Monday, December 14, 2020

On Being a Lefty

 This morning I made oatmeal for breakfast.  Grabbing a half cup measure, I scooped and leveled the oatmeal then dumped it into a large bowl, took the measure to the water and filled and dumped it twice.  As I rinsed out the measure, I looked at the  spout the manufacturer had put on the side to the left of the handle and wondered why, if you're gonna add something to make pouring the contents easier, you don't put one on each side?  As a lefty, I come upon examples of our right-handed world on a daily basis, and have dealt with them my entire life — as have all lefties. 


Some examples, and how lefties compensate:

Scissors - Unless you purchase a left-handed pair (which I did several years ago), you  have to apply pressure by curling your thumb and fingers slightly in order to use them without the tiny separation of the blades that occurs because of the natural pressure of the hand.  Since it's designed to use that slight pressure of a right hand to maintain the tension between blades, it is less effective in one's left hand unless one applies the aforementioned compensating pressure.  Lefties do it without thinking.



  Knob type light switches -  A righty will, quickly and easily, turn it off/on because clockwise is the natural first choice of the right hand.  Counter-clockwise is first choice for lefties — except it's not.  That's so because we have learned from long practice that counter-clockwise often does nothing more than unscrew the knob.  Clockwise for lefties is a natural tightening motion. Accolades to the majority of designers who have chosen that means of closing/tightening lids (most of them were likely lefties). Righties either must close screw tops with their left hand or engage in the less natural motion of closing them with their right.  Maybe that's why Carol doesn't close the toothpaste tight.  

Writing in longhand - For many years schools would force natural lefties to learn to write with their right hand.  It may have had to do with how lefties were viewed.  Think about the intent behind: gauche, sinister, left-handed compliment, or from left field.  Or maybe it was the fact that our language was written left-to-right.  Have you ever watched a lefty write?  It's a study in the ability to contort oneself to avoid getting graphite or ink on the side of the hand and, in the process, smearing the text.  It's not pretty but it can be entertaining.  

There's a natural upside to all this anti-lefthand situation.  Our need from birth to be creative has led to a large number of very famous lefties, for example: From Ford to Trump, only Jimmy Carter, George W, and the Donald are right-handed.  Google left-handed celebrities for a fun trip down the rabbit hole.

That's enough for now.  I'm going to heat up one of Carol's fabulous soups in my favorite sauce pan.



In case you were wondering, I microwave my oatmeal.

Until next time,  Namaste