In the summer of 2010, I met CircleGlasses at The Princeton Club’s weekly live rooftop music program in mid-town Manhattan. I arrived early to snag a high top table in the center of the patio. It was the perfect anchor location for people to drop by, mix, mingle, and move on. While I was seat-dancing / shoulder-bopping to a little jazz, CircleGlasses came over. He briefly chatted us and then got my number before leaving. He was what I call “old world adorable” because he was wearing a dinner jacket and circular glasses at a casual evening event – in any other season we can safely assume an ascot would be fashioned around this neck. I didn’t have the heart to tell him it was no longer the 18th century.
THE FIRST DATE
CircleGlasses and I texted over the weekend and set a date for Monday. But there was just one thing I had missed…
You see, my physical dimensions make me the human equivalent of an IKEA flatpack: 6′ long, 20″ wide, 6″ deep. Combine my natural height with the extra inches from my requisite heels and I stand no less than 6’3″ on any given day. Basically, I dwarf the Williams sisters. I have had a number of life experiences that made me feel like extreme height was normal. In my elementary school I was in a combined 4th-6th grade classroom, so the inches I had over my fellow 4th graders were not noticeable in comparison to the 6th graders. In my very Scandinavian Minnesota high school, my Viking-descended classmates were all fairly tall, so I fit in just fine. After high school, I walked the runway a few times and everyone around also was a lanky slyph. Even now, with my Danish/Swedish family, I look squat at the Thanksgiving gathering since the shortest of my three cousins is 6’5″. When I met CircleGlasses while sitting down, I forget that I missed out on comparing the compatibility of our heights.
We had arranged to meet in the Flat Iron district for cocktails and dinner. As I approached him on the sidewalk, I noticed for the first time that CircleGlasses stood a diminutive 5’6″. When we met, it was like the scene when Glinda the Good Witch presents the lolli-pop guild. I was hovering far above the ground and in a herky jerky motion he stuck out his arm for a strong handshake. It was awkward… We needed to get to a seated situation STAT. It’s just too bad that the gods were having a laugh that day. The place where we scheduled cocktails was closed for a private party; the backup location was closed on Mondays; the bar at our dinner locale was standing room only.
For 30 minutes I contorted my back into scoliosis-inducing curves, bent my knees like I was doing wall sits, and rocked sideways off my heels trying to lose some inches. When a person feels self-conscious because of appearance there’s usually a fix. Got a zit bubbling up? Slap on some concealer, you’ll be fine. B.O. wafting away? put those ‘pits on lock down. Weird cowlick happening in your bangs? Work those angles, girl. I can usually use my surroundings for an advantage, but in this case there was no help for the shoulder-hunching. Finally, we sat for dinner at one of the restaurant’s elevated tables. I can’t say for certain, but I’m pretty sure his feet were swinging from the high chairs.