Each Thursday, I post some thoughts or bits of books or poetry I am working on.
—I call them “thunks.”
On a long drive to Michigan a week ago, my husband and I listened to various radio stations (yeah, we’re boomers who still like to play radio roulette instead of having a reliable playlist—it makes life more exciting).
One announcer became quite animated over the summer solstice, which was occurring that day. Most of us probably know that June 21 is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. (Yes! Give me sunlight.)
But did you know that June 21 is also known as National Daylight Appreciation Day? I did not. I was also unaware there are 21 “holidays” on that day. Here’s a sampling:
World Day of Music
National Arizona Day
International Yoga Day
National Cookie Dough Day
National Selfie Day
National Smoothie Day
National Peaches and Cream Day
National Seashell Day
National Day of the Gong
It’s difficult to imagine caring (or knowing) about 21 holidays (I’m using that term loosely) that occur on one day, but perhaps an invested individual could pull off celebrating the first five at once. Here’s what that could look like: while listening to the song, “Someone Like You” by Adele, a Phoenix resident munches on a bite of a gooey chocolate chip cookie and takes a selfie as she arranges herself in a lord of the dance pose. I might try that next year. Never mind; I don’t live in Arizona.
Most of these types of holidays were designed to promote a commercial enterprise, like those devoted to a food item (i.e., National Coffee Day on September 29, 2022—I don’t care if it isn’t an official holiday, I am not turning down a free Dunkin’ Donuts toasted almond).* By the way, if you want to head down the rabbit trail of obscure celebrations like I did, NationalToday.com lists holidays for each day of every month.
Back to June 21 jubilees: I love cookie dough and I really enjoyed my time in Scottsdale several years ago, but is an entire day of devotion necessary? That said, my heart skipped a beat when the broadcaster then proclaimed one more: National Tall Person Day. Now, that’s one I can get behind (and still be able to see what’s ahead)!
The average height for an American woman is 5’4”. Considering yourself tall or short is somewhat relative—if a girl is 5’4” but her relations and friends are shorter than that, then she may feel tall. Since I am nearly six inches above average, I think I may safely claim to be tall. However, if any doubt remained as to my status, I could refer to WikiHow’s article entitled, “Determining if You’re a Tall person.” The curious reader is asked to review several clues:
- See if you’re taller than most of the girls you know. Check. As a high school student, I would often walk the halls in between my two best friends, feeling like a tree landscaped with petite plantings on either side. Remember that, Sandi?
- See if you have a hard time finding clothes that fit you. Check. Pants are often too short and tops become crops (I don’t think you want to see this boomer in a crop top).
- See if everyone around you asks if you play basketball or volleyball. Check. I hated this question when I was in high school. The short answer (ha!) was “No.” The longer answer was “I wasn’t picked for the team, nor would I ever be.” “Height does not equal ability.” You get the picture.
- See if you’re 5’9″ or taller. Check check.
- See if you’re just hitting puberty earlier than other people. Nope. Still taller than most. But not as gangly (unfortunately).
- See if you can never blend in when you’re in a crowd. Check. Try as I might (by wearing flats or slinking about, shoulders bent), I cannot. But not blending does make it handy for others looking for me in a crowded place.
- See if you never have enough legroom. Ding, ding, ding! Planes, trains, and automobiles are not my jam.
- See if you tower over most of the guys your age. At thirteen, yes. By sixteen, no. Husband is 6’2”.
- See if you feel guilty for always blocking everyone’s view when you go to a concert or the movies. I stopped feeling guilty years ago about things I can’t control (i.e., other people’s reactions/expectations or the length of my spine and femurs) but I do feel bad if the only seat left in a theater is the one behind me (or my husband).
Being tall has its benefits and its quirks. I easily reach plates in my highest kitchen cabinet and can usually see over the head in front of me in movie theaters (I used to, anyway—I think I have been to one movie in the last two years).
However, as mentioned, it is difficult to find pants that fit (including tall sizes! They seem to be designed for Amazonian women like my 5’11” friend Rhonda—like me, she married up: her husband is 6’7”). I also develop restless leg syndrome when jammed in an economy seat or in the back of a sedan.
Yet another quirk was inflicted by others. Through the years, I have been prayed over by those who claim to be prophetic. As they prayed, various intercessors often described me as a strong tower. I believe in the prophetic, but I heard this phrase so many times, I’d say they were receiving less of an insight from the Almighty (who designed the length of my spine and femurs and gene pool) than making an astute observation (strong or not).
If you are a short person, I see your rolling eyes and hear your huffs. You are no doubt venting about having to hack two or three inches off trousers, bar stools being a ridiculous concept, and your kitchen’s upper cabinets rendered empty and useless. (Also, I’m so sorry if a so-called prophet laid hands on your sweet head and proclaimed, “O ye eager Zacchaeus in a tree!”)
Happily, there is a national day set aside to celebrate those of shorter bones. Strangely, National Short Persons Day occurs on Dec. 22, the day after the shortest day of the year. As mentioned, the day celebrating tallness occurs on the longest day. Is this a coincidence? Or was there a panel of holiday planners deliberating one afternoon and the one person with a sense of humor says, “You know what would be hilarious…”
On the dark side of national days (even holidays have a dark side, as you well know if you’ve ever gone home for Thanksgiving), there are days—yes, multiple days—designated for the short to take revenge on the tall.
The anger is real.
Consider October 25: it is National Kick Tall People Day. According to the internet, if you are 5’4″ or under, you are allowed to kick people taller than you in the shin.
My husband’s birthday is October 25 and he is taller than I am by four inches. He makes me feel short, so in all fairness, I too should have the opportunity to kick him in the shin. But since it is his birthday, I’ll cut him some slack (also, it’s not his fault he’s tall; #genes—hello!—and I do appreciate that he can retrieve my bin of sweaters—or purses, or shoes—from the highest shelves in our closet with nary a step ladder or muscle strain).
If you miss the opportunity on the 25th, October 31 is National Smack a Tall Person Day. Since your Halloween activities may be all-consuming, then just wait a few months for February 11, and you can Slap a Tall Person. Wow, so much resentment (and violence!) unleashed on a maniacal towering giant! (Or on a mutant, as a friend once referred to me—it was all in good fun and I am a forgiving sort. I patted her on the head as I thoughtfully observed that her roots needed a touch-up.)
I do think we tall people deserve some appreciation. Speaking for myself, I have never turned down a frustrated shopper in the grocery aisle who gripped my arm in desperation—”Can you help? ” As I deftly pluck the buckwheat pancake mix or that last container of Windex from the back of the top shelf, I do so with joy and benevolence—as well as a bit of sorrow that your 5’2” self is less cared for by Wegmans and Kroger’s than myself.
If you do want to thank a tall person for their service (I’m blushing; we don’t do it for the thanks), then use your better angel—instead of a slap, choose February 11 to “Hug a Tall Person.” I’ll be so giddy at the love that I will pat you on the head.
*I discovered on June 17 that DD discontinued toasted almond. I hereby declare June 17 as a national day of mourning for discontinued items (I have been harmed by Mary Kay as well–wherefore art thou, Silver Sand lipstick?). Or, if you prefer, let’s call it National Boo Dunkin’ Donuts Day.
Images from Pixabay.com. Click image for source.