Friday, August 29, 2008

On The Other Hand

Are you other-handed? Even a wee bit? Do you sometimes forget which hand is your dominant hand?
I’m a dexter. My right hand is my dominant hand. But sometimes I forget that and reach for a pen or pencil with my left. I have an honest, if misguided, belief that I’m a sinister.
It came about naturally. My mom was right–handed, but she picked and cleaned berries left-handed and played cards that way, too. She could write with either hand. Dad used a pitchfork left-handed.
Maybe it was from watching mom, or maybe there’s a genetic predisposition, but I’ve caught myself many times over the years acting as though I were a lefty not a righty. I like it. I think in some small way it rounds out my character.
If I’m on my hands and knees scrubbing the floor I’m more likely to do it left-handed. I open jar lids left-handed and do a way better job than I can do with my right hand. And now something new has been added. I’ve taken to helping Mike with the dishes. Not every night, but most nights I’ll dry while he washes. I do it left-handed and it feels like the most natural and normal way to do it.
Oh, I’ve tried to do it with my right hand. It’s okay for a while, but it’s actually kind of awkward. Using my left hand brings a smooth flowing rhythm to the task. Best of all, using the left side of the body kicks up the right side of the brain.
I’ve muddled around with cheap watercolor paints to try to boost my creativity and I use my left hand for that. I am a lousy artist, but at least I can claim I’m firing up my imagination. By drying dishes left-handed maybe I’m firing up my brain for an evening of writing.

14 comments:

the Bag Lady said...

Well, speaking from the "sinister" side, I am totally and completely left-handed. (Funny you should post about this - I was just thinking about it last night!). I am so totally dominated by the right side of my brain that even my left eye is dominant! (Really surprised my optometrist - apparently, it's rather rare.)

And yes, the ambidextrous thing runs in the family. Dad wrote with his right hand, but golfed and played ball left-handed.

When I was researching the family tree, a distant relative told me a story about the little one-room school house our grandmother attended - there were 9 students in the same grade, and 8 of them were lefties. Most of them were related in one fashion or another.

the Bag Lady said...

You knew, of course, that grandma was a south-paw.....

the Bag Lady said...

...and that both of Oscar's kids were, too...

Merry said...

I tried to read/learn from the book "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain," which involved drawing left-handedly. Unfortunately, I ended up with a headache on the left side of the brain. I think I'm too dexterous for my own good :(

Leah J. Utas said...

Oh, I didn't know about the ambidextrous bloodline, dfBag Lady.
Thanks. I didn't know about grandma or simply forgot.
"...8 of them were lefties. Most of them were related..." This could form the basis for an awful inbreeding joke. Didn't realize Tim was a lefty.

Merry, sorry to hear about the headache. Maybe if you don't try and just let it flow it might work.

the Bag Lady said...

Why am I suddenly hearing the banjo....?

Leah J. Utas said...

Thanks for the laugh, and, ooohhh me, too, df BagLady. Me, too!

Reb said...

Well, I am totally and completely right-handed, but I do tie my shoes left-handed. Sis taught me that!

Leah J. Utas said...

Reb - It's a good skill to have.

Thomma Lyn said...

How funny! I'm a lefty when it comes to writing, drawing, etc., but otherwise I'm quite ambidextrous. I open jars with my right hand, dribble a basketball right handed (then shoot the ball left handed), can play badminton with either hand, and both hands are strong, too, due to my classical piano training. And I can write well with my right hand, too -- and I can write backwards and "mirrored" with either hand! :)

Being ambidextrous definitely has its advantages!

Leah J. Utas said...

TL - I'm impressed. Good for you and your ambidexterosity. And that thing with the mirror writing is fascinating.

Hilary said...

My sister is a lefty and I remember her always needing to sit to the left of me if we had to share a side of the table so that our dominant hands wouldn't bump while eating.

Baggie, it's rare for the left eye to be dominant? Mine is.. hmmm.

Leah J. Utas said...

Hilary, I often eat left-handed. It's handy when I'm next to a sinister eater.

the Bag Lady said...

Hil - the optometrist seemed very surprised and tested it twice....