Dear Abby: My husband is 6 feet, 6 inches tall. My 19 year old son is 6 feet 7 inches tall. They hate being asked how tall they are. There are times when they are proud of their height and others when they feel self-conscious because “towering” over others can be uncomfortable. Often, the question is asked in a tone that suggests the person regards them as a “freak of nature”. They are told that they “must have been growing up really well,” or that commentators are “so glad they never had to pay their food bills.” And, of course, the assumption is that they played basketball — which they both did. But imagine if they didn’t love or hate sports.
He has covered it up with these insensitive, intrusive comments. While I, a person of average height, would think that a commenter might just be trying to make conversation – and height is a respected attribute – it is offensive nonetheless. My son or husband never asks anyone back, “How young are you?” or “How much do you weigh?”
Why do people think that questions about someone’s height don’t fall into that category? What’s the appropriate response when the person asking makes you some kind of freak? — tall person sympathizer
Dear Sympathy: Sometimes people blurt out the first thing that comes to their mind, without intending to be rude, and it’s hard to miss the height. It’s not the first time I’ve been told that some tall people are self-conscious about it.
A social group called Tall Clubs International was formed several years ago so that they could socialize without feeling self-conscious. (Today’s generations are several inches taller than they were 100 years ago, and tourists visiting European museums are shocked by the armor’s tiny size.) While we can all have bad days, I think the best way to Your son and your husband will need to stick to their sense of humor and answer honestly when handling these questions.
Dear Abby: My man and I have been together for two years. He has his place, and I have mine. We really enjoy each other’s company. I have a 13 year old daughter. The point is, we haven’t been on an actual date since we’ve been together. (I understand the pandemic has had an effect on this.) I guess, at some point, something has to give. I have mentioned this to him a few times before as well. What should a woman like me do? – Homebound in Upstate New York
Dear Homebound: If you’re looking for a partner who is a self-starter, this isn’t the person. A woman “like you” should make plans, tell her man where they are going and what they will be doing and what time to pick him up for the date. If, after two years of expressing what you want, your message is still not received, please understand that this will likely be the pattern for the rest of your relationship.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. contact dear abby www.DearAbby.com or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.