bigger pond

Archive for July, 2008

Tall Girl

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

Dear Random Petite Passerby,

Thank you for informing me of my relative height. Before you press for specifics, I’ll pre-emptively announce that I am five foot nine and a bit. No, I’m not a model, nor am I Michelle Wie. Yep, you guessed it: my dad is tall. Isn’t it funny how genetics work?

Oh, I didn’t realize that these shoes were unnecessary. I must have missed the universal ban on tall women  wearing shoes with heels. I do wish you had been around during my angst-filled childhood and adolescence when I felt intensely self-conscious about my height. You probably would have affirmed my desire to be short and encouraged the wearing of flat slippers to mitigate the rather striking height difference between me and all my peers.

Unfortunately for you and our current disagreement over the height of my footwear, I finally managed to embrace my gangly form while in college and started wearing heels. From your perspective, things took a turn for the worse when I fell in love and married my vertically gifted husband; the six inch gap in our height emboldened me to wear shoes of hitherto towering heights. To be perfectly frank, I’m starting to really like being tall, especially now that jeans manufacturers have caught on to my lengthy inseam needs. Isn’t it strange, though, how old insecurities can so easily reemerge when prompted? I’m starting to get all itchy and uncomfortable, now that you’ve pointed out how I’m teetering a good foot above your head.

six footers

But… sorry, down there, Random Petite Passerby. These fabulous wedges — in all their tall, thin cheekiness — are my new favorite summer shoe. Don’t worry too much. There’s plenty going on up in this stratosphere to keep me entertained. We’ll chat next time I’m sitting down or you’re on a ladder, okay?

Love,

Elissa

Superbia

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

I got my diploma from WashU in the mail a few days ago. I had sort of forgotten that I had actually finished a degree program and now possessed some useless letters that could but probably never will follow my name. It’s a fancier diploma than I expected, all engraving-on-silk-inset-in-leather-folio.

This is all well and good, but the entire diploma is also written in Latin. Every. Last. Bit. Because we are just that special. I am pretty sure that I am a Master of Arts in Art History and Archaeology, but I really can’t be positive, having been marginalized by my own diploma.

I’ve sent it to my youngest brothers — whose classical education Latin may now, at last, prove useful — for translation. But should you, similarly educated reader, choose to translate it for the masses of the internet, that would be cool, too.

Also, I’d prefer not too think too long and hard about the unnerving parellels between my exceptionally non-profit-producing degree and the oft-proclaimed dead language of Latin. Thanks.

Triangle Man

Monday, July 14th, 2008

Today, whilst running, I spent about three tenths of a mile running towards a man shaped like an inverted triangle. He was middle aged, tanned orange, and wearing bright blue running shorts. The important fact, though, is that his biceps took up roughly the entire width of the sidewalk. Like this:

This made me acutely aware of my lack of both bicep girth and summer tan. Despite a recent, brief trip to Florida, I indeed remain a pale-to-medium shade of yellow. In shape language, I felt a lot like this:

Like a geometry proof in motion, we pounded towards each other. I chickened out and darted for the shoulder of the road, momentarily abandoning the sidewalk so he could pass. I was worried a bicep might accidentally knock me in the eye.

Intermarriage

Friday, July 4th, 2008

Back in our CovCol days, Noel and I lived on halls in the same dorm that had (helpfully, for our purposes) proclaimed themselves to be “brother and sister halls.” This was a nice idea. Under the guise of spirituality-glazed affection, it gave some members of each hall their most regular and sustained contact with folks of the opposite sex. Occasionally, Second South would grow distracted by the bright young things on Third South or Third Central would saucily invite Sutherland to dinner. But, in a rather impressive commitment to hall-to-hall fidelity, Second South and Third Central managed, overall, to maintain this purported “brother-sister” relationship.

Clearly, this racket worked out well for us.

When Noel and I got married, I was ushered into a sub-coterie of Second South: Manville. The Manville boys were a big part of our lives in Chattanooga. We ate Sunday suppers and watched soccer together. Noel and I counseled several of them through relationship beginnings, endings, and false starts.

Noel, meanwhile, became privy to the energetic, and generally loud emotional lives of some of my Roomates in the Lord. On occasion, he was asked to speak in defense of his entire gender. He remained unperturbed when Rachel and I would dissolve into tearful messes on his couch. He didn’t understand the girls, per se, or why the decibel level needed to be so high, but he loved them because of what they meant to me.

This weekend is the third Second South + Third Central marriage in the last four years and the second Manville + Roommates in the Lord wedding. Brien and Kelly’s wedding weekend extravaganza in Ft. Lauderdale is bringing together some of the people who know me best and who are dearest to my heart. It’s a family reunion, of sorts: two unrelated but tightly bound groups of friends who have history, traditions, and plans for the future.

In our card for Kel and Brien, we’ll tell them how precious this group of friends have been and how delightful it is to have them joined together, again.

Because, like your mother-in-law told you, you don’t marry a person.

You marry the family.