About a year ago, my longtime friend and classmate, Leon West, mentioned that he knew he was shrinking because he began wearing a shorter pants length. I let it pass, but I did not think it made sense. Leg bones don’t shrink. Our backs do because of the shrinking padding between our vertebrae, but not our legs. Look at George Burns while he was still living. His shoulders were about a foot above his hips, but he still had grasshopper legs. As the old song goes, “We all look like monkeys in the end.”
Afterwards I thought, I am a 30-inch inseam, just as always. But hold on—most of my life I was a 32 inseam. When did it change, and how?
I think I have the answer. I recently acknowledged the inevitable and bought pants with a larger waist size. Lo and behold, the same inseam length was now too short. My theory is that as our actual waist size increases, we wear our pants a little lower to fit under our bellies, as shown in this photo. Hence, Leon, our legs are not shrinking, our waists are increasing. Waist and inseam sizes are related.
I think waist size is supposed to increase at our age. Our bodies are telling us strength and agility are no longer so important for our survival—reserves are what count now.
(Goggle “beer bellies” and click on “Images” for amazing sights.)