In our house it’s normal to be left-handed. I’m left-handed, my husband too and now my daughter. “What? All three of you are left-handed?” is the usual reaction we receive, and I smile with delight at being wonderfully weird.
For me it’s never been an issue.
– Scissors? No problem.
– My knife and fork? Always the right way round.
However, it was only when learning to write with a calligraphy pen during year 5 handwriting classes that I became aware of my ‘imperfection’. Being forced to write in the style of a Victorian was hard enough for most kids of 9 and 10, but as the ink smeared from the back of my hand along the page with every letter I wrote, I felt an overwhelming sense of disappointment in something I couldn’t change. But practice makes perfect and through pure determination in adapting the way I held the pen I ended up top of the class.
Worldwide, only roughly 12 to 13% of people are lefties and statistically females are less likely to write with their left hand, but with Oprah, Julia Roberts and Lisa Kudrow part of this exclusive club, I’m in good company.
Other well known ‘lefties’ include Albert Einstein, Barack Obama and footballer Pelé. The Mona Lisa, probably one – if not the most iconic and recognisable pieces of artwork in the world was in fact the creation of left-handed Leonardo Da Vinci. Some of the best-known songs of all time were penned by perhaps the most famous Liverpudlian leftie, Paul McCartney, and next time you see a picture of the flag being placed on the moon by Neil Armstrong back in 1969, take a closer look at which hand he uses. Yes, you’ve guessed he too is out of this world.
So next time you see someone clutching their pen in the ‘wrong’ hand or comment on someone’s handwriting being neat “considering you’re a leftie”, don’t think of it as a negative – we don’t. For every ink smear, awkward handshake and spiral notebook issue we’ve overcome, this International Left-Handers Day, celebrate and give us all a big high-five… with the left hand obviously!
By Vicky Booth, LOVELIVE Production Editor and proud left-hander