in the genetic lottery i don`t think i ever had a chance not to be left-handed, from conception the odds were severely stacked against me.
i come from a long line left-handedness; my mother, my father, my maternal grandfather, my paternal grandmother, you get the idea and i`ve managed to pass it on to my children as well.
growing up with my mother i never realised that i was in the minority. this was prior to the advent of left handed scissors and knives [not necessarily prior but we certainly didn`t have access], but somehow we made out. i`m somewhat ambidextrous now, i can use a pair of scissors in either hand, i`m mostly right-handed in the kitchen but i still haven`t mastered peeling an orange.
i remember my first day of school. i came home sullen, all my mother`s questions were greeted with monosyllabic responses. my mother knew something was wrong from the word go. i had actually wanted to go to school, so my unresponsiveness was clearly indicative of something major, eventually she managed to pry it out of me that i had been spanked for writing with my left hand. i had one of those old fashioned teachers that believed that left-handedness could be beaten out of you.
the next day my mother showed up in school and had one of the quietest discussions with the teacher. never had any more troubles after that.
i had another run in with the education system in high school during my o`level examinations. the entire year has to take math and english, so 160+ students are in the study hall, which contain… drumroll please… those crappy right-handed desks. how the hell were supposed to write what`s supposed be one of our life determining exams hunched sideways over a desk. being the trouble maker that i was, i launched a protest, managed to delay the exam for half hour til we were moved to another room with tables.
one thing i`ve noticed about growing up left handed with my mother is that i learned to write properly. i don`t do that thing with my hand bent into this odd shape, wrist forward, like you`re going to stab yourself in the heart at any moment, nor do i turn whatever i`m writing on almost upside down, i never understood that and i think that`s one of the first things people notice when i start writing with my left hand.
i used to have beautiful handwriting too. but with all the time i spend at the computer i can`t even sign my name in any legible manner, but that is an entry for another day.
left-handed, sinestra, gauche
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