Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Annual Left Hander's Day

Apparently, today, August 13th has been designated as a celebration of Left Handedness for the last 19 years.

I still remember the day I decided to be left handed.  I was 5 or 6, and came home to my Grandma Carole after school and told her that they'd told me I would have to choose a hand.  Apparently, up to that point, I would alternate when one hand got tired.  She told me that most people are right handed.  And in that moment, I decided to be left.

I chalk it up to being ornery.

I remember my mother saying that my Grandma Betty had been left handed when she was a little girl, but they'd rapped it out of her across her knuckles when she tried.  Thankfully, they were over that 'treatment' by the time I was first going to school!

I was the only left hander in my house when I was growing up.  I learned that when sitting in a restaurant (Okay, fast food) booth at the table to eat, I would have to be on the left of a right handed eater-- or we'd play elbow hockey the whole time.  I have always worn my watch on my right arm because I hated dragging it across the table when I wrote.  And speaking of writing, to deal with the 'drag my hand through what I've written as I'm writing' issue, I brought my hand down and under what I write, the same way a lot of right handers do.

I was -extremely- grateful when left handed scissors came out!  Cutting is the number one instance where being left handed was ever a disadvantage-- right handed scissors not only wore my hand out, but guaranteed blisters.

I was in high school the first time a teacher made me sit in a left handed desk.  In this instance, I couldn't believe that right handers could stand to be in their 'proper' desks, if I'd been doing it backwards.  Sitting in the 'right' chair (ergo 'left handed') meant I banged the hell out of my elbow.  Frequently.

It was also in high school that I realized I was -really- good at mirror writing.  Writing and passing notes written this way-- a teacher would pick it up, look at it, and hand it back.  And all my friends would have to do is flip the page over to read it through the back, or hold it up to a mirror.

I remember that when it came to learning manual things (painting, archery, musical instruments, sewing, etc.) , teachers would ask if anyone was left handed, and when I raised my hand, they'd attempt to 'flip' what they were doing.  I was 9 when I started telling them that I was, but not to change how they taught the lesson, please.  I'd already realized that if I sat facing them, instead of beside them, it was already 'mirrored'.

Both of my little boys are also left handed.  Mark says I taught them to be.  I thought I was impartial, but research suggests it genetic.

At least they're growing up in a world where left handed scissors already exist (;  Now that's worth celebrating!

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