Saturday, January 13, 2007

high society and the tall girl

More wisdom from Gwen Davenport's 1959 "The Tall Girl's Handbook" (hereinafter referred to as TGH)- from Chapter Seven, "High Society" under the heading "The World Around Us":
There are dozens of such ever-present petty annoyances, inconveniences, discomforts, and irritants that have to be put up with in the course of spending a life in an environment scaled to creatures of smaller size. On the other hand, there are almost no known advantages to being extremely tall.

Let us first take up the subject of these advantages, such as they are. They number exactly five.

1. We can see over the heads of the crowd at parades, which comes in very handy whenever there is a parade - that is, providing you like parades and have no objections to crowds.

2. Conversely, we can be easily located in the crowd by paraders. This advantage also holds good when meeting someone in any crowded place of rendezvous like a railroad station, a hotel lobby during convention week, or a football stadium after a game.

3. We can breathe with relative freedom in crowded elevators - a minor enough convenience most of the time, but beyond price should a crowded elevator get stuck for any appreciable length of time between floors.

4. We can reach things on high shelves. (Oh, good!)

5. We are in less danger than small women of being the victims of criminal assault, not nearly so likely as they to be attacked or robbed, either in broad daylight or in some alleyway on a dark night.This is true not only because of our inevitable conspicuousness, but because smaller people have a mistaken idea that tall ones are automatically stronger, more powerful, and more muscular. This is of course not true, but it is a misconception greatly to our advantage as possible victims of thuggery.

It will be clear to everyone that these privileges, although undeniably advantages, offer very little real help in getting through the average day. On the other hand, consider the constant, daily, wearing away of the disposition, the continual erosion of the nerves, going on all the time in the form of dozens of petty annoyances.

I'm just glad I wasn't growing up in the 1950s because it sounds like being a tall girl back then meant you were a freak of nature, offering nothing but heartache save those exactly five lackluster advantages. Ms. Davenport goes on to list some of the petty annoyances ending with this gem - a true classic and important information to know:

...and if ever the whole business is too much and we should decide to drink ourselves to death, it's going to take a lot more alcohol to do the job, our blood streams being just so much longer.



Blogger suttonhoo said...

oh sweet mercy -- that last line had me laughing out loud.

must order mine. :) thanks so much for sharing these. gorgeous good stuff.

5:40 PM  
Blogger suzanne cabrera said...

This is great! I'm going to have to purchase this book for my sister, who has been called out in public on more than one occasion by a stranger yelling "tall girl, tall girl!"

7:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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11:37 AM  

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