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How's The Weather Up There?

Updated: Jan 12

One of the most common lines I've been asked in my life until this point is, "How's the weather up there?".

Usually this is followed by either a smirk or mouth breathing from the obtuse individual asking me the eye rolling question.

So how come this overused sentence is common place in my life, well, it is that obvious, I am 195cm tall, or 6ft5 as I prefer to go by.

Another silly question which leaves me perplexed about the type of people I am exposed to, is "Were you born that way?". I'm not even dignifying that with an answer.


So besides the typical lines about basketball or whether I am standing on a box or whatever, I recall some particularly mean spirited boys from high school calling me names who must have had either shitty parents or had their own hangups about the way they looked and chose to deflect onto others so they didn't feel so pathetic with their own lives.

Here's 3 that were standouts that I can recall:


Awful Eiffel

Overgrown

Hightower


Now, believe me I do understand that these sound quite funny reading them out, but when you're only 13 years old and you're taller than ANYONE in the entire school including all pupils, teachers, head of departments, head master, maintenance staff, it is the last thing you want to hear. Like, come on, its was so obvious that I was extremely shy and if boys are laughing at me, then what chance do I stand finding a boy who might one day like me enough to ask me steady as teens do. This was a problem, but I learnt to deal with it, what choice did I have?

Junior school was not an issue, I was popular. I was gifted with sporting ability and did really well in class. My mother used to tell me I had almost a photographic memory. I never studied before exams, I used to just pay attention in class and that was always enough to get marks in the top ten of the class. High school changed everything. Those boys changed everything for me.

I hated high school and my coping mechanism was to bunk as many days as I could get away with. Bunk school means to skip out of class for the day. I used to bunk so many days the school stopped informing my mother, and that was the way I was able to miss a month of school undetected by her.

My mother did give me some sound advice one day that at least got me through the awkward embarrassing moments of name calling, usually in the corridors going between classes.

She said to me that I have two choices:

a. Let them get away with it and ignore them as best you can, or b. come back at them with a witty answer.

I decided to go with option b.

I cannot remember every comeback, but I do remember the just of it, like if I was asked if I was standing on a box then I would naturally reply asking if they were perhaps not standing in a hole? I would usually role my eyes for effect. I became a witty person, nothing wrong with that.

But still, there was another reason why I detested high school, my good ol' friends from junior school decided to unfriend me one day. They had become burdened by people associating them with me, turns out it was uncool for them to be seen with me.

This 'unfriending' wasn't quite like how it is today with social media, like when you realise you haven't seen a post or message from someone you're friends with on Facebook for quite sometime and you go to there page and see you're not friends anymore, they must have 'unfriended' you. Now that can be a shock I realise and can be hurtful but just imagine it's your lunch break, you're 13/14 years old and you love your friends but you can't find them anywhere, it's like they have vanished. What do you do? Well, I did search for them before going back to class but couldn't figure out where they had gone and upon returning to class being ignored by all of them. That was not a good day.


So being a 13 year old with all this unwanted attention and abandonment, I started to become concerned that I was going to continue growing until I had to duck through doorways and I became really stressed about it and asked my mother if I could see a doctor or specialist to find out if I was normal. I went for blood tests, X-rays of my skull and hands were taken too and the doctor informed me that I was perfectly normal, no thyroid issues that would require open head surgery, which to this day seems a bit excessive, it was simply just genetics at play. Turns out I had a really tall great grandfather.


So the next 3 years I got through thanks to my best friends at the horse riding club where I had my own horse, Blondie. We were a big group of girls and a few boys and no one cared how you looked or who you were friends with at school, we spent every afternoon and weekend going on out rides, jumping fences and generally mucking about the stable yard. I dared not participate in sports like I used to in junior school. A girl I knew at high school was the shot putt champion and she was called terrible names behind her back and that put me right off.

I was riding a motorbike from the age of 14 so I had freedom to get around and spend time at my best friends house. Vikki went to a different high school than me unfortunately, but every afternoon I would see her at the stables and we would sleep over at each others houses on the weekends. When I was 15 yrs old I started enjoying going to the beach and took up body boarding in the sea with a new set of friends who were surfers and who I hung out with at high school when I did attend and who weren't judgemental like my previous best pals and like me didn't wanna be there.

At the age of 16 I went to college and studied commercial art....


To be continued.



my junior class photo I am the tallest
Tallest person in class

2 Comments


Leanne Gravell Saunders
Leanne Gravell Saunders
Jan 12

Wow, I'm incredibly proud of my younger sister for penning such a thoughtful and inspiring blog on bullying! Your piece not only sheds light on a unique perspective but also brilliantly captures the essence of resilience and wit in the face of adversity. Your personal journey of overcoming the comments about your height is not only relatable but also serves as a beacon of strength for others going through similar experiences.


Your ability to rise above negativity and respond with intelligence and humor is truly commendable. It's clear that your words carry the weight of personal experience, making them all the more powerful. I believe your story will resonate with many, offering not only comfort but also valuable insights on…



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How's The Weather Up there?
How's The Weather Up there?
Jan 12
Replying to

Thank you so much my darling sister!


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