Have you ever stopped to wonder why, exactly, the rear view mirror even needs adjusting? Aside from trying to avoid eye contact with the people in the back, I mean. If you’re the only one driving the car, and you tend to sit the same way every time, why on earth would your eyes ever NOT be at the same height? (Unless you are incorporating padded butts into your wardrobe, in which case I’d say that rear view mirror adjustment is the least of your worries.) Why is rear view mirror adjustment even a thing?
When I posed this query to my surgeon aunt, she looked at me with a mixture of confusion, scorn, and pity. Clearly, she asserted, the adjustments are made to accommdate our gradual shrinkage over the course of a day. For those of you not familiar with the concept, we all shrink between 1-2 cm over a day spent upright as gravity slowly compresses the gelatinous discs between our 33 vertebrae. The merciless squeeze of gravity causes each of these little pancakes to shed about 15% of their respective heights, a cumulative 1-2 cm effect. According to my aunt, our eyes are actually slowly shifting relative to the mirror and the dashboard over the day.
I was dumbfounded. I knew about this whole shrinkage thing, but I’d somehow not managed to connect the dots. Honestly, I didn’t believe it.
So, I’ve been tracking my trends over the past three months. And I’m gobsmacked to report that I begin every morning needing to adjust the mirror upwards and I adjust the thing slowly downward with each re-entry into the driver’s seat.
The only exceptions are if I’m really concentrating on my posture, just took a yoga class, or have spent the day napping. Seriously, test this out for yourself.