Today, my friend asked me to tell her a weird trait about myself. Other than the mental things (like that I tend to become obsessed with things I like and also I have this weird thing about public restrooms), it took me a minute to think of something.
Then I remembered how a coworker of mine recently and very suddenly proclaimed, “Oh! You’re left-handed!” like he discovered Mount Everest or something.
This happens to me on a semi-regular basis. Every once in awhile, I will minding my own business and eating a cup of yogurt when it will suddenly dawn on my lunch companion that I’m holding my spoon with my left hand. Shocking!
For some reason, non-lefties have this need to point out the obvious to me.
Righty: You’re left-handed!
Me: Yep, all my life.
Righty: I never knew you were left-handed!
That’s like me telling someone, “I never knew you had attached earlobes” or “I never knew you were allergic to pollen.” It’s so unimportant that it doesn’t even merit a conversation, but somehow it produces one.
A quick (very quick) Google search told me that left-handed people make up about 10% of the population. The same Google search also mentions that psychosis is more common in lefties. This article was clearly written by one of those people whose parents made them write with their right hands even though they gravitated toward the left.
10% is a small percentage, but it’s still a pretty good number of people. I wouldn’t think that being left-handed would be such a rare trait that it should make people feel the need to point it out to me and other lefties.
My parents never really told me that being left-handed was considered “different.” Then again, my parents didn’t prepare me for a lot of things before sending me into the real world. Exhibits A through C can be found here. I ended up learning from some stupid kid in elementary school that left-handed people were weird and not as smart as right-handed people. I probably cried like an idiot.
Strangely, I am very rarely approached by another lefty about my left-handedness. Nor do I notice when other people are left-handed or right-handed or ambidextrous. If someone tells me or if someone asks me about my handedness then I might notice their handedness. But this isn’t something that I feel the need to scrutinize in my own daily life.
I’m not intending to complain, though I’m sure that is how it appears. Really, I’m just astounded by how many people feel like my gravitation toward using my left hand is an interesting conversation piece. I find it pretty boring, to be honest.
Being a lefty really isn’t so bad and I’ve pretty easily adapted to most aspects of living in a righty dominated world. I use regular scissors and I operate a regular computer mouse with my right hand. Really my only complaint comes from writing with a pencil. I don’t know how often I came home from class looking like this: