10 Struggles All Lefties Face
August 13 is National Left Hander's Day. Here's a look at 10 struggles all lefties face.
1. The outside of your hand and arm are always covered in pencil stains.
Writing, in and of itself, isn’t necessarily a challenge for lefties, but remaining clean while doing so is. Our hands drag over everything we’ve written, leaving our arms and hands looking like they belong to the tin man when we write with pencils.
2. Scissors and can openers are basically inoperable.
This is a simple fact of life for lefties. Some things just weren’t meant for us, and that’s okay. But we’ve determined to try, for a while, anyway. (You can only hold a pair of scissors upside-down for so long before your hand hurts, you know.)
3. People act like you’re the only lefty they’ve ever encountered.
“I didn’t know that you’re left handed!” “Whoa, you write with your left hand?” "My mom's cousin's great-aunt's cousin's son is left handed, too! "
This is always a talking piece for some reason. Yes. We hold our pencils in a different hand. It’s not like we sign our checks with our toes! In actuality, there are roughly 630 million left-handed people in the world.
4. There were never any left-handed baseball mitts (or golf clubs!) in gym class.
As if being forced to play sports in front of an entire class of middle schoolers wasn’t embarrassing enough, having to attempt to catch a baseball right-handed certainly was.
5. Spiral notebooks are a no-go.
Unless you want to have a sore hand that bears the impression of the your notebook’s spiral binding, or you’re willing to do all your writing with your hand floating in the air while only your pen connects with the notebook, spiral notebooks are not for you. Legal pads, however, are a perfect alternative.
Don’t even get me started on three-ring binders. Those things are evil. There is absolutely no good place for your hand here. Your best bet is to open the rings, remove the page on which you wish to write, do your writing, and then put in back.
6. Teeny, tiny right-side-only lecture hall desks.
These aren’t ideal for obvious reasons. Lefties have had to sit nearly backwards in these desks to make use of the surface many a time. Let me tell you first hand, that will get you some weird looks. Unless these desks were invented, produced, and placed in lecture halls worldwide before the advent of the gene that causes left-handedness, something is seriously wrong here.
7. Public computers
Can’t there be one with the mouse on the left side? Nope. So, you’re left with two choices: lift the mouse’s cord over the monitor so you can move the mouse and mousepad to the left and the keyboard to the right, while getting serious side-eye from the people on either side of you, or cross your left arm over your body to use the mouse and get the same response. The choice is yours.
8. Rubbing Elbows (And Not in A Good Way)
"Excuse me." "Sorry." "I didn't mean to...I'm a lefty."
Usually, this can go on for almost half a meal before the person next to you has had enough of your constant nudging and insists on switching seats. Rightly so, too, because by this point in the meal, he's probably got a few bruises. Left-dominant dining is the exact opposite of the common right-handed method, so any right-hander that sits on your left side will be in danger of being bumped and elbowed. Yes, in this instance, being left-handed can actually be a detriment to those around you, so it's best to plan seating arrangements in advance.
9. Using a dry erase board is like performing a disappearing act.
Invisible ink has got nothing on a good, ol’ dry erase marker for lefties. Much like the method used to write in a spiral notebook, (see above) you must manage to write, though this time vertically, without your hand touching the board at all, unless you wish for your work to be immediately undone.
10. Electronic Signatures
I don't think anyone has a great signature when they're signing on a pinpad or to get a driver's license, but this challenge is only maximized for the world's left-handed population. The pen's cord is to short, and often curled in a manner that suits right-dominant users. If this isn't challenge enough, don't worry, it gets worse.
If you were born with the curse of lefthandedness and a a long name, I offer my sincerest sympathy. When signing a long name on a pinpad with your left hand, it is imperative that you elevate your entire arm so that your hand doesn't rest on the screen. If it does, the pad will detect the placement of your hand as continued pen movement, and you'll end up with a strike though your signature, a series of indecipherable hieroglyphics, or a combination of the two.