Tuesday, March 01, 2005


I've always taken pride in the fact that I'm left-handed, perhaps due to the fact that lefties are in the minority among Americans (only 10%). But recently I've been thinking about all the bumps, cuts and scratches I've gotten because of my southpaw ways and now I'm not so sure I'm happy to be "in my right mind." ;)

Just today as I was doing laundry, I was moving diapers from the washing machine to the dryer. As I reached into the washer (with my right hand), I jammed it into the metal lip and cut my knuckle. It got me thinking, why do I have my washer and dryer set up for a right-handed person? I'm the one who does the majority of the laundry around here, so logic would dictate that I should have the washer on the right and the dryer on the left so that I can use my left hand to move the clothes, diapers, etc. from the right to the left. I don't know if it's feasible to switch them (because of the water hook-ups, etc.), but I'm going to check into it because this isn't the first time I've smashed my hand on that washer.

This thought prompted me to do some research on lefties (thus discovering that 90% of Americans are right-handed). I read that left-handed people are more accident-prone (and have more accidental deaths) and that makes complete sense to me. I guess it's something about the way our brains work, but also that so many things we use are just made for the majority - right-handers.

One article I read mentioned the large number of accidents that lefties incur by using power tools. Thank God I'm not into power tools because with my track record, I am sure that would end with a trip to the ER. I think I prefer to stick with my knicks and cuts from the washer thank you very much.

By the way, I came across this site Left-handed .com which has a decent selection of left-handed products. I might have to check into buying some left-handed knives. We have a really nice set of knives that we received as a wedding shower gift, but wouldn't ya know it, they say not to be used by left-handed people. Thankfully I've managed to avoid chopping off a finger thus far. ;) (Knocking wood with my busted up right hand.)


At 3/02/2005 11:47 AM, Anonymous vital spark said...

Being a leftie as well, I feel your literal pain. :) I am not so coordinated and can definately be clutsy. I have always attributed the lack of coordination to my "right brain" living. ;) The one thing that I did like as a leftie child was that I was, in some small way, different than the majority.

You know, I remember there was a leftie that I'd heard of before that was very disgruntled abt living in a right handed world and knew that this person was disgruntled bc they were upset abt the toilet ppr roll being on the right side of the bathrooms. Ours is on the left but I guess if you think of the whole "shaking your hand w/ the person you meet" idea it is on the wrong side for a leftie. Thank goodness I wash my hands after I use any bathroom and thank goodness I can transfer the toilet ppr easily enough! lol

My biggest "hardship" ;) as a leftie is using scissors. My mom had to buy me green rubber handled scissors while I was in elementary bc I couldn't use the "regular" scissors. To this day I have a hard time using regular scissors w/ my left hand. I've had to become proficient at either angling the scissors a certain way or using my right hand for projects that don't need precision.

My last big "hardship" is those darned flippy hand held can openers. Made for a right person.

I will have to ck out the site just to see what things I have become accustomed to using right handed. That will be interesting. :)

At 3/02/2005 7:48 PM, Blogger amygeekgrl said...

I remember the little green-handled scissors too! Those right-handed kid ones used to hurt my hand. My mom actually bought me a pair of adult lefty scissors when I got older. I have to say though that I've become quite good at cutting with my right hand. Ya just learn to adapt to some things if you have to keep doing it a certain way.

I never thought about the manual can opener, but you're right - that is backwards to us. That's what we have too (no electic one) and I guess I've just gotten used to it.

Ya know it's weird that the left-handed American population is only 10%, because I've met a LOT of lefties over the years. In fact when I worked in the newsroom, the majority of the people there were left-handed. Must be something about being in your right mind that lends towards journalism.

At 3/03/2005 1:07 PM, Anonymous vital spark said...

I finally gave myself a little "treat" and bought me a left handed pair of fabric shears so I can actually cut straight. Yippee!! Now if I can just learn how to sew in a straight line...are there some left handed sewing machines out there? ;)

You know, it would be interesting to see what percentages of the left handed, right brained ppl are in some form of the arts. I used to write poetry and draw...it's long since gone the way of the dodo though..but my uncle writes poetry and he's *supposed* to be left handed. That was before my grandmother cracked his knuckles w/ a ruler every time she saw his using his left hand to write. She finally *converted* him to be a rightie...who wouldn't when you have bloody knuckles! He's also the most accident prone person I think I've met.

Isn't it weird to think that back in the 50's-60's (and way before I'm sure) teachers and parents were so concerned abt their children being different, weird or backwards that they inflicted pain on them just to get them to "straighten out".

Another funny note, my teachers thought that I was dyslexic in kindergarten bc I kept writing backwards. They brought it up to my mom and she said "she's not dyslexic...she's left handed!!" She said that they kept making me write w/ my right hand and couldn't figure out why everything was coming out backwards. Uh...???

Ahhhh...despite all of the strange things you deal with it's kind of fun straddling a right/left handed world...being quite ambidextrious in most things is actually quiet cool. :)

At 6/03/2005 11:54 AM, Anonymous Ginger said...

Another lefty here! My oldest is also a lefty. Funny how the world is made for righties and some things just seem backwards to us. I only thought about it after someone mentioned it to me. I guess I am used to the righty world and for the most part have adapted myself to it without realizing it. Like using scissors righty.

Dh started out as a lefty and in school they forced him to use his right hand. I am convinced it messed him up in certain areas.


Post a Comment

<< Home