Lifestyle of the Big & Tall

“It’s hard to get around in a six-foot town when you’re ten feet tall, everything’s so small; I keep on bumping my head, I’m way too long for the bed – it’s hard to get around in a six-foot town.” – Big & Rich

I’ve been a pretty big guy my entire life.

No, wait, that’s a complete lie.

I’ve been a pretty big guy since about junior year of high school.  I grew a foot between sophomore and junior year.  (As in, I got a foot taller, not that I grew an extra appendage.)  The change was so drastic that I actually had to re-figure out my body coordination, and I was pretty clumsy while that happened.  (My voice also dropped down several octaves at the same time, so I also had to relearn every song the choir sang.)  One of the major adjustments was in the clothes I had to wear.

At the time, my school uniform was composed of polo shirts and khaki pants.  Polo shirts were easy enough to find; the school sold them, and a generic XXL fit me like a poncho fits everyone – better on big people but the small ones make do.  It was in looking for pants, however, that I first ran into difficulty.

Apparently, pants manufacturers are convinced that all tall people are skinny, and all big people are short.  What about us giants?  I’m at like entry-level giant status; there’s a world of 7 foot people and bodybuilders with massive torsos that need clothes too! Are we doomed to wear gym shorts until we get interviews and have giant tailored suits that make us look like professional wrestlers running for office?

My shoes are 15W.  That’s W for “Wide.”  As in, a regular 15 will not fit me – and neither will a 16, 17, or 18.  As if it wasn’t rare enough to find a size 15 (Ross ends their shoe section with the graceful “Size 13 and up”), I had to have another qualifier in my life, that “Wide” part that makes me look shorter than six feet because I have the feet of a hobbit.

Well almost.  Mine aren’t gross and hairy.

Why do they not make gloves for people like me?  They’d still fit small people.  From my pinky to my thumb spread out is about 26cm.  My hands remind me of that scene from Frankenstein with the accidental strangling of the little girl.

Apparently, men like me are supposed to walk around in sweats and massive Hawaiian shirts until we befriend a tailor – which sounds like a side-quest from The Witcher series.

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… and of course, the deal becomes more of a factor when it comes to clothes shopping.  Think of it this way; when you get a free shirt, you get x amount of fabric.  When I get a free shirt, it can double as a tent or blanket if I need it to.

With the burden of finding these clothes firmly set upon her shoulders, my brave wife took me to JCPenney’s last Saturday, where we found our treasure; blue polo shirts (brand was The Foundry if you’re curious) on clearance.  8.99 each.  With her coupon, the discount went even further.  We exited the store feeling like we had just robbed the place.

So the next time you see someone tall wearing some strange colors, remember that not all of us have options.

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