Your Arms Are Too Long

“I think the scale must be broken,” the teaching assistant said. He was recording the height and weight of all of the boys in the tenth grade gym class.

I was standing on the scale, one of those professional scales you find in your doctor’s office, that measures your height and weight. You know img_1308the kind I’m talking about. It has the sliders to measure your weight.

The phys ed teacher came over and fiddled with the sliders. He had this confused look on his face and asked me to get off the scale. He shook it a little and then instructed me to get back on it. He moved the sliders across the bar and said, “There’s nothing wrong with this scale,” he said. “This kid is six-one and really does weigh 105.”

Yes, I was a tall, skinny kid in the tenth grade. Long, thin arms and legs, narrow shoulders, and no butt to speak of. My nickname was “beanstalk.”

I didn’t mind so much being a tall, gangly lad. Better than being a fat, roly-poly kid, I’d say to myself. Unfortunately, when it came to wearing sport shirts for school, in order for a shirt to fit me in the shoulders, the sleeves were often too short to properly fit at the cuff. And that made my long, thin arms always appear too long for my shirt sleeves.

My father, who thought he was being funny, would always point out to people that I was more ape than human. He said that my arms were too long for my body. This was his “witty” explanation for why my skinny wrists were always showing below my shirt cuff.

As I grew older and, thanks to my dad, even more self-conscious of my long, skinny arms, I always had the sleeves on my sport shirts rolled up. I also began having my dress shirts custom made. It was expensive, but at least I didn’t have to be seen in public wearing ill-fitting shirts.

The good news is that I’ve now reached the age where I couldn’t give a shit if my sleeves are too short for my arms or my arms are too long for my sleeves.

That’s why they call these the “Golden Years,” right?


Written for today’s one-word prompt, “sleeve.”

15 thoughts on “Your Arms Are Too Long

  1. She May 1, 2018 / 11:54 am

    I am so pleased you are happy with yourself. I also think your proportions sound just fine to me☺

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sight11 May 1, 2018 / 4:44 pm

    I have long arms but since I wear formals all the time, I’m never self conscious about them.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Sight11 May 1, 2018 / 4:50 pm

        Nope just was a nerdy guy. Oops! am. Besides in Catholic school there always was the formal uniform. My first jeans was in ninth grade and is still with me.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. rugby843 May 1, 2018 / 6:52 pm

    I have to repeat myself, love it. You had one of those dad’s too….

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Walk the Goats May 1, 2018 / 10:50 pm

    Great story about a simple snippet of life rich with details about growing up, relationships and development.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. pensitivity101 May 2, 2018 / 5:28 am

    My problem was being long waisted, and getting blouses or tee shirts long enough a real bind. I would have been fine if my waist started directly beneath my boobs! I was once measured by a professional who was surprised that my ‘boast’ of being long waisted was a truth. It’s one of the reason men’s tees tend to be a better fit.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nick Holland May 30, 2018 / 6:01 am

    I too have the issue of shirts never being the right proportions for my body, its like always being between sizes

    Liked by 1 person

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