Not To Be Trusted With Knives











{December 9, 2008}   My Lifelong Fascination With Left-Handedness

When I was a kid, I really, really wanted to be left-handed.  I’m not sure where the fascination for this came from, but I do know that my sister is left-handed and I thought it was cool.  When I got bored in school (which was often!) I would practice writing with my left hand to entertain myself (yes, I’m easily amused) and I actually got pretty good at it.  My mom grew up in Quebec, going to Catholic school and in those days, when she tried to write with her left hand (as was her natural inclination), the nuns would hit her hand with a ruler. Because, you know, it’s a sin to write with one’s left hand, devil child!  So she writes with her right hand now, but she was really born a southpaw.

Although my right hand is the dominant one for most things for me (e.g., writing, eating, brushing my teeth), I play sports like a left-handed person (mostly).  I play hockey left, bat left, I golf left – but I throw right.

Anyway, for the past two days I’ve had my right hand wrapped up – half because compression is good for the strain and half because it serves as a reminder for me not to lift things with my injured hand.  And not at all because it’s good for getting sympathy (I can’t believe you’d even suggest that!)  I’ve even moved my mouse to the left side of my keyboard.  And, you know what?  It sucks.  I want my right hand back!  I’m so much more efficient with it!

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Michael says:

I hear its good for your brain to balance out your ambidexterity by training yourself to use your non-dominant hand. Apparently with the left hand connected to the right side of your brain and the right connected to your left, practice with your less used hand will helps with mental balance. I don’t know if its true, but I started brushing my teeth exclusively with my left hand, and I’m getting pretty good at it! Hope your hand gets better soon.



Beth says:

Funny you should mention that. I was talking with a friend of mine who is a neuroscience yesterday and she said that she tries to use her left hand more often for exactly that reason!



As a Leftie, welcome to my world. Sometimes it is a royal pain (and painful) to be a Leftie. Amazing how many things get in the way. Like mice.

Of course I can write backwards and reversed more easily because I’m a Leftie.

Hope you get better.



Kalev says:

You see… I always knew you envied me and now I know why!

Honestly, I think left-handed people do have it better in society based on what you’ve said (apart from the fact we die earlier because the world is designed for totalitarian right-handed masses): left-handed people generally are forced to learn to do some things with their right hands. Scissors do not work if you use your left hand (unless you get left-handed scissors), etc etc… so left-handed people are just pushed to be more ambidextrous, I think, netting all that “mental balance” benefit that’s been mentioned.

Because we all know how mentally balanced I am. *grin*

Add to this the fact I’m pretty sure I bagged a super-hot ex way back when because he was so thrilled I was both gay AND left-handed, just like him. “I’ve never met any gay people who are left-handed!” Who would have thought that would be so exciting?

But yeah I’m a triple or quadruple minority at this point–I should have mentioned my left-handedness-based oppression in all my grad school apps, come to think of it. 😛 “Dear Berkeley, I will contribute to the diversity of the graduate student body because I do all SORTS of things with my left hand!”



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