Unequivocally Ambiguous

Humorous Stories on Parenting, Culture and Life

Convincing the World of My Height

by | Mar 23, 2024 | Relationships | 0 comments

Swinging a hammer to increase my height — Part 2

The construction company I worked for was a family business. I worked with my little sister, Rosy, who I can always count on to laugh at my jokes.

We would spend all of our breaks and lunches opening our doors and shouting across the hall whatever took our minds at the moment. One day, the conversation landed on my height.

I told Rosy that my wife, Justine, who is a sneeze taller than me, kept trying to tell me that I was 5’8″ because she was 5’8″. I kept trying to tell her that even though I knew I was not 5’9″, I deserved to be 5’9″ because I was 5’8″ and three-quarters.

Also, if she would only meet my dad, she would appreciate the genetic obstacles my body had to overcome to even get to this height.

She said there was no rounding up when it came to height, regardless of what Google says about Tom Cruise.

I still believed it was possible to earn a quarter inch of height through rhetoric. My arguments were always based on the lack of gene sourcing available to me.

My dad’s side of the family always had grievances with the world because even for Colombians, who are not generally very tall, they were still confused for a collection of garden gnomes.

“No, Justine is wrong,” my little sister reaffirmed.
“Thank you,”
I said gladly. I could always count on my little sis.
“We’re both 5’9,”
she continued.
“Thank yo… wait, what do you mean we?”
“Yeah, we are both 5’9,”
she reaffirmed.

It took me a few seconds to understand that my sister, who is three years younger than me, and not the same height as me at all, thought that we were indeed equally tall.

Rosy, to her dismay, is always confused as the older sibling. I credit my skin regimen for that, which consists of doing nothing, not worrying about it, and going to bed when I’m feeling sleepy. Rosy had kids before I did. I decided to wait. Kids can accelerate the wrinkling process — I heard it on a podcast.

I left my office and walked towards her as if proximity would grant me the inches I needed to convince my sister there is no physical world where she is as tall as me.

So, lacking the authority to convince my sister, I called our Senior Project Manager, Marnie, into the conversation. Maybe she would believe an impartial third-party observer.

While Marnie convinced my sister, I thought of times when I felt tall. The most memorable example is the time I visited El Salvador.

There I was, waiting in line in Houston at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport, ready to board a flight to San Salvador. I was at least a head taller than everybody on the plane. It felt terrific. I felt like I was Lebron James, a not mean, not rich version of him.

I spent a week in El Salvador, raising capital for our projects. My proposals were met with yawns, suspicion, and disinterest. It was a total bust. I returned to the United States with zero deals.

But coming back, it felt good to be taller than the people on the plane. I understand why there are so many psychological studies explaining that taller people are more successful.

At the end of a bad day, I imagine they can always look down at those around them and think, “I didn’t get what I wanted, but at least the air I breathe is a little better than everyone else’s.”
Marnie had no success convincing Rosy.

So we resorted to our final measure: hard evidence.

The only way we were going to solve this was by measuring our height back to back, which was embarrassing that I needed to lower myself to this. It didn’t matter if I was physically taller than my sister; my self-esteem had lost a few inches already.

Rosy, who has always been a go-getter, a do-it-yourself kind of gal, wanted to measure us. This proved ineffective, as when her hand left the top of my head, it always found its way to the top of her, proving her thesis.

Marnie, unable to withstand it anymore, shouted, “You can’t measure yourself, too.” So she smashed our backs together and measured. She concluded that Rosy was at least two inches shorter than I was.

Rosy accepted the results but only begrudgingly. In a way, I don’t think she did. She just wanted to be done with the conversation because, clearly, we were nuts. She returned to her office, which was the end of the time my sister thought she was as tall as me.

When I visited my niece in Dallas for her sixth birthday, she told me, “I’m taller than you, Tio Carli.”

I kissed her on the top of her head and told her, “That’s okay, honey.”

I looked at my sister and said, “Your mom thinks so, too.

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