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Things you only know if you’re left handed

My favourite ever Simpsons episode is the one where Ned Flanders sets up the Leftorium, a shop that exclusively sells products for left-handed people. It was the first time that I realised that all these little annoyances and grievances that I thought were just part of being a regular, walking, breathing human were actually because the world was designed for people who used their right hand to do things.

Handedness is such a weird concept. One of your hands is a brilliant, dynamic five-fingered warrior that can write and put your hair in a ponytail and do brain surgery and the other one is just sorta… there. Hanging about. Maybe occasionally chipping in to press the space bar when you text.

While right handed people are blasé about their handedness, left handed people tend to act as if we’re in some sort of special club. Which, in a way, we are, because there are some things you only know if you’re left handed.

1. You can cite at least three famous left-handed people.

President Obama, Leonardo Da Vinci, Einstein. Emma Thompson. Oprah. That’s right, we have Oprah.

2. And you feel weirdly protective of those people, like the fact that you have handedness in common somehow means you’re linked in some way.

(Incidentally, handedness is one of those words that sounds like it shouldn’t be a real word, but it is).

3. You have spent your entire life hating tin openers.

Whatever genius who invented those pull-open cans was almost definitely left-handed. (I’ve Googled it turns out his name was Ermal Fraze and his Wikipedia page doesn’t mention his handedness so I’m going to assume I’m right about this).

4. And binder folders drive you crazy.

5. You’ve spent too much of your life with weird indents on your wrist from spiral notebooks.

6. You have never been able to write on a whiteboard without accidentally erasing whatever you just wrote.

7. You blame your handedness for your poor card game skills.

8. You’re almost impressively awful at using scissors. Unless they’re special left handed ones.

9. You’ve accepted that you’re never going to be good at baseball.

10. And no matter how often you wash it, you spend most of your life with ink on the side of your hand.

11. People find you annoying to sit next to, because you tend to bump elbows with the righties.

12. And you always, no matter how cool or powerful you are, look a little weird throwing a ball.

Go long! (Ironically during a break at the NATO Summit).

A post shared by Pete Souza (@petesouza) on

13. But you’ll never let that kill your fighting spirit.


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