A (useless) dating tip from my father

5:12:00 PM

My father has this ridiculous obsession with height. He’s 5’11”, and his biggest frustration in life is having small children. Every single time he comes home drunk, he would always remind me that if my mother, who stands 4’11”, did not marry him, I would probably be even shorter than I am now. He told me that when he saves up enough money, he will buy me the height-increasing pills sold on infomercials. He doesn’t even care that those drugs aren’t FDA or BFAD-approved. To him, I should at least be 5’7”.

I’m 5’4” – I’m about average, or perhaps a little above it. In school, I was never in front when we’re asked to form a line according to height. I’m actually quite okay with my height; I don’t have a hard time buying jeans, skirts and dresses that fit. While I’m not exactly tall, I’m definitely far from short. Below is a picture of me and my grandmother (my mother’s mother), which should prove my point.

5'4" is not so bad, Dad. I'm the tallest in the photo.
When I told my father that Marvie and I broke up, the very first words out his mouth were: “Okay lang yan. Hanap ka na lang ng mas matangkad sa susunod.” (That’s okay. Just look for someone taller next time). There I was, about to pour out my grief over the end of my five-year relationship, and that’s the first thing he  blurted out. I couldn’t help but laugh. 

(Side note: My friend Shaine even said that people are not short - my father's just taller than most. I completely agree with her.)

For the record, he went on to say that he adores Marvie because he’s a nice kid, that I’m young so I’ll find love again, and that it’s all going to be okay (like any good father, I suppose). But before we took our last gulps of beer, he reiterated that the next time around, I should find a taller partner. He couldn’t accept that I’m the shortest of the cousins on his side of the family, even if I’m among the tallest on my mother’s side.

One time, over dinner, I told him that I’m seeing someone I knew from my college days, so I asked for some dating tips. As expected, he asked me if the guy’s tall. When I said he was of average height, he responded: “Wag na yan! Hanap ka ng  mas matangkad.” (Don’t pursue him. Look for someone taller.) This was followed by a litany of the benefits of being tall, the most obvious of which is tall children.

Like I said, his obsession with height is ridiculous. I don’t think he will ever outgrow it – he is, after all, in his late 50s. So I guess I should just to talk to my brother, my friends, or maybe even my dead mother’s soul when I need real dating tips.


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