August 13 is International Left Handers Day. Just one day in the year … but in my world EVERY day is Left Handers Day. Yup, I am one of the 10%. Who do you know that is a lefty? Are they creative? That’s the rumor, you know. We southpaws are more creative and smarter as a group. Hmmm, okay. I wonder if that is because we have had to overcome living in a Right Handed world? You decide!
In my world, the following things are backwards to me, either because of the way they work, or because of the way they are intended to be used.
This chair is right handed. In fact, most portable lawn chairs have the cup holder (if there is only one) on the right, or the shelf like this one. In my life I have had right handed vacuum cleaners, irons, power tools, can openers, measuring cups, ice cream scoops, scissors, garden pruners, even a pair of right handed pants! The vacuum was a Kirby – the bag was hung on the left of the handle so it hit me in the leg every time I pulled it towards me.
Scissors and pruners are a common complaint among us lefties. I had to pay $90.00 to get a pair of left handed scissors to groom the pup. Yikes! Can openers are another one, though I confess that over the years I have just taught myself to use ours right handed.
I know you are wondering about the pants. As you know, I garden quite a bit. I purchased a pair of work jeans with pockets and loops for my pruners and other garden tools. I put them on, and was loading up my tools when I realized most of the pockets, and the best ones, were all ON THE RIGHT SIDE!! (or wrong side if you are a southpaw).
In the kitchen everyone takes for granted that most spoons and spatula’s are the same … but are they?
Out in the world we have had to adapt to many challenges, beginning with middle school. Remember those desks with the writing table off to one side. All righties. Spiral notebooks? Binding on the left side making writing awkward. Going to a party, and want a nice glass of punch? The ladle has the pour spout made for the right hand – what a mess! (same problem with soup ladles too).
I already mentioned my right handed pants, but in reality anything with a zipper is right handed to me. I have so much trouble with zippers, and I wondered why for so long. It’s because they aren’t made for me to use, duh!
How about your watch? You wear it on the left side, right? Well, if I do that it gets in the way of my writing hand. So I put it on the right side, which makes the controls to the watch on the wrong side. Grrrr.
And your computer mouse? Easy, it’s on the right, where it’s supposed to be. But that doesn’t work for me.
My mouse sits on the left of my keyboard, and the buttons are switched too. Talk about confusing if we have to share! Gamers have the same trouble, all the main buttons are set up for righties, too.
So I have gotten used to living in a backwards world, making due when I have to. When I learned to crochet in grade school I put the hook in my right hand, and made it work. (but I really don’t crochet like a rightie, even tho the hook is in that hand)
By now you would think that I had figured everything out – until I went shopping one day with Hubby to the local grocery store. I wanted some quinoa from the bulk bins. And I made a huge mess, spilling it all over the floor. He was quite irritated. I could not figure out why I was having so much trouble. The next time I went in, this time for some walnuts, I took a good look at the bins. I wish I had a photo to share with you, but the scoop is on the right side of the bin (with a 2 inch tether so I can’t walk off with it). There is no way to scoop your product and get it into that flimsy bag with the scoop in your left hand reaching across. None. And I am NOT ambidextrous AT.ALL. Now I put the baggie in the bin instead of holding it outside so anything that spills doesn’t go on the floor.
Being left handed has helped me in a few area’s. As a driver, and a motorcycle rider, making left turns and maneuvering around in a parking lot seems to be easier for me. I naturally look left first too, which may be safer when pulling into traffic.
So yes, in my world being in my right mind has made my life just a little bit more interesting than it may otherwise have been. Being the only one in my immediate and extended family to be a southpaw has been fun, really. It gives me a different way to look at the world – and it’s that what it’s all about anyway – diversity and embracing our differences? Making things fun, and interesting, and easy for each other.
I will leave you with the following list of notable left-handers: Oprah Winfrey, Tom Cruise, Bill Gates, Einstein, Jennifer Lawrence, Mahatma Gandhi, Marilyn Monroe, Prince Charles and Prince William, Paul Simon (but he plays guitar right handed), Paul McCartney, Ben Franklin, Leonardo da Vinci, Mark Twain, Julia Roberts, Reggie Jackson, Babe Ruth, Henry Ford, Helen Keller.
U.S. Presidents: Herbert Hoover (1874 – 1964), Harry S. Truman (1884 – 1972), Gerald Ford (1913 – 2006), Ronald Reagan (1911 – 2004), George H.W. Bush (1924), Bill Clinton (1946) and his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton was the United States Secretary of State (2009-2013). Barack Obama (1961).