Sunday, August 14, 2011

Of attraction and "You Never Know"

I DO know. I know that I am NOT attracted to men who are shorter than me, thinner than me, or who have smaller feet and hands than I do.

At nearly 5'9", I'm a taller-than-average woman. I have long arms and legs, and, yes, bigger-than-average feet and hands. Thanks to genetics, they're well-proportioned and well-shaped, with long slender fingers and toes (my second toe is nearly as long as my pinky finger, which is fun to demonstrate when people don't beleive me). If anything other than average, my bone structure is on a slightly smaller scale, but I'm not one of those size 2 women with a 24" waist. I am, I think, at a fairly healthy weight--the 20 pounds I've gained over the last several years at a desk job haven't made a HUGE difference in my overall size, and I've never gone past a certain weight (either low or high) so my body is pretty set within a 30 pound range of what I weighed in high school (I was pretty skinny during puberty).

While most of my friends were getting over their gawky stage, I was in the thick of it at 17. I'd grown an inch and a half sometime between junior and senior years, and I grew an additional half inch (and half a shoe size) after high school. I was suddenly taller than a lot of my friends and felt awkward and gangly--thank goodness for childhood dance lessons, or I'd probably have been even MORE clumsy. I had these arms and feet and legs that got in the way and for a while I could walk down the middle of a wide hallway and still end up with bruises on my elbows.

My feet were average until 8th grade, when I suddenly realized I couldn't borrow my mom's shoes anymore. By the time I was 15, I was wearing size 9 shoes and I was only 5'4" tall; I felt like a clown. I have a difficult time finding gloves big enough to accommodate the space between my index finger and my thumb, but small enough that my fingers aren't swimming in them. Long enough skirts and pants are also hard to find, and I won't get into my shoe issues except to say that I'm so grateful I don't also have wide feet. I feel for those of you who do, especially if your feet are a size 9 or more.

Although I've maintained my weight and I'm not quite overweight for my height, I know it's a possibility if I don't exercise. I see women at work who have been in desk jobs for 15 or 20 years and have gained a lot of weight. It wears on them; one woman can't walk down the hall without panting and sweating. I honestly think that the hand genetics dealt me doesn't include the morbid obesity card, but that doesn't mean I get a free pass. I don't want to get too thin, either, because that would be unhealthy. Women who talk about wanting to get back to their high school weight don't realize that I didn't start puberty until I was 15. If I ever get as thin as I was in high school (somewhere between 120 and 130 pounds), there is probably something very wrong with me.

Now that I've established my size history, perhaps you'll understand that when my ex-fiance (just two inches taller than me) quoted the weight loss goal he was trying to attain, and it was just 10 pounds more than the weight I already was, I felt very insecure talking to him about my extra weight. He said he wasn't bothered by my high heels, but in the end I think he was. I felt huge around him sometimes even though he was stronger than me.

I don't want to feel huge around my husband. I am insecure about enough things that I don't want to be insecure about my weight, shoe size, height, or hands. When I've held hands with men whose fingers are shorter than mine, I feel huge (unless their hands are actually BIGGER). I work with an attractive man who I outweigh by 30 pounds, so I don't even go there. I was once cast in a play opposite a man who was 2 or 3 inches shorter than me and at least 35 pounds thinner. I did my best to act the part well and to let my character be attracted to him, but it was a huge relief when he had to drop the show and was replaced by someone much taller. I've been out with wonderful men with small hands and feet and, much as I like them as friends, I'm much more comfortable around someone bigger than me. I like feeling secure that if something happened to me, the man I'm with could easily help me get to safety.

I am just not attracted to men who are smaller than me. I wouldn't go out with one in pursuit of a relationship. So for all those women who say "you never know!" I would like to say, YES. I DO know. I don't think God wants me to be in an eternal marriage with someone to whom I'm not attracted, and I am not attracted to men who are shorter or thinner than me, so stop assuming I'm just being picky and close-minded. I really do mean it when I tell you that I won't marry someone with smaller feet than me--I really don't need him trying on my shoes and commenting on how big they are. . .


Roxie said...

Ug! Of course you can "just know" something. There are TONS of things that we "just know" in life.

I had a guy (who was creepy to begin with) just continue down the creepy scale when I told him I wouldn't go out with him because I knew it wouldn't work. I KNEW! I didn't need to go out with him to prove it.

I don't need to carry every interaction to it's final resting place decades into the future to know that I would not be happy married to the person. You just know!

Corine said...

Good for you for knowing what you want and being honest and upfront about it! I hope you get yourself a really big, tall man!
Corine :D

Valerie said...

I completely understand even though I'm only 5'1" and have size 6 1/2 shoes. I still don't want someone thinner than me. Been there and it wasn't good for me. When you know what you want and what makes you feel good and comfortable, you don't need to explain it to someone else. :)