Monday, April 13, 2009


Remember when you were a child and through out your teens what happened when you went to the doctor? First you were weighed , then they checked your height before even asking how you were. Some how when we hit twenty, the last step was eliminated to be replaced with the blood pressure cuff. No longer did the doctor seem to care how tall you were. Your last measurement was considered the gold standard which was good from twenty through fifty. Then suddenly in the late fifties, you were once again asked to stand tall as the flat little bar slid down the skinny pole to rest on your head. Once again, how tall we are is important.

All my life, I have been a shorty. Each time we moved and I entered a new school, I had to listen to the whispered,"She is so small," swirl as I entered the class room for the first time. The first day of junior high, I was almost sent home by a teacher who stopped me in the hall insisting I needed to go to the elementary school. My adamant insistence that I was too old enough was finally reinforced at the principals office. Barring that one time, it was not a real problem and I was quite happy with my uniqueness. I stood out by not standing tall.

The good thing is that there was never a boy in the class who was too short for me. It really left the field wide open. No one had to be eliminated for height and I could dance with anyone. Also in my particular time period, tree top tall fashion models were not the goal of young girls. Our idols were June Allison, under 5 foot, Judy Garland was 4'11",Vivian Leigh was the biggie at 5'3", etc. Petite and cute was the goal. I had petite sewed up. My last growth spurt came when I was a senior in high school where I topped out at 5'2". Definitely not tall, but a bit closer to average at that time.

Now however, I am going back the other way. I am shrinking back into myself. I tried denial but that was wasted energy. Slack sizes that once fit, now hang over my shoes and need alteration. It takes a decent heel to keep my clothes from dragging in the dirt.

You would think that my expanding behind would take up the slack material but it hasn't worked, at least not well enough. When in casual jeans, I'm pretty rumpled from the ankles down. Sure wish jeans rolling over your shoes would come into fashion. I try to wear mine with flair and pizazz, hoping to set a trend. You never know what will catch on. Look at what happened with ripped jeans.

The car visor no longer protects me from the setting sun. I am not yet looking through the steering wheel to drive but can see that in my future as well as a cushion in the drivers seat. Probably the most noticeable change to me is when I go out to eat. My chin is so much closer to the table than it used to be. Are they making tables taller or chairs shorter? Probably not. Wonder if they make adult booster seats? If they don't, they should. I see a definite market.
This keeps up, I will no longer be tall enough to ride Disney's scary rides. Hum, that could be a good thing.

Think part of the problem is in my feet. I have gained shoe length by one and a half sizes, no longer sporting the average American shoe size. Since my foot print after shower includes the entire foot, I can only assume that my arches have fallen. That could solve part of the puzzle if I had inch and a half arches before the fall.

I became aware the aging shrinkage most clearly with my step mom. Growing up, I always looked up to her partially because she was such a cool person, but also because she was taller than me. Then suddenly it seemed, we were eye to eye, then just as suddenly, I was looking down at the top of her head.

I notice I am looking up more and more these days as I talk to people. No wonder older people have neck problems. Have thought long about getting an inversion table so I can hang upside down by my heals to stretch out that collapsing spine. Anyone tried one? Let me know if you have.

I know I am not alone in this particular process of aging so I will try to be a big? girl and take all this gracefully along with the liver spots and white hair. My attitude is that if you can't change it, laugh at it.

Those of you with youth on your side, enjoy your dizzying heights while you can, for they are temporary. You too most likely shall shrink into your own body. Good luck.


  1. Oh, how well I know about shrinkage. I was 5'10 at my tallest and mr. kenju was 6'3 1/4. Now we're both at least 1 inch shorter than we were - and I fear we are shrinking even more. It's inevitable, unfortunately. The only way to stop it is to die, and I'd prefer shrinking, wouldn't you? LOL

  2. Cute Patti... My best friend is even shorter than you are. I think she's only about 4'11"---and has just turned 60. She told me not too long ago that if she keeps losing height--she'll have to use a 'baby seat' while in the car!!!! SO--I'm sure Judy understands what you are talking about!!!

    I started at about 5'7"---but am probably only about 5'5" now--or maybe 5'6"...

    I do know that my sweet father-in-law used to be 6'3" ---and at age 96, he's down to about 5'10" (or less).

    This getting old STUFF sure isn't much fun, is it????

    Have a great day.

  3. Oh, Patti! I can relate fully to this post! When I graduated from high school, I was 5'8" in my stocking feet. Most of my female classmates were petite and oh, so cute!! At the time, I hated being taller than most of the boys in the school and used to wish I was about 5'2".

    Be careful what you pray for! God must have heard me, because starting at about age 45 - 50, I started to shrink, big time. I think I now will measure around 5'4" --- if I stand really tall!! I haven't had my height measured in several years, though, so I may now be 5'2", eyes of blue!

    I have seriously contemplated making some sort of an adult booster seat to take with me when I go out to eat, and having a firm cushion made for the driver's seat. If I lose much more height in my torso, I'll be able to scrape my food straight off the plate into my mouth -- and will be looking through the steering wheel!

    As Kenju said, though, shrinking is preferable to dying.

  4. Wonderfully fun post, Patti, I adore your sense of humor! My mom is (was) 5’; my sister is 5’2”, so I felt tall at 5’4”… until I married a 6’2” guy. Let us know what you find out about hanging upside down. : )

  5. Another shorty here! I'm 5'2" and at the age where the doctor checks my height during routine visits again. I haven't starting the shrinking process, but I fear it is inevitable. My mom was once 5'5", but now we pretty much see eye to eye, literally and figuratively!

  6. You forgot one detail, Patti... now you have become "portable". Isn't that cool? That's what my mom always said to me, when I complained that I wasn't as tall as my brother "You are portable, Miriam".

    I wonder how portable I will be in a few years...

    A big hug - you are such a wonderful lady!

  7. kenju
    Guess we are not in an exclusive club are we? You and the Mr. luckily have a lot more inches to play around with. You are right, considering the alternative, shrinking is doable.


    Totally understand where your friend is coming from. I am barely hanging on to 5 foot by a half inch. Like kenju, you have some extra inches to mess around with.
    As for your father in law, bless his heart for making 96. I wonder if men find it harder getting shorter?


    You would have fit right in today. All the teenagers want to be tall. Careful there, you are catching up with me. Had to laugh for I can so relate to the scraping the food straight from the plate to mouth. Guess we ought to think of it as a time and napkin saver.

    Jewels, 5'4" in a good height. You are not too tall and yet you have a few inches to spare when you get old and shrinky like me.
    Enjoy your stability. You are good for a while yet.


    So glad you haven't started the slide. Perhaps with all your walking, you may not suffer shrinkage. Like me, you don't have a lot of inches to spare so I hope you keep up the good measurements.


    Thanks for the better choice of words to use for the new "super petite" size. Now all I have to do is find some one to "port" me.

  8. Great post! I recognize many of the instances you mentioned. I was always rather tall and in my passport it said that I was 172cm's, now I have shrunk 3cm's.
    BTW the puppy in my header is my daughter's. She lives in Australia and the breeder of the pup is a friend of hers. Everybody loves the little doggie!!

  9. Reader wil

    As like a lot of the dingies in the states, I had to look up 172 cm. My source says 172 centimeters is equal to 67.72 inches. Just under 5 feet 8 inches. You can afford to lose a few cm though I know we all hate to part with height.
    Wonder if we will ever convert to the metric system.

    Thanks for the info on that darling puppy.

  10. A few years ago, my daughter and I were looking at some vacation pictures. I said, "Would you look at that? This picture makes you look taller than me." She replied, dryly, "Mom, I AM taller than you." I couldn't believe it.

  11. Betty

    Oh no, visual proof!! How bad is that? Isn't it funny how it hits us suddenly, taking us totally by surprise. Only good thing is that we have a lot of company.

  12. That's good advise, and interesting insights. I've a shade under 6 ft. I wear a lift on one shoe: it's made all the difference, now my hips are straight, which I finally discovered a few years back, is the ultimate pivot. I could never quite bend at the hips before. Downside: I wear the same shoes over and over. Small price (literally and figuratively, as I save on shoes) ...

  13. Robert

    How fortunate you discovered the difference in length of leg and are able to correct it so easily. I am sure with your job agility is important.
    I wear orthodics in my shoes which restricts the type of shoe I am comfortable in. I feel if people are looking at your feet, they aren't much interested in you anyway.