Thursday, August 13, 2015

Left of Center

Today's my daughter's day. 

Wait, what am I saying? 

Every day is my daughter's day. She's an upper middle class teenager in America. Whether she knows it or not — and often that would be not — she has it pretty good. Food, shelter, clothing, the latest Apple electronics. Check, check, check and CHECK.

No, today is her day for a different and special reason. Today is International Lefthanders Day. And, my daughter is a lefty.

I remember when we first noticed. She was a toddler when she started favoring her portside, picking up crayons and spoons with her left hand as often as her right. I held my breath, understanding that being a lefty in a righty world was inconvenient, but kind of hoping she would turn out to be one of that marvelous minority. My father was left-handed, and I'd lost him six months into my pregnancy. (He never met his first grandchild, but he knew she was on the way.) It became more and more clear that his granddaughter would follow in his footsteps.

Or should I say "Handprints?"

Over the years, being left-handed hasn't affected her life that much. She never did become an expert at scissors (I'm sorry but lefty scissors are a myth, people!), but her handwriting is absolutely acceptable. 

So, in her honor on this leftist holiday, here are some facts that about my daughter and her fellow southpaws:

1. Only 10% of the general population are lefties. (See? She's special.)

2. BUT, 20% of people with mental disorders and a full 40% of those with psychoses tend to be left-handed. (Crap! We don't want her to be that special!)

3. AND, lefties are less likely to have arthritis or ulcers. (Yes! Some good news.)

4. According to anthropologists, most Neanderthals were righties. (Um. Not really sure how that applies.)

5. Left-handed people are more creative, artistic and are better problem-solvers. (Duh. I once supervised an ad agency art department and 9 out of my 10 designers were ... you guessed it ... not righties.)

6. Lefties are leaders. Including the current POTUS, 4 out of the last 7 presidents were left-handed. (Sigh. If only my daughter had shown the slightest interest in student government.)

7. Lefties also have an advantage in several sports, including baseball, tennis and boxing. (But not, sadly, equestrian eventing. Sorry, honey.)

And, finally ...

8. Left-handers tend to be more dramatic and emotional. Although not part of the same study, one would have to assume that left-handed teens are exponentially more so.

(Puh-lease! Tell me something I didn't know.)

If you enjoyed this post, I invite you to order a copy of my book  Lovin' the Alien at

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