My partner laughed at me for overestimating the length of my legs. I pulled an armchair up to the sofa so I could rest my feet on the sofa while sitting on the armchair. But I missed.
I have a tendency to think that I am larger than I am. I put this down to the fact that I take up a lot of space and make a lot of noise for someone of my height and size. Mostly, I make a lot of noise. People are known for commenting that they hear me long before they see me.
I often get surprised that someone whom I think is “my height” turns out to be a good 10cms or so taller than me. A friend from high school, with whom I was regularly confused because we were both Asian, had long black hair and wore glasses (therein the similarities ended; well, I lie – later we both studied law), was also surprised to discover she was much taller than me when we hugged goodbye at the end of high school.
Twin-Other-Asian-Friend: Hey! You’re shorter than me.
Me: Hey! You’re taller than me!
Together: I thought we were the same height!
Me: Now, I know I have an overblown perception of my vast height, but why did you think we were the same height?
TOAF: Don’t know. You just seem … bigger. But you’re not. Maybe it’s because you’re loud.
My partner also has to check when I say someone is “my height” whether I mean my actual physical height or my imagined height. The answer is usually a shrug because, well, I’m not really sure. So my height estimations have to be taken with a grain of salt and may be a 10 – 15 cm margin either way (though most likely upwards). I have also been known to describe someone as short, and my partner gets to say, “But she was about your height,” to which I can only reply, “Really? I thought she was kinda short,” and he sometimes manages not to say (but occasionally fails for the temptation is too great), “Well, you’re kinda short,” to which, of course, the only reply is, “Harrumph.”
My partner and I had been together for a good three years or so before I realised that he was a whole lot taller than me. Now, I always knew he was taller than me (I don’t live in a completely imaginary world; just mostly) but it was not until my lawyer’s admission ceremony that I realised. You see, we don’t take photos together very often. Back then when we did not have a camera and very few people I knew had cameras, we rarely had our photo taken.
At my admission ceremony, two of my siblings with one of their spouses, my parents, my grandparents and my partner and his mother attended. My posse took up an entire row in the ceremonial court. All in all, there were about 3 or 4 cameras and I was pressed into having my photo taken with everyone, either singly or in groups. One of the photos is the only photo I have of me with my grandfather, who died last year. There were quite a few of me with my partner – our first ever – and I discovered that even when I am standing tall for a photo, I come up only to somewhere below his shoulder. He towered over me, head and shoulders.
To which the appropriate thing to say is, “You’re a giant!”
And he is. For he is lying upon the sofa and his head and feet stick out either end. Now I can lie on that sofa and fit quite nicely, thank you very much.