I am left-handed and have been all my life. During these many years, I have lived in this right-handed society. Left-handers may be one of the last unorganized minorities left in our nation.
I thought I might organize some kind of protest group, but we seem to have too many of those already. There are better things to do with my time.
In checking information, I did find that there is already a national left-handers club. They had a national meeting, which was Aug. 13 last year, but I haven't seen any information about this year. Apparently there is also a national left-handers week. Again, I don't know when.
Research says left-handers make up about 10 percent of our society. We have been around for a long time, and I suspect we will be here for some time to come. Genetics may be the main reason we are left-handed. I have a daughter who is left-handed and a grandson and brother. It seems to run in our family.
Living in a right-handed society has had its challenges. Many years ago when I was in grade school, a couple of my teachers thought they were going to change me. I think they gave up in frustration when they saw my right-handed writing. They couldn't read it.
Back when we were writing with pens that used liquid ink, there was another problem. Because of the way I held the pen in my hand, it would go right over the newly written words and smear them. So I had to change my hand position when writing with ink to an awkward position for me. That didn't make my writing very legible.
Some school desks were made for right-handers. The writing boards were all on the right side and awkward for us. They made us look kind of clumsy.
Then when it came to playing softball, we couldn't afford a glove made for left-handers. So I had to awkwardly put a right-handed glove on my left hand, and that didn't make me a very good ball player. I wasn't very good anyhow, so maybe the glove was a good excuse. But for some reason, I would bat right-handed. You might say I was mixed-up.
When I was playing some golf years back, I used right-handed clubs. That must have been the reason I couldn't hit the ball very well.
Many other things are made for right-handers so we have to adapt: scissors, some power tools, computer mice and keyboards and others. Over time, we get used to these things and don't even think about how awkward it is for me.
Checking on the computer, one can find a number of tools and items made for us left-handers. Scissors, pens, wrenches and all kinds of things are available but seem to be more expensive. More discrimination against left-handers.
All kinds of information can be found about left-handers. One tradition said that if you had an itchy left hand, you would lose money, but an itchy right hand said you would receive money.
One study said we have better memories and another said we could learn to drive easier. Some say we have higher IQs, but that didn't seem to be my case and a few other left-handers I know.
Supposedly we are better artists. Again, that wasn't one of my talents. So you can find all kinds of information about left-handers and why they are that way.
Probably the most difficult part of being left-handed is when you sit down at a crowded dinner table next to a right-hander and have to cut a tough piece of meat. Elbows will clash and apologies have to be made. It is best to find a place, if you can, at the end of the table where no one sits on your left.
Actually, after my many years of being left-handed, it hasn't been bad. One learns to adapt and put up with the remarks you may get about being a "leftie."
Parker is an independent writer for the Tribune.