The Longer You Live, the Shorter You’ll Be

Live long enough and you’re likely to lose not only some of your hearing and eyesight, but also an inch or two of your height. Hearing aids and glasses are so common no one remarks about them. But accept some form of elevation to regain normal height and watch the critics step up.

So it was with Mark Zuckerberg, 33-year-old Facebook millionaire, when he testified before Congress in Washington early in April. The first day he was seated behind a table uncomfortably high for his five foot six inch height. His shoulders appeared to be lifted. Next day congress seated him in an executive sized wooden chair so broad and low they perched him on a thick vinyl covered cushion. Any patient from the TV show, “My 600 lb. Life”, would slip easily between the chair’s massive curved arms.

News commentators delighted in drawing attention to his small stature.

To my upholsterer’s eye, the cushion Zuckerberg was given appeared to lack breathing fabric; he sat on trapped air. That is less comfortable than sitting on a flat board. The air squished to the back so that he sat downhill forever pushing to climb back up.

Zuckerberg isn’t the only national figure who must plan ahead to sit at eye level with executives. Hollywood divorce attorney, 75-year-old Gloria Allred, revealed in her Netflix biography that she measures only five foot two inches. To gain command in high-level meetings with lawyers and judges, she carries a well-travelled copy of Los Angeles ’ three inch thick Yellow Pages as a booster cushion.

One year ago during a complete physical examination my doctor measured my height. I was astonished to see I had lost four inches, so slowly I had not realized why my chin was closer to my breakfast bran buds and my writing arm rested too heavily on the table to let me create curvy cursive.

I tested sitting on a 170-page Reader’s Digest Atlas of Canada, bought at a library book sale years ago. It covers the entire seat of my dining chair. The extra inch brought me up to where I had been and all was fine again.

Lately though, I’ve noticed last year’s problems returning. I tried topping up my chair with the 240-page companion Atlas of the World which adds another inch. That should do it for now.

Except for a related problem.

The two atlases together weigh six pounds. Moving the chair back and forth with that weight will eventually loosen the chair’s legs and back spindles. Then I’ll have to locate the white glue and long cabinetmaker’s clamps and repair the chair. For now, my chair is Grandma’s and like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, no one else sits on it.

I have one more chair too low to work for me – the metal folding chair I had sat upon during my years of sewing upholstery jobs. Even a three-inch foam cushion isn’t completely satisfactory but I make do. Otherwise, I’d have to carpenter a wooden platform under the chair itself. Come to think of it, that’s a worthwhile notion.

So far, my diminishing height doesn’t impact my driving. I dread to think of young folk joking about little old ladies craning over the dashboard. My five foot two inch sister drives a Jeep SUV with seats considerate as a caravan camel — with the touch of a switch they lower while she gets in or out, then return to driving height. Critics foiled.

Just Posted

Regional district voters call for change

Election results in for RDKS, school board — recount ordered for Terrace Rural

Incumbents and acclaimed mayors win elections all across B.C.’s north

Fraser Lake saw their first female mayor elected

Mayoral results from across B.C.

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

Every vote counts: 10 tightest races in B.C.’s municipal elections

Peachland saw their election decided by just one vote

Election 2018: City votes are in

All incumbents re-elected, with two newcomers

B.C. sailor surprised by humpback whale playing under her boat

Jodi Klahm-Kozicki said the experience was ‘magical’ near Denman Island

B.C. government moves to tighten resource industry regulations

New superintendent will oversee engineers, biologists, foresters

Election watchdog seeks digitally savvy specialists to zero in on threats

Move follows troublesome evidence of online Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election

More court before Dutch man charged in Amanda Todd case is extradited here

Appeals must be dealt with in Europe, before charges faced in B.C.

Crown says man guilty of B.C. girl’s 1978 murder based on alleged confession

Jury hears details of girl’s 1978 murder while Crown says man should be convicted of girl’s murder based on alleged confession.

BCHL alumni has NHL jersey retired by Anaheim Ducks

Paul Kariya played with the Penticton Vees from 1990-1992

Most Read