Aug 13, 2014

Left-handed, well, not completely

Photo came from here
Did you know that about 10% of the population is left-handed? It is said that people who are left-handed are more creative, artsy, musical, perceptive, and genius. I really like the genius part. And I can believe that.  One has to be very creative in a right-handed world. I am a minority of a different kind and in ancient times we were looked down upon as inferior.   We’ve been called names like southpaw, whatever that means. At various times in history left-handedness was seen as a nasty habit, mark of the devil, a sign of neurosis, rebellion, and homosexuality.  This doesn’t sound very encouraging does it?

I never really thought much about being left handed.  But I’ve never been a complete one either. What do I mean by complete? Well, a complete lefty does everything with the hand opposite of their right.  You might say that I am dual handed.  There is a term for it, ambidextrous, and less than one percent of the population falls in this category. My father was this way too.  I must have inherited it from him. 

I have one memory as a child of having an issue with my leftyness.  During art class the teacher asked if anyone was left handed.  I quickly raised my hand and was given the “lefty” scissors.  I tried and tried to cut with them but to no avail;  it was then that I discovered when I cut things I use my right hand.  Before Kindergarten, I didn’t have much experience using scissors.  My mom was always paranoid that we would get hurt.  Therefore, we never had sharp objects around especially while playing.

I cannot sew with my left hand. If I tried to make a stitch with the left God only knows how bad it would be or where the needle would end up.  When I throw a ball the right hand is used doing that too.  I have no problems using a right-handed computer mouse or even a desk that lefty’s have such a hard time with. 

When I eat, I can use either hand depending on the cuisine.  When I eat North African or Middle Eastern food I use my right hand and the left for everything else.  Then there is the problem when a lefty goes out to dinner with friends.  I try to sit at the end of the table with my left arm on the outside so that I can move freely. There are religions/cultures that insist everyone try to be right handed.  When you eat it must with the right hand because the left hand is unclean and is used when you are doing not so nice things which make me cringe at the thought of those people who don’t use soap afterwards but water only. 

Here is where I draw the line, with writing. I am a total lefty. There is just no way of working around it. And believe me, I have tried.  I can write with my other hand and it can be read but it would take me forever and the words would be all over the page. 

I don't know whether I am right brain,left brain, or no brain. I just take life as it comes. 

To all the lefty’s out there in the world, Happy Left-Handers Day! Those of us who are ambidextrous, well, it is too hard to spell and not enough out there in the world to have our own special day.