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December 23, 2009


Another way of looking at the problem -- much of the world uses no countertops for preparing food. People sit or squat when they chop food, with the chopping board sitting at ground or near ground level. I suspect w/ Colleen, her torso would be too long even for that method. But could she comfortably sit while chopping, using a chopping board that extends out?

My own chopping board sits about 2.5 inches above the counter, and I find it very comfortable, and certainly preferable to the built-in board that extends out from just under the counter. I hadn't thought much about it until reading this -- I'm 5'7", which is probably just about right for the ~2" addition to the counter height.

Sukie is about 5'6 and finds a 1-1/2" to 2" board to be ideal and the bare counter to be a bit painful.

early in the morning after i do my yoga i might make it to 4'10-3/4". five feet tall is an impossible dream for me.

we shorties have our own problems. try getting people to take you seriously, a car that fits, and clothing that isn't from the children's department. kitchens are a nightmare and i have three step stools in mine. i make a lot of food sitting at the table rather than trying to stand at the counter.

colleen, if you see this you should speak out for people who are different rather than just tall people. you can get attention with your height and people will take you seriously. i fight for that kind of respect all the time.

I think that it is hard for people who are tall to speak for those who are short and vice versa because the challenges are so different. It is kind of like having those who have trouble gaining weight speaking for those who have trouble keeping it off (and again vice versa). Sometimes a person needs to live a problem to understand it.
(Sadly, too often I find that my friends who have trouble keeping weight off get annoyed with my friends who have trouble adding it, but both are real and serious challenges.)

Have you looked at the flip up stools that can fit in the toe space of counters, or tried preparing food on a table? Many people on the paternal side of my family will never reach 5 feet in height, and I just know a few of their solutions. The kitchen table (which had drawers, too) was perfect for my 4'8" grandmother when working in the kitchen, for example.

I guess in my adult life I've probably experienced a spread of 3 feet between my shortest friend who must have been about a half foot shorter than Gramma, and my tallest with whom I have also lost touch over the decades, and possibly as much as a difference of 250 pounds between my lightest and heaviest friends over the years (though the heaviest has lost quite a bit in the last few years on purpose).

One thing I did to try to better understand Colleen's back pain from bending is that one day I prepared food using the seat of a stool as my work surface. My thoracic back muscles absolutely killed me. Very painful!

Being in the middle makes it hard for me to know these problems "in my gut", and an intellectual interpretation is not enough, I think,

So, Colleen can Colleenify, and Sara or someone else can work on Sarafying. Both definitely are needed.

Some products for people who are shorter than average:
and Google searching on specific categories brings up some other options, but alternative products for those who are much different from average in any direction are few and far between in this world...

these are good points sukie. thank you for your thoughts.

i am not going to stand on anything that makes me that tall, i'm afraid of heights!

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