I've been right handed for over 70 years. I'm really good at doing things right handed, such as writing, lifting, cooking, housework, typing, holding a book, etc. However, an operation on Jan. 4 forced me to be left handed, at which I am not very good.
First of all, a brace with a hard "pillow" that holds my right arm in place prevents me from doing many of the tasks I used to handle with ease-like eating, fixing my hair, holding a newspaper or a book. It forces me to sleep with my hand in the air perpetually signaling my readiness to answer any questions I dream about.
Part of my recovery includes twice daily exercises that seem more like torture than treatment. One exercise consists of alternately pulling the weight of my arms up and down for five minutes with a pulley. Do you know how long those five minutes seem to me? I've never been such a close clock watcher as I am waiting for the designated number to come up signaling release from the ordeal.
I'm also sleepy and nauseated from the medicine. Its hard to perk up and feel energized. I console myself with the possibility of becoming another Michelangelo, a left hander. I could lay on my back like he did when he painted the Sistine Chapel and just make a few strokes in between sleeping. I see possibilities of a resurrection of latent artistic skills of my youth when I sketched people, farm equipment, mountains, and objects quite handily.
As hard as it is for me to be left handed, it's the pits for a real left hander in a right handed world. My son is left handed. As a teacher his sleeves get dirty while writing on a white board because as he writes his hand goes over what he's already written. Too bad he can't construct his writing from right to left and let the class decipher it.
He says using scissors is a pain and using a paper cutter results in cutting mistakes because he can't see the lines. Of course, the cutter was made for right handed people. Good thing he has a secretary. You'd think that a left-handed President Obama would influence a greater response in support of left handers.
School desks are made for right handers. And speaking of school -- a friend's first grade teacher tried to force him to use his right hand by hitting him with a yard stick. It's a wonder he stayed in school.
Baseball coaches like left handers at first base because the players can stretch with their right legs to touch the base and reach with their left hands to catch the ball. I expect it would be harder to pitch to a left handed batter, but I'm just supposing.
A left hander gets the honored place at the banquet table, however. While others are squeezed together along the sides he/she has plenty of room at the end because it would be worse to have a left hander and a right hander sitting together and bumping each other while they eat.
Whoops! Sorry I knocked your spoon out of your hand.
When I was a kid Saturday matinees were a treat even if they were usually westerns. I remember almost every movie had a character named Lefty who usually limped and had a grumpy disposition. I think sometimes I resemble him and I hope to cheer up and turn out ambidextrous when I recover.