Thursday, March 6, 2014

Are Your Brains Screwed in Backwards?

Don’t ask me why but this photo has been going around Facebook recently celebrating Left-handers day.

The blessed day is really August 13th.  But it got me to thinking about my life as a lefty.

At the age of two, I was already set to be left-handed.  When I fell off a horse and broke my left arm, my dad was thrilled!  No, not that I broke my arm exactly—just that he thought I might start using my right hand and my life would be easier.  Didn’t happen.  And, it caused my dad much frustration through the years. He was always complaining that I never could put a lock on a door correctly or twist the wire on a fence in the right direction.  My mother and I (Mom was a lefty too) were always hearing him say, “Left-handed people’s brains are screwed in backwards.”  Yeah, sometimes it felt like that too.

And although my mother taught me to hold my pencil in the same position as a right-handed person instead of like this:

In truth, I’ve always felt clumsy. (BTW, that's a photo of President Obama.)

If you are right-handed, you’re probably not aware of all the things that are designed for right-handed people and that make us lefties feel awkward. Here’s a few right off the top of my head:
  • Cutting with scissors (I’ve even wore blisters where the scissors hit me wrong)
  • Right-handed desks in school
  • Twisting and untwisting twisty-ties or wire
  • Putting locks on correctly
  • Using pens attached to cords
  • Writing with ball point pens
  • Smearing your writing with your hand
  • Flipping pages of a magazine (I always start from the back)
  • Trying to write in any kind of a binder (3-ring or spiral)
  • Keyboards (numbers are on right-hand side)
  • Bumping elbows with righties
  • TV, gaming station controls are designed for the right hand
  • Can openers
  • Trying to read measuring cups

Oh, how I could go on. I get worked up just thinking about it.

But there is a funny story I wanted to share with you about my dad…

One spring day, he and my brother were sitting out in front of the house resting after a nice lunch when two new home teachers came walking down the dirt road to our farm. 

If you’re stumped about home teachers and can’t concentrate on the rest of the story, then read this, otherwise skip to the next paragraph. Home teaching is part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) culture and is the responsibility of all Melchizedek Priesthood holders and of those who are teachers and priests in the Aaronic Priesthood. As part of their responsibility to watch over the members of the Church, home teachers visit their assigned families at least once each month to teach and strengthen them. Home teachers establish a relationship of trust with these families so that the families can call upon them in times of need. (

So, my dad elbowed my brother, grinned, and greeted the home teachers friendly-like when they approached.  Introductions were made.  You didn’t see too many farms nestled in the middle of subdivisions and these young men were in awe. They looked around our humble farm and started asking questions.

“Do you really live here?” one of them asked.


“Do you have power?”


“Where do you get your water?”

“Over yonder from the well.”

(Mind you, my father was an intelligent, licensed electrician with a job at Kennecott Copper Corporation, but he did one heck of a hillbilly impression when the opportunity arose.)

“Do you have a washing machine to wash your clothes?”

“Wife washes over yonder in the canal water.”

By then the home teachers were really baffled at our family’s primitive lifestyle right there in the middle of their fancy-smancy subdivisions. They continued with their questions and my brother tried desperately not to laugh, even biting the inside of his cheek.

“What about a dishwasher?” one of them finally asked.

My father sat up, all excited.  “We’ve got us a left-handed, belt-driven dishwasher.”  He cupped his hand to his mouth and yelled, “Come on out here, Ma.  The new home teachers wanna meet ya.”

Yeah, that was the last time those home teachers came to the farm.

Cindy A. Christiansen
Sweet Romance, Humor, Suspense…and Dogs!
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P.S. Just a little FYI on my dad… He was in a car accident in his twenties and his right eye was knocked clear out of the socket.  He never saw well out of it and had to shoot his rifle left-handed.  He’d never admit it and you better not have asked him about it.  :)

Dog image credit: izakowski / 123RF Stock Photo

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