Friday, August 14, 2015

To the Left, To the Left

Mirror image. That is my LEFT hand.
Well, true to form, I missed National Left-Handers Day (yesterday). We Leftys are too busy saving the world to be bothered by random celebration dates!!

Seriously, though, I am left-handed, and proud of it (though annoyed by the right-handed world in which I live and try to cut with scissors). It was pretty obvious from the start, and I was lucky enough to come into existence after the Great Lefty Purge of the early/mid 20th century. My mom Joanie was a victim in the 1930s, when her attempts to write were roundly chastised, then systematically broken by the Ursuline nuns (who, to be fair, were just following orders). As a result, Mom not only had atrocious right- handed penmanship, but I swear it affected her brain. You’ve heard of Left Brain and Right Brain functions? Well, there was also Joanie Brain, the woman who never forgot ANYONE’S birthday, but also left the burner hot on the stove with a glass pan of lasagna on top of it. Fourth of July fireworks had nothing on that explosion of pasta and sauce!

As a child, I noticed that it was impossible to execute a smudge-free thank you note. As an adult, I struggle with everything from coffeemakers to can openers. It was a small thing, this attempt to re-orient myself to What Everyone Else Can Do Easily, but it really bothered me. And of course, I gave birth to two Leftys out of five children (Evan and Rose). Sorry, kids!  I do notice that I do some things righthanded, like playing tennis (or would if I did, which I don’t). In my way, I have Joanie Brain, too!

Looking back at history was not a heartening endeavor. The Latin word “sinister” means “left-handed.” Left-handedness has been traditionally allied with bad luck and the wrong choices. It was no fun to go through life as a synonym for a horror movie, let me tell you! And now we have the political Left and Right. I’ll let you sort that out for yourselves, but I will admit to a preference for my handedness in this area.

There are so many famous leftys!! Barack Obama and Bill Clinton (surprise, surprise). And George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan (to be bipartisan). Albert Einstein and Jerry Seinfeld.  Paul Mc Cartney and Maurice Ravel . Strange bedfellows if ever there were some!   Google “leftys” and be amazed. We may be only 10% of the population but we are mighty!

I didn’t ask to be born left-handed. I can’t control that part of myself. The world seems to be oriented against me and my ilk. But I remain proud of who I am, and so should you, righty or lefty.

Does that sound familiar?

Maybe it’s time to finally admit that we are all different. And that different is OK. More than OK.  Part of the Divine Plan.

So the next time you see a lefty, slap him/her five (and let them dictate which five). It’s all good.

My favorite leftys

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