If you have read my “About Cat” page, you will have read that I am left-handed. I didn’t know I was different into I began to learn how to write. I attended private school in the early 70’s. Taught by the Franciscan Order – Nuns! Penguins! Old lady’s in habits with those witch type black shoes and giant rosary beads hanging from their belt.
I was sitting down at the table practicing my letters, when my father noticed something.
“Why is your left hand behind your back?”
I told him that’s how the Sister had told me to practice. He looked at my homework. Some of the letters I had written backwards. He started yelling. He went into the living room, yelling to his mother (my grandma) about how he was taking to me school in the morning because he was going to talk to the principal. He came back into the kitchen. “Stop writing & put your arm down. Now pick up the pencil.” I picked it up with my left hand. He smiled. “Feel better?” I smiled.
That was my first memory of being “different” or left-handed. My dad did go to my school and had a talk with the Sisters there. I never had to put my left arm behind my back again.
I remember writing was and still can at times difficult for me. Especially when writing in spiral or composition notebooks. And don’t even get me started on those erasable pens. Those were never meant for lefties to use. I ended up wearing most of the ink on the side of my hand.
I do not write like most lefties. I hold my pen the “correct” way as right handers do. My handwriting can slight in all three directions. I can’t hold my pen and turn my wrist inwards. That hurts. I hated those left handed scissors. UGH. I would turn them upside down and try to cut with them that way. I remember there were even notebooks with the spiral on the opposite side, just for lefties.
I only use my left hand to write, drive and eat with. However there are times I can use my right hand to eat with. And I will say something to my family like “Something doesn’t feel right.” And my kids would be the first to notice that I was using the “wrong” hand. I can if needed use my right hand to eat with, write with and drive with. When I was younger and was forced to participate in sports I could use either hand. I actually performed better with my left hand, it was just never strong enough. I never trained with my left hand. I used to bowl (stop laughing) and I was taught to use my left hand. My score increased by 10-20 points. When going out to dinner I need to pay attention to where I sit. Sometimes I forget and I don’t enjoy my dining experience.
My maternal grandmother was left-handed. I have a few close cousins who are lefties. And out of my three children I have only one lefty. That’s the Manchild. Who is very creative and very intellectual. I am not as creative as I was when I was younger. Maybe I never was, just thought I was. I did do a lot of art projects, however at times it was difficult.
I never have given it much thought to being left handed in everyday life. I probably struggle a bit more, but I don’t attribute it to being left-handed which that might be the cause of my difficulty.
I know it was difficult to learn to dance. Doing the steps, for some reason I always got turned around. I tend to carry things in my left hand, such as my phone, car keys. Then I find it difficult because when I get into the car I have to put everything down before I can closed the car door behind me. I use my right shoulder to carry my purse, I used to wear my wristwatch on my left wrist. Then my father explained that it should go on my right wrist because I would continuously bump it on things. I would have a pen in my left hand, watch on my left wrist. That was weird.
Playing guitar when my dad attempted to teach me, I played right handed. It felt so uncomfortable playing left. I don’t think I am a true lefty. Because they do everything left-handed. I don’t. Sadly, my right hand, arm has taken a beating because I use it so much. Not to long ago I tried using my left hand for other things, just felt uncomfortable. I don’t take a lot of stock in those articles that a lot of statistics about lefty’s. That they are more satifified sexually, they are more likely to die younger, recover from a stroke faster & better and so on. I just don’t give it much thought. I’m just a left-handed woman in a right-handed world.
Are you left-handed? Not sure? Ask yourself these questions. Find out more at Lefthandersday.com
Imagine the center of your back is itching. Which hand do you scratch it with?
Interlock your fingers. Which thumb is uppermost?
Imagine you are applauding. Start clapping your hands. Which hand is uppermost?
International Left-Handed Day