Left Hander’s Lament

left handed
Strikethrough wasn’t working. I got creative.

I am left handed. Small, in the way revelations go, but not totally insignificant in the course of life. Y’all know there was a study published in the 80s that showed left handers live an average of NINE years less than right handers? NINE. That is not insignificant. It’s also thankfully not true.

That study went back to the 1900s when looking at left handed life expectancy and included a time when factory work was extremely dangerous and designed for right handed people. “Alright now Thadius, to turn off the industrial press just pull this lever with your right hand…What’s that you say? Oh. Okay well then twist your body with your head angled under the press plates and pull it with your left hand. Up to you.”

So there was always doubt about that study but none of that got passed down to a young left handed girl who grew up in the 80s and just today while writing a blog post found out that whole shit wasn’t true! Thank god I no longer have to shoot to live to 103 to try to make it to 94! Whew! Maybe I can start smoking after all!

Because that 9 year thing? That would have been the largest determining factor in life expectancy, bar none! Tell your left hand friends this spectre hanging over their lives is a myth! Yell it from the rooftops!

And then realize that while relieved, they are still going to be fucking annoyed on a regular basis by stuff like this:

Looks like my right handed mother just got an awesome weeding tool…

So this is a perfect example that, while left handers don’t die significantly earlier, they do have more accidental injuries: random things are designed for y’all ungrateful right handers and you don’t even know it!

  • Measuring cups. I always get the metric side facing me. Left handed AND American, ffs.
  • Spiral Notebooks. Having to rest my hand on metal coils is awesome.
  • Curling Irons- power buttons and temperature adjustments press against my palm and get turned off/cranked up on the regular.
  • Cool asian weeding tool I saw on a gardening blog I read and bought all excited about but I’d have to angle to the outside of my hand to use. God. Dammit. (think it was on Box and Bay but now I can’t track it back for sure. I blame myself here- the gardening advice on the blog is spot on and I recommend you check it out.)

And while it isn’t nine years different, there is a slight difference in lifespan, most commonly explained by traffic accidents. Being left handed factors in there due to the fact that if you jerk the wheel for whatever reason, falling asleep/startled by something- you’ll pull more strongly on your dominant hand and that pulls us into oncoming traffic. At least if that happens we don’t have to deal with the scissor thing anymore though. Silver lining?

6 thoughts on “Left Hander’s Lament

  1. Well, I had to read this post, too . . . Because I AM A LEFTY!!! Scirrors are the worst. Dragging ink across my papers while a student sucked. I never thought about the going into oncoming traffic issue – YIKES!! And I should be on high alert, because I really struggle to stay awake while driving. I attribute that to my celiac disease, although having been diagnosed like 4 years ago I probably cannot blame my constant fatigue on celiac anymore as I should be absorbing my iron by now. I digress. I have four siblings. None of them are lefties. None have celiac. Just goes to show how very special I am. Right?

  2. My son is a lefty, his experiences have been valuable instruction for me. Didn’t think about the car being pulled into oncoming traffic, but yes, lots of scissor incidents!

  3. Maybe they DO die earlier due to the frustration they encounter all the time, trying to use tools (like scissors and golf clubs) made for right-handed people. I have two sisters who are left-handed. Let’s hope that prediction of an early death isn’t true. And good luck to you finding all the right tools you need.

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