Even as a baby, the pictures and videos show me as predominately left-handed. The only other person in my family to be so was my Grandfather. When he was growing up, they forced him to use his right hand for everything, including writing. As a result, his handwriting was terrible. When my mother realized that I too was left handed, she set off on a crusade to ensure that no one attempted to change what came naturally to me. In the first grade, she requested Mrs. Mackey as my teacher because she was left handed. My mother actually interviewed her prior to making the request to confirm that she wouldn’t allow me to curl my hand up and then down the paper like other lefties tend to do.
There are elements of being left handed that only lefties seem to unconsciously do. Here are some examples:
Backing out of the driveway – the three right handed drivers in my family back up cars to their right out of the driveway. I back up to the left. I only realized recently that this was occurring.
Ironing has always been a challenge for me. We have a built-in ironing board and it is designed for righties. I’ve always had to wrap the cord around my wrist to not iron the cord on accident.
Hanging clothes on hangers – I can tell when I’ve hung up clothes or when a righty has. Mine face the opposite of everyone else’s in my family.
Sitting on the ends of the table – when lefties go out to eat, they head for the two corners of the table that allow their left hand to extend out the most. You recognize a lefty because we all do it. If, as a lefty, you’re confronted with another lefty who wants that same spot, there is a momentary look of surprise that you actually have to deliberate who gets the choice seat. The reason for this is that as a lefty, when you’re sitting with a righty on your left side, you have to be more careful with your cutlery, otherwise you’ll keep elbowing your neighbor.
Desks at school – in college, the lefties would come in early to try to get one of the two desks that were designed for left handers. If you weren’t early enough, you had to sit in the right-handed desks and turn your body sideways to write. It was funny watching a righty accidentally sit in one of the lefty desks, realize it and pop up to find a ‘normal’ one.
Researching left-handedness didn’t really reveal anything I felt was statistically relevant. It seems as though studies have shown we’re more creative, better athletes and smarter. While looking at the methodology for such studies, I tend to think no one really knows. But until someone comes up with more definitive answers, lets go with that.
Thoughts that are alien to any of my other projects can be found here.