Long-femured women

August 16, 2008 | My Jottings

Most of the women in my family are tall. My mother, Virginia, was 5′ 10″ – very tall for a woman born in the 1920s. I’ve had tall great-aunts and cousins, and my peak height was 5′ 11″, although being 50 and postmenopausal has now pounded me down to 5′ 10″.

My oldest daughter Sharon is 6′ 1″. Next comes Carolyn and she is 5′ 10″. Sara is just over 5′ 6″, so she may or may not qualify for being a member of the LFW. Not the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars, of which my husband Michael definitely qualifies), but the LFW.  Long-Femured Women. Because the women of our family don’t have height due to our longish spines or our just generally longer bones – we are tall because of of our long femurs (thighbones). Some of us freakishly so, but I won’t divulge which ones of us fit into that category.

Look at any of the women in our family with a femur-critiquing eye, and you will see relatively short calves, extremely short torsos (about four inches from waist to armpit – yet another anomaly in our gene pool), and femurs more fitting for something either mutant or prehistoric.

When one of our granddaughters, Miss E., was being looked at in utero by an ultrasound technician, the main comments given about her were that she seemed perfectly healthy, and had very long femurs. Oh boy, I thought. Another LFW in our family.

If someone could magically give the women in our family thighbones of normal length, we would all shrink by at least four inches. Then where would we be?  Only God knows.  He alone knows the ramifications of something that mind-bending. I believe if we weren’t members of the LFW, our lives would be completely different than they are right now.

Perhaps an average-femured Sharon wouldn’t have married a 6′ 5″ Chris. (this would have been horrible). Maybe an average-femured Carolyn would have gotten different parts in plays, and gone on to Hollywood to become a household name. (this would not have been good.) Perhaps an average-femured me would have taken up gymnastics instead of scrapbooking, and I wouldn’t be sitting here blogging today. Isn’t that an amazing thought.

I need to stop right here. The thought of no LFWs in my family is too sad, too traumatic to think about. I’m so thankful our long femurs have been influential in shaping our destinies, and I would never, ever want to change that.

Are you an LFW?


  1. Carolyn says:

    You know, the last time I went to the doctor’s office they measured me and I am officially five foot nine and a half now. A quarter inch shorter than I was at my peak height of five nine and three quarters. (I always rounded up.) Maybe at this rate I’ll be five foot six at age forty.

  2. Sara says:

    I am speechless……I am 5ft 7in by the way, and I thought Grandma was 5ft 11in?
    Although I am not freakishly tall as you and some of the women on your side of the family, I too have long femurs, but because of my height you must have overlooked it.

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