The Sunday Natter: life as a leftie

Luckily, the world has become accepting of left handed humans and that means I’m softening to the concept and likability of being left handed. I’m a proud leftie, I can appreciate the difference, the uniqueness and consider myself pretty damn special.

Coming from a family of all right-handed people means I’m the odd one out. I have no idea why I ended up with the left-handed gene, the one minor issue that will produce oncoming superficial problems as we learn and grow but (without breaking into Lady Gaga song) we were born this way and there’s nothing we can do about it. However, as much as I now don’t even think twice about what hand I use to partake in day to day life, there’s still those nagging battles we often lose. From everything appearing to be the wrong way, to completing tasks backwards; I’m sure all you fellow left handers will understand the significant pain we go through, so much so that we end up wishing The Leftorium was a real place. Oh, Ned Flanders, I feel your agony.

Here’s just 12 of those problems I created all from first hand experience. I’m sure there’s more than I can think of (even if us left handed folk are said to be more intelligent). Feel free to share your own in the comments!

1) Scissors | there’s three pitfalls here. The search for a pair of left handed scissors among the right, the automatic assuming that everyone in school is right handed, or there’s me, the weird one who is left handed but can only use ordinary scissors to cut yet still gets presented a pair of oddly positioned left handed scissors which make it near impossible to cut paper.

2) The questioning comments and insults | “how can you write like that” “why is your hand turned that way” “the way you hold a pen is so weird” “I just don’t understand how you can deal with being left handed” well unfortunately some of us have no choice and surprisingly, we’re actually managing JUST FINE.

3) People distinctively pointing out your left-handedness | is there really any need to receive confirmation from the person themselves? “Are you left handed?” as you can see I’m using my left hand to write with so there’s a strong possibility this is who I am.

4) People providing some sort of sympathy | continuing the conversation with left handed related remarks – how many times have you heard “I have a relative who is left handed”? Well that’s nice to know I’m not alone but we don’t need separating from the rest like we’re some kind of rare species thank you very much. 

5) The usage of any tool or utensil | it’s a hard life when peeling a simple potato ends up with a now non-eatable potato, when operating a tin opener becomes dangerous and any sort of cutlery is awkward to maneuver. Why do you have to go and make things so complicated?

6) Using stationery | I’m still waiting on an explanation why using a sharpener is so damn hard when you’re a leftie. What’s worse is writing in a spiral notebook or bumping into a ring binder when they’re both directly placed where your hand should settle and/or at the part you need to scribble next to. I can almost feel the discomfort from my long gone school and college days. Still waiting on the day stationary is designed with not only righties in mind

7) Bumping elbows with righties | no matter how hard you try, you will never come to a shared agreement when sitting next to a right-handed individual. Instead you have to succumb to the fact, due to the standard arrangement, your limbs will touch awkwardly throughout duration of being sat together and neither of you will pipe up or attempt to stop it happening. Top tip: whatever you do, try and perch yourself down next to a wall!

8) Being unable to use the white board properly | another school related peeve – never volunteering to show your answers up on the whiteboard because as soon as you wrote with that black board pen the entire text would transfer onto you and disappear completely so nobody is able to see your masterpiece. 

9) Ink smudged hands | following on from the above, the main ball ache of being a leftie is the inevitable, unavoidable fiasco of never being able to complete a neat piece of writing without the prospect of ink smudged across the page ruining all your hard work. Not only that, you’re stuck with a huge imprinted stain of black, blue or sometimes even coloured ink on the side of your hand which is near impossible to wash off.

10) Receiving your change | whether you’re on the high street or at the corner shop, it’s almost guaranteed the cashier will hand over your loose change into your right hand when passing you your remaining coins. There’s two choices; accept the challenge or switch hands and still manage to get yourself into a fluster by dropping them all because swapping hands proves to be somewhat unmanageable.

11) Dinner table woes | sat at the table and reaching for your glass is a natural occurrence, except when your brain is telling you to reach left and grab with the left hand it becomes an ultimatum. It’s common for each person’s drink to be on their right side, which means you’ve just stolen and took a gulp out of someone else’s cup. At least this time it’s the right handers who have to suffer.

12) A famous leftie | I don’t know whether it’s a left handed thing or not but I tend to get excited and inexplicably proud when I spot a celebrity with their left hand out in full swing, even to the stage of pointing out when one is signing an autograph and making a complete fool of myself by attempting to speak a clever, witty remark (yes I have done this to the ever so gorgeous Jay McGuiness who’s currently becoming the fave on Strictly Come Dancing at the moment and with being left handed gives everyone else an even bigger reason to love him) good job he has a mellow personality to pull me out of that great big hole I just sank into. When I discover another famous fellow left-hander it’s like I’ve finally found a great representative and role model who I can connect to. Welcome to the complications of a leftie club, you have an official invite!

OH, THE STRUGGLE IS REAL

But don’t worry, not all is bad – us lefties often share that one of a kind connection that nobody else understands. You only need to give ‘that’ look when you notice the activated left hand and you’ve made a friend immediately.

Bridie x 

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