Strike One: My 36-25-36 figure never looked good in A-line dresses. I always felt short and dumpy next to my perfect Mom and wearing a dress with a belt that billowed out (also a style in 1966) was not flattering either. I was doomed before I could drive a car or vote. I sucked my stomach in and hunched my shoulders to look more like Twiggy. The realization that the model was a year younger than I didn’t help.

Like my mother and grandmother, I enjoyed sewing and made the most fashionable dresses. But none of them made me look like Twiggy. In fact, my mother had to rip apart more dresses than I care to remember to try to make me look fashionable. Then Katie moved into our home. Katie was a cute little foreign exchange student from England who lived with us my senior year in high school. Katie was fun and popular, so I thankfully followed in her shadow. I tried to sit up straight, walk straight, and stand up straight but it seemed not to matter much.

I was good at making impossible things happen. I lead an effort to impeach our civics teacher and fought my poor posture with the same determination. But it didn’t seem to make a difference, my shoulders were already beginning to droop.