“I see you’re a lefty!” is the usual comment I get when I start to write something. It’s also the usual comment lefties give to each other as if to say, Hey! I’m part of that special club too. Growing up, when my dad was teaching me how to write, I would always switch over to my left hand. When I was teaching my younger sister how to write, I would put the pencil in her left hand and she would switch over to her right. I am the only left-handed one in my immediate family. My bf and close friends are all righties. When I try to write with my right hand, I hold the pen in a weird way and my writing looks like a child’s first attempt to write. With some other tasks though, I can do with both hands: brushing my teeth, putting on makeup, using a knife.
For centuries, left-handers have been feared, blacklisted and the subject of curiosity. Back in the day, in school, children were physically punished for using their left hand and were forced to use their right hand. There is the common perception that we lefties are smarter than our right-handed counterparts. According to an article in Scientific American, with regards to intelligence in IQ tests, the answer is negative. With respect to being talented in certain areas, left-handers may have the upper hand. Chris McManus, professor of psychology and medical education at University College London writes: “Left-handers’ brains are structured differently from right-handers’ in ways that can allow them to process language, spatial relations and emotions in more diverse and potentially creative ways. Also, a slightly larger number of left-handers than right-handers are especially gifted in music and math.”
While that is all fine and dandy, and really boosts a lefty’s ego, there is also a downside: There is a larger number of accidents with left-handers. This is mainly due to a world designed for the convenience of right-handers, with many tools not made for left-handed use. I could definitely use that as an excuse to explain my clumsiness from time to time. It can be awkward using right-handed tools, but being so smart that we are, we learn to adjust and eventually become ambidextrous. 🙂
Another couple of awkward things lefties have to deal with: those stupid tiny desks in the big university lecture halls. I hated when someone who’s not left- handed used them. It’s so awkward using the right-handed one because I’m slightly turned, facing the person next to me. Don’t even get me started at dinner parties. Again, I prefer to sit near the end of the table. Although I can use the utensils with both hands, I still prefer to use my left hand and now I am stuck having to worry about if I will accidentally elbow the person as they are cutting their steak.
I know the fact that I’m a lefty, already puts me in the weird category, but something even weirder: My right hand is stronger for throwing AND catching a ball. So that’s why I never ended up in the major leagues….
Are you a lefty? Can you relate?
Finally, for your amusement, some famous lefties:
1. Ned Flanders (Remember that Simpsons episode when he opened the Leftorium? I totally would have shopped at that store!)
2. Bart Simpson
3. Barack Obama
4. Ronald Reagan
5. Leonardo Da Vinci
6. Jim Carrey
7. Brad Pitt
8. David Bowie
9. Celine Dion
10. Albert Einstein
11. Neil Armstrong
12. Sir Paul McCartney
13. Babe Ruth