Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Lefty's Lament

I'll bet you didn't know I was part of a repressed minority. I have had to struggle my entire life, living in a world designed for the other 90% of people, and facing constant reminders that I was different. It's true: I am left-handed.

Now, I was fortunate enough to grow up in a time (the 1970s) when teachers didn't try to force me to write with my right hand, and since I come from a long line of lefties, my mom made me practice writing so I didn't develop that typical cramped lefty "curl." Still, I realized early on that the world wasn't exactly accommodating for us southpaws:
  • I'm in elementary school, cutting out construction paper with the rest of the class, and even if I can manage to find the single pair of "left-handed" scissors* in the class bucket, the edges have invariably been ruined by someone using them right-handed, and they don't work. By the time I'm a teenager, I cut things out right-handed. (And I still do.)
  • I'm eleven or twelve, experiencing the brave new world of LED digital technology, and my grandma gives me a really groovy gift for Christmas: a nice shiny metal pen with a digital clock at the tip. Of course, using it in my left hand means the clock reads upside down, so it's only accurate when it's 10:01 or 9:06 or 5:12.
  • I'm forty-*coughcough* and TSU gets us a new iron. It has a really nice retractable cord to keep it neat, but there's a little problem: the cord exits out the right-hand side. Which is fine, if you like to iron right-handed:
See? Very convenient: the cord stays away from the iron, and you can tuck it away when you're done so there's less chance it hangs out and someone trips on it or the cat bats at it and the iron goes flying and bashes their little kitty heads or it sets the carpet on fire. Great engineering!






So this is what happens:
The cord comes out the right side and doubles back on itself. Whenever I lift the iron, I have to reach my right hand over my left and pick up the cord so it doesn't get trapped under the hot metal plate. Since I most often iron large pieces of fabric, or long seams, that's a lot of lifting and resetting. Now sure, if I ironed from the other side of the board it wouldn't be a problem (except I'd be trapped between the board and the wall with no room to move), but that's not the point. The point is that once again, whoever designed this household item had no idea that placing the cord on one side could pose a problem to anyone. Everybody irons with the same hand, don't they? Just like everybody signs with the right hand so we'll attach the pen on the right side.... Grrr.

Don't worry too much about my oppressed self, though. Studies show that lefties have an advantage when it comes to physical combat, so expect to find my left foot in your face if you try to attack me.

*if you don't understand what a major difference there is between left- and right-handed scissors, this video explains it's not just in the shape of the grip.

1 comment:

  1. Thor agrees completely and feels your frustration. Though we both wonder what that strange device you're using lefty on your clothes is.