I’m 6’4″. That’s tall. In any country. I’m proud of my height, I’ve worked damn hard to get this tall. It took countless awkward moments throughout puberty and then some. My length allows me to be heavier than most people simply because the weight has a wider distance of distribution. Or at least that’s what I like to believe. It enables me to do things that normal people can’t. Like getting the sales items that’s normally hidden on the top shelf of a grocery store. You didn’t know? I’m able to spot my friends from a mile in a crowd. And then avoid them. It allows me to have a perfect, unhindered view at any concert, whilst people behind me normally start swearing as soon as I stand up.
My length does make certain things a little more problematic. Like taking a bath or buying a standard pair of jeans or walking around construction sites or being stuck in an economy seat for eleven hours with the rest of the cattle. My biggest frustration for being tall is having to drive a normal sized car. Which is why I don’t. And which is why Wife does.
Every so often I have to sacrifice my SUV for the good of others. Like this morning. She had to cart a bunch of her Kindergarten class to an Eisteddfod, where they’ll try and recite a nursery rhyme in front of three judges, without crying or freezing completely. And then get a certificate for participation. In order to optimise on time, she would use our SUV. (Which is technically my SUV, but please don’t tell her I said so.) The SUV has seven seats. And the reason why I own a car with seven seats is because as much as my kids love each other *insert coughing sound* they prefer to have their own row of seats when we go on a family road trip. I also prefer them to do so, as the alternative would be “If you don’t stop your shit right this instant, so help me, I will stop this car and throw you both off this mountain.”
It’s a health and safety issue. My health and their safety.
The problem with my sacrifice, is that I’m stuck with her car. And it hates me. Maybe because I’ve been quite vocal about my own preferences when it comes to the vehicle I choose to drive. I love my Wife enough to suck it up, as I’ve learned many things in my 21 years of marriage. One of them is to know when to keep your mouth shut. And this was one of those times. She was already stressed out about the whole “I-hope-my-kids-will-be-alright-today-Eistedfodd-nerves-thing.
So I took the whole mountain of forty-three keys she has on a chain, compared to the one on mine, and screamed at my kids to get their butts in the car or else they’ll be walking to school. (We’re such a loving family.) The first problem is the physics of stuffing four teenagers and their bags in the car, as I still drop them off at school. My vocal reaction starts as soon as I get into the car and bump my knee against the steering wheel. Shit! is normally the first word the car hears when I get in. I have to adjust my seat to accommodate the leg space of three other growing people behind me and whoever shouted “shotgun!” first, is safe from the inevitable squashing and complaining that will unfold on route to school.
Then I have to adjust every single mirror in the car because it’s very important to have 360 vision when you drive in a smaller car because most other drivers won’t see you hovering beneath their bumpers, dodging traffic. Wife opted for no Bluetooth when she bought the car, so I’m not able to entertain the teenagers with my jam. I’m not sure if they’re even disappointed. We’re stuck with whatever music Wife is currently listening to and it’s strange how the kids crank up the volume…
I also have the honour of getting into the little white cabby with a fuel light flashing, which means I have to fill her up because no-one likes to walk 20 miles to work on a winter morning, before coffee.
Then there is the weird pedals. Maybe it’s because of the combination of my big feet, long legs and lack of awesomeness, but I battle to have a smooth transition from start to fifth gear. I even stall the damn thing a couple of times a day. I suspect it’s a conspiracy, thereby ensuring that men can’t claim to be better drivers. I look like someone who’s failing driver’s ed.
In other news, do you know what they say about men with big feet? *insert drum roll* We have big shoes.
The worst thing about the car is that as soon as I finally pick a song, it has the uncanny ability to switch to a traffic report for DURBAN! in the middle of it! Rudely interrupting my groove, which I battle to get going in the first place. I certainly don’t mind traffic reports, as they can be very helpful, but I prefer to select the time when I want to hear them, especially if they are for a city that 400 km’s away!
The lady simply starts japping away like Trump on Twitter at three in the morning, never once considering how rude she might be for interrupting a song that I’m killing in my own version of carpool karaoke. She left me on the high note! High enough for my to croak and start coughing.
Her car does things to me that no decent human being would do to someone else. I certainly wouldn’t expect any of this kind of behavior from my own car. I think it’s best if I give her a time out, to ponder all the things she did wrong this morning. I expect an apology from the traffic lady, at the very least.
Anyhow, I got to work in one piece, albeit bruised, moody and with a sore throat, but I’m not ungrateful. I just need to find someone with a can opener to get me out of this damn car.