“Wow you’re tall!”

Yes, I know. I think everyone does.

It’s no secret that the average guy is, what, 5 foot 9 ? Whereas I stand over a foot taller than that. I’m a college student in the south coast of England and have surprisingly not always been a member of this exclusive club – I used to be less vertically endowed and, until the age of 15, stood averagely small. I get asked a lot as to whether or not I enjoy being a so-called ‘giant’ and I can answer with all honesty that I absolutely love it.

I finished school at 6’7 and a half inch, and by the time I started college I had grown several more inches. Naturally, I’m known fondly by friends as ‘Tall James’ or ‘Big James’ and as ‘The tall kid’ by anyone else on the face of the earth, so everyone knows me. It is that exact memorable attribute that helped me secure my first job (at a cattery, if you’re interested. Yes, it is hilarious isn’t it? Imagining a seven foot guy in a little frilly apron cleaning cages and feeding cats) why did they choose me? I like to think it was because I was enthusiastic, ready, willing, able and generally the best suited. In actual fact it was probably because I was so much taller than everyone else, that I just stuck in their mind! (The light bulb in front of the reception as you enter the front door certainly stuck in my mind – the first thing I did before my interview was walk straight into it head first. For the whole interview, I had a perfectly red outline of a light bulb embossed on my forehead as I continued to convince them that I was suitable for the job)

Of course, I have my moments. There are problems, or as I like to call them, practicality issues; obviously there are the ones you hear a lot like doors are too low, clothes are too short and you get back ache, but there are also those little things that only us giants know of – the outsiders don’t see them. For example, when I was sitting my recent A-level mock exams I couldn’t fit my legs under the clinical exam desks – much to the amusement of everyone else. You have to take these things with a pinch of salt. I mean, I have always maintained being a giant (or above average in any respect) is never a bad thing so long as you can have a laugh about it. A lot of people are a little more introverted about their gift than me, but to me it is something that absolutely should be embraced !

I’m quite a skinny guy, which makes clothes shopping even more difficult. I however have come up with an innovative idea to defeat the cruel world of poorly sized clothes – I wear my jeans particularly low, otherwise they look like bloody shorts! Impractical, I know, but at this height, isn’t everything? Saying that i'm secretly delighted that 2tall has stuff that will fit me that i'd actually want to wear.

There are positives though. Being a giant is a great conversation starter. If I had a penny for the amount of times I have used it as an ice breaker, I would be a much richer chap. Girls love tall guys, and there are a lot of guys who think tall girls are ‘awesome’ so when you next meet someone and they inevitably point out your height, perhaps tell them a little about everyday life – pop in a funny story and it is bound to get the conversation flowing.

Of course there will always be one or two idiots who are so amazed (or as I prefer to classify them: jealous) about your height that they make silly or perhaps rude comments, just look at them with a slightly agitated face and nine times out of ten they will make a hasty retreat – no one enjoys having a seven foot guy sizing them up angrily. You have got to think though, would life be the same if people didn’t know me as the tall one? Although a significant percentage of the people reading this will probably moan about the comments, wouldn’t you miss them if they suddenly disappeared? Our height it what makes us different.

It transforms a man to a giant.

Next time someone is kind enough to inform you of your impressive height, do the courteous thing and respond in an inquisitive and surprised tone ‘Really!? Thanks!’ because being a giant is absolutely something we should be thankful for.