“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 the 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.”