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Three Inches From Restraint

Five feet two, eyes of blue
And oh what those five feet can do
Has anybody seen my gal – Louis Prima

You might ask the same thing of me lately. Not the blue eye thing. Or what the five feet can do. Well okay, maybe that. But for sure the five feet two and has anybody seen my gal. Or simply, has anybody seen the five feet two. You see, it appears I am becoming shorter in stature. I hesitate to use to words shrinking, because I’m not shrinking. I am however loosing height without my knowledge or consent. And it has become quite distressing to me.

My fear is not unfounded. It comes from a couple irrational realities. I was born to be 5’ 2”. It is the perfect height for a woman of my stature. I don’t want to be hunched over looking at my shoes and toes for the rest of my life – even if my shoes and toes do look great. For more than 30 years I’ve stood 5’ 2” in height. With heels I can measure an impressive 5’ 5”. In really tall heels I can measure, well who knows. I rarely wear heels higher than 3” and would probably topple over if I did. I never had to worry about dating guys who were shorter than I am. I never had to worry about wearing heels too tall. I was used to shortening every item of clothing I purchased. I like my height and want to keep it just as it is, or was.

Worst of all my irrational fears comes from a recent public services announcement that keeps playing on the television. I can’t say that I have ever seen the advertisement, but I have heard it so many times the words are stuck in my head. Bouncing from side to side. Annoying me. Frightening me. Making me fear my loss of height for one damn good reason – 4; 9”. At this point in my life those are the scariest number I can imagine. The public service announcement on the television goes something like this, “4’ 9” is the magi number. If your child is under 4’ 9” they should be seated in a child safety seat. Remember 4 ‘9” is the magic number. 4” 9”. 4” 9”. 4’ 9”. They are beginning to scare me with the revelation that there is something magical about reaching 4’ 9”. And here I am, getting closer to being 4’ 9” every day. As of today, I am safe by a mere 3 “.

If it is unsafe for a child who is not at least 4’ 9” tall to ride in an automobile outside of a safety restraint seat, wouldn’t it be true for adults? What about all those little old ladies and men who look through the steering wheel to drive? I know that I’m still taller than they are because I can still see over the steering wheel And I adjust my seat to the highest position everyday so I can remain taller that those fools sitting on phone books and old green cushions If I continue to wear 3” heels can I avoid the 4’ 9” magic number and thus remain free from any safety restraint?

I can just see me in a few years. My children, or worse yet, my grandchildren, will be fastening me into some safety harness in the back of my vehicle while they cart me about to do my errands. Or, instead of getting a citation for not having my seat belt fastened, I’ll be hauled off to jail for not being restrained in the required seat for whatever height I am at that time. There will be insurance companies offering discounts for “short statured adults” who voluntarily drive or ride in specially designed, ergonomic, comfortable safety seats designed for adults. There will be new business sprouting up all over.

• Try before you buy.
• Be sure your restraint is the proper one for your height.
• Have you been measured lately?
• Let us fit you!
• Be the first in your nursing home to be restrained while driving.
• We offer custom color leather adult safety seats to match the seats in your Cadillac or Lincoln

If the safety council, insurance companies, and the government have anything to do with this, phone books and ugly green cushions on the front seat of cars will quickly become relics. I’ve always hated those old-lady, utilitarian shoes, but I may just resort to wearing them, and add a 2” or 3” lift in the shoes. Or maybe plastic surgery could help. Women pay to have other body parts enlarged. Why not buy some height so I can remain free of restraint.

So far I’m safe by three inches. But the eyes of the enforcers are growing old, and at 80 mph it could be difficult for them to be 100% sure that I am indeed in my adult safety restraint seat. I may simply be forced to outrun the buggers, or stop out in my stilettos so my height is not in question. For now I’ll guard my three inches well. I’ll take my medicine, do my stretches, try yoga and even eat some organic food to slow my progression toward the ground and life in a plaid safety seat.

Wanda M. Argersinger
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