Someone asked me recently if I knew how different it was in a left-handed world and if I ever realized how many things were backwards or different for lefthanded people. I have to admit I never thought about. I mean all you’re doing is using the other hand. Did you know only abut 10% of the population is lefthanded? I even read that until the early 60’s, teachers tried to force kids to use their right hands. Now they have discovered this causes learning disabilities as lefthanders really do us a different area of their brain. After looking into this, I decided I’d try 3 days as a lefthander and see if it really affected daily life. You’d be surprised how many little things it changes or makes difficult. Below are some I encountered daily. I’m sure there area lot more I never thought of.
Spiral notebooks. I journal in them all the time and using my left hand was quite uncomfortable as it lays across the metal binding. Even writing left handed wasn’t just about your writing skills. I realized because we write left to right, my hand tended to smear the ink as I wrote across the page. However, now I understand why a co-workers check marks are always going the wrong way.
Can openers. Those things are a bitch to use if you are lefthanded as you’re forced to do it right handed. How about measuring cups and coffee pots. The markings are on the wrong side if you use left handed. And all those cute coffee mugs with cartoons on them. Lefthanded people can’t read them while drinking as they are on the back.
Then there were little things I wonder if even lefthanded people notice anymore. Swiping a credit card. It’s really off using your lefthanded. The zipper on my jeans was difficult because the flap of the pants is on the left side. Buttons on your phone and camera are designed for right handed people so are on the right hand side. Hell I never even noticed if your lefthanded the doorknobs are on the wrong side. Then there’s the number pad on a keyboard, the mouse buttons are wrong and buying a special (and I’m sure much more expensive) guitar if you’re lefthanded.
Sitting at the dinner table. I needed to decide where the “left handed seat” was so I wasn’t hitting someone else’s elbow. Using those attached pens at the bank this week. What the hell. That was nearly impossible because the chain was so short. I asked a friend that’s a golf pro about lefthanded people golfing. He said it’s all backwards to him and he can’t see the swing in his mind.
Crap I just stopped to measure something while writing this and realized my damn tape measure is upside down if you’re lefthanded. It really is a different world. Here is one little tidbit I ran across researching lefthanded people. Talk about insanity. “When Joan of Arc was burned at the stake, depictions showed her as being left-handed, in order to appear more evil. Left-handers were also harshly discriminated against during the 18th and 19th centuries, and it was often “beaten out” of them”.
And my favorite – guns. The ejection side of guns are on the left hand side. That’s a pain in the ass if your left hand is there. Many guns even today don’t have ambidextrous controls so the magazine and/or slide release can’t be used by lefties without changing the gun to the other hand.
So next time you run across a lefthanded friend buy them a drink and congratulate them on coping in your right handed world.
Peace out my lefty friends. Signed Slightly (firstname.lastname@example.org).
PS – A friend told me the hardest thing he’d encountered being lefthanded were those freaking chairs in school that had the desk attached. Try writhing on that lefthanded.