the year of LIVING UNOFFICIALLY

365 days of celebration

13
August

International Left Handers Day

Posted by Brittany

International Left Handers DayThe first International Lefthanders Day was observed on August 13, 1976. Thirty-five years later, the celebration continues to honor the seven to ten percent of the world’s population who consider themselves left-handed. Left-handedness can be a challenge. Not only does the word “left” historically carry negative connotations (consider phrases like “two left feetword,” “out in left field”, or even “sinister,” which comes from the Latin phrase for “left-hand side”), but there are also the practical inconveniences — most power tools, can openers, notebooks, desks, and even shears are designed for the right-handed world. In fact, throughout much of the last century left-handed children were even forced to fit in to the right-handed world, learning to write and play sports with their right hands. And though the theory has been disputed, some have posited that left-handers have the added misfortune of shorter life spans. International Lefthanders Day draws awareness to the injustices and biases against the world’s left-handers, choosing to celebrate their uniqueness instead.

Even though left-handers account for only a small part of the population, I feel like I’m constantly surrounded by lefties. My mom is left-handed, even though her teachers tried to break her of the “bad habit.” She has four full siblings who are all right-handed but, oddly, her four younger half-siblings are all left-handed! Then there’s my generation: my brother and I both married lefties. So when my parents, my brother and sister-in-law, and Chris and I all get together for dinner or a family event, we’re evenly split! And so it was at lunch today. To celebrate International Lefthanders Day I spent the day with my favorite left-handers, Chris and my Mom. After having a lovely lunch with my parents (for those of you who have a special left-hander in your life, you know that seating arrangements must always be considered when going out to eat with a lefty in order to prevent excessive elbow-knocking), we all went shopping, and finally capped the day off with an impromptu visit to our local A&W restaurant (home of the Root Beer Float. When we returned home and were straightening up, I came across Chris’s left-handed softball mitt and we talked for awhile about what it’s like for him to play as a lefty. Elbows aside, I’m very lucky to have some special left-handers in my life.

As our last bit of celebration in honor of today’s “unofficial”, Chris would like to share his thoughts about life as a lefty:

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