’ll leave “being tall” to the basketball pros.