On Being Left-Handed
I’ve always loved being left-handed, and I consider myself a lucky southpaw. In the second grade, when we learned how to write cursive, Miss Habighurst, my wonderful teacher at Westchester Consolidated Elementary School, taught me to tilt my paper to the left, thus avoiding the smeared-paper, hand-curled-around-pen posture with which many lefties are burdened. A simple solution. I don’t know why all teachers don’t use it.
I didn’t mind using scissors upside down; I use my knife and fork like a rightie, so I don’t need to transfer my eating utensils before taking a bite. I knit and crochet right-handed because my mother didn’t know how to teach me any other way. My needlepoint slants in the opposite direction, but, so far, no one has noticed and I wouldn’t care if they did.
My grandfather, a semi-pro baseball alum, taught me how to field, using my left-handers mitt. I loved it. He taught me to bat, right-handed, and it wasn’t until much later that I realized that this took away my hitter’s advantage. When I wondered about it to my husband, he answered, “Maybe your grandfather knew you wouldn’t play pro ball.” Ah, he was right.
In college, I learned to sit in the left half of the classroom, and pull over another desk so that I could more easily use my left hand. In my last year I discovered that there were actually one or two left-handed desks in some of the classrooms, though never in any of the ones that I used.
Then I discovered the left-handers’ store. Scissors. A soup ladle. Oh, the delights.
I blame my inability to tell left from right on my left-handedness, but am not too sure of that. So, politics aside, in a world of right, I’m glad to be left.