I woke up this morning thinking it’s just another day, but I was quickly reminded thanks to Facebook that it’s International Left Handed day. A whole day devoted to about 10% of the population. A population which I am a part of.
I grew up as the only lefty in the house. Neither of my parents are left handed and neither is my brother. And it came with its challenges growing up. And now that I’m out on my own and with 4 kids I am still the only lefty in my house. That has brought upon some new challenges in my life. You wouldn’t think one’s dominant hand would cause trouble, but it does, and lefties are keenly aware of this issue. And any righty who lives with a lefty quickly learns some of these things too. So let me share with my righty counterparts some of the struggles I have experienced as a lefty. They’re just ways in my life I have had to work a little differently and sometimes a little longer to get something done for one reason or another.
How Being A Lefty Has Effected Me
- Learning to write was a struggle. Everyone who was teaching me was right handed and it took me longer to pick up on writing my letters.
- All you righties, do you remember those one or two pairs of green handled scissors in the scissor box at school? Those were intended for lefties, not for you to brag that you got the different pair of scissors. I cannot use scissors that are not meant for both hands. I can’t switch them and use my right hand either, it still doesn’t work for me. So while everyone else got their hand turkey cut out, I was left with nothing and many times a teacher who didn’t understand that with the right tools I could do it, but because someone else took the green handled scissors I couldn’t complete the task.
- Manual can openers are a puzzle. It takes me 5 minutes to open one can with a traditional manual can opener because I have to talk my brain into how it’s done.
- When we write we are left with a permanent mark on the side of our hand from going over the paper. It’s kind of our mark of solidarity. Some lefties you might see contort themselves in such a way to try to avoid dragging their hand over the paper. I tried that, it’s exhausting so I take the pen marks. It’s also a constant battle of finding just the right pen which will leave the least amount of pen on the side of you hand.
- Teaching right handed children to write is even more frustrating than learning how. I can’t tell you how many times I sat at the table with my right handed children showing them a letter, having them not do anything like I showed them, only to have my husband come along and show them exactly the same thing in the same way and have them do it without problem.
- I still have people stealing my scissors. I have a specific pair of my favorite scissors for in the kitchen and for all other cutting things. Someone is forever taking and using these scissors and not putting them back. They are getting better about it because I have made it very clear that if my scissors are not where I can find them when I need them, heads will roll. You can bring me any other pair of scissors in the house, if it’s not my scissors it does me no good because I still can’t use those other scissors.
I love being a lefty though and I love finding other people who share in this unique advantage. I am always noticing other lefties and reminding them, that only lefties are in their right mind. When I was bringing my oldest daughter on some college tours this summer another parent I realized was a lefty because he was pointing out to his daughter the lefty desks. There were actually about five of those desks in that classroom, 5 desks which I guarantee you a righty would walk into the room and sit at just because it was different, not because he needed it to make his life easier.
I have adapted to this predominately right handed world the best way I can. When learning computer the mouse was always on the right. While I know I could move the mouse to the left now, I still use my right hand to operate the mouse. I actually prefer the right handed desks in classrooms because most didn’t have a lefty desk anyway and I just got used to using the righty desk.
So happy international left handed day to my fellow lefties. Do you know anyone who is a lefty?