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Sonoma Family Life Magazine

Those Poor Lefties!

Feb 28, 2011 12:00AM

Those poor Lefties (queue sad violin music)! They pick up a mug, and the picture is facing away from them. They struggle while using regular scissors. And who hasn’t giggled watching a Lefty write while their hand smears ink across the page as they sit at their school desk made for Righties? As only 10% of the population (boys are more likely to be Lefties), Lefties are definitely a minority.

It does seem like Lefties are at a disadvantage, doesn’t it? I mean, just for fun, watch a Lefty try to take a picture (the button is on the right side), use a regular computer mouse or learn how to play an instrument. One Lefty I know gripes that his clothes are always on the hangers “backwards.” At mealtimes he has to sit on the left side of his brother or else they bump elbows and get into a wrestling match. My friend Ambre always looked forward to being able to drive with her left hand…until she realized she’d have to start the car and shift gears with her right hand. I’m telling you I didn’t think I’d make it to see my 18th birthday while I was riding around town with her.

Good thing Lefties are now seen as special rather than strange. Ask an older Lefty how they liked being forced to write with their right hand in school to conform to an “oppressive” Righty world.

If my youngest son ends up a Lefty, I will tell him of difficulties he would face and of heart attacks he would inflict upon me if he chose a career as a woodworker. Not only are there problems like sawdust blowing in faces, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard about my husband’s identical twin brother, a Lefty, nearly cutting his arm off while making something in his woodshop. There just might come a day when those “high fives” he does with the kids turn into “high threes.”

In trying to help all my Lefty pals and to get a jump on life in case my own baby is a Lefty, I found a couple of cool sites ( and with life-changing tools for Lefties! Guitars, gardening equipment, tape measures, tool belts, can openers, sporting goods and school supplies are just a few of the offerings. You can even buy those famed Lefty spiral notebooks online. And for dozens of ideas for making your Lefty’s life easier from childhood through adulthood, check out the book “Your Left-Handed Child.”

Finally, if you have a Lefty, she might enjoy knowing some fun facts (like how super smart and superior Lefties are) from to make her feel more special:

  • One in 4 Apollo mission astronauts were left-handed, which is 250% more than the normal level.
  • In sets of twins (either identical or fraternal), one will most likely be left-handed.
  • Left-handers adjust to seeing underwater more easily. (How the heck did they test that one out?!)
  • Left-handers do great in sports
  • like tennis, baseball, swimming
  • and fencing.
  • Four of the five original designers of the Macintosh computer were left-handed.

Righty Kerrie McLoughlin parents her 4 Righty kidlets (plus one who is too young to tell) with her Righty husband and “rights” it all down at