Rock. Paper. Scissors.

It’s not hard enough being African-American, and a woman, and a single mother, and an (ex) smoker.  Add being left-handed in a right-handed world to the list of hardships.

I have bowed to the ‘right’ way so long, that it no longer feels natural to do things the left-handed way.

As a child, I played softball and was taught to bat like a right-hander.  Maybe that’s why I sucked.  The coach never asked me which orientation I was, just showed me how to stand and hit.

All through school (yes, the olden days), we lefties had to sit at a right-sided individual desk, forcing us to angle right, and lean over to the side to reach the writing space.  And then you guys made fun of us for the way we held our pencils, like claws curving back in toward the torso!

Geesh!  Even now in professional life, I prefer to buy my own notebooks because spiral notebooks are bound on the left side,  making it impossible for me to write with my hand perched on top of the rings!  My notebooks are bound at the top.  I’ll bet you righties never thought about that!

In my mid-twenties, I eventually happened upon a left-handed store at Pier39 in San Francisco, where all the tools are made for left-handed people.  Obviously a novelty store, it was too late!  I couldn’t hold the scissors; they felt awkward.  I couldn’t grip the manual can opener correctly.

I repetitively feel the sting of resentment; even  yesterday, as I browsed books on tables laid out nicely with easily viewable titles, if you were walking with your right side to the table.  But I naturally walk with my left side by the table, and my uncomfortably craned neck started complaining loudly.  Once again, I had to adjust and walk right side leading.  I was defeated.

In store entrances, when equally faced with going left or right…I usually go left.  Someone suggested  that most people go right…because of their right-handed orientation.  Try it or watch others.  It’s a good social experiment.  I wonder if that’s why my Pottery Barn has their picture frames in the left front corner.  I never stop there, but I always thought about how unexciting that was for a first stop.  Is that why produce is on the right at (all?) grocery stores?  Now it’s all starting to make sense!  With only 11% of the world’s population tagged as left-handers, it’s no wonder we are overlooked.

Hard Place.


One thought on “Rock. Paper. Scissors.

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  1. Did you know though that in 1992 when Clinton, Bush and Perot were all running for President that they all are lefties. Also, both McCain and Obama are left handed. In fact, the last 4 out of 5 US Presidents are left handed. So it may be a small % of the population, but they’re a smart bunch!


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