Kathy Owen did a post a few days ago called Land of the Lefty that I absolutely loved. Not only did she have turbo cool facts about Lefties, but she got me thinking about my own handedness.
I grew up left-handed and thankfully bypassed all the “re-training” that was so common in the decades before I was born. My father is right handed but both my mother and big brother are lefties. I mimicked my brother (I’m talking about the world-famous Bag Whore here) in everything else, so I’m sure the same was true of my handedness (though I’ve heard that I tie my shoes and knit backwards).
As the daughter of a military man, I grew up with guns and the joke was that I shot equally well with my eyes opened and closed. I missed everything, whether it was a clay pigeon or a stationary target.
This was a damn big deal at the time.
Firstly because we were at the shooting range like all the time. But mostly because, as the baby sister, I wanted to best my big bro at anything I could. My shooting deficiency frizzled my britches…big time.
When I was about twelve, I finally had a skeet shooting instructor watch me in action and ask my father what my dominant eye was.
“She’s a lefty. Her left eye is dominant.”
Only it isn’t.
[Here's how to tell which is your dominant eye for shooting.]
We adjusted both the gun and the way I eyeballed things and I hit every clay pigeon that sailed by. In fact, until my brother went into the military, he never beat me shooting again.
Note: Those days are long gone. He kicks my a$$ now. My only comfort is that I out-shoot Hubby.
For years, my father swore “I was actually a right-handed person, trapped in a left-handed psyche…that I’d been brainwashed by the lefties in the household…blah-blah-blah.”
Fast-forward to 2007 when my writing chapter had Sheila Lowe, a handwriting expert, come visit. To listen to her analyze the personalities associated with various types of writing was…WOW! Ms. Lowe wrote The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Handwriting Analysis and a nifty book called Handwriting of the Famous and Infamous and I’m a big fan.
She had us do a few exercises where we’d hold the pen with our fingertips and draw four interlinking circles. She then showed us how to tell from the circles which was our true, dominant hand.
After 30+ years as a lefty, I was shocked to find out it was my RIGHT hand. Holy cowbell! Don’t you hate it when your parents are spot on about something you rolled your eyes over?
Just to give you a quick summary of handedness, there are four main types:
- Right-handedness is most common. A variety of studies suggest that 70–90% of the world population is right-handed, rather than any other form of handedness.
- Left-handedness is present in about 10% of the world population.
- Mixed-handedness, also known as cross-dominance, is being able to do different tasks better with different hands. For example, a mixed-handed person might write better with their left hand, but throw a ball more efficiently with their right. (Yep, that’s me.)
- Ambidexterity is exceptionally rare, although it can be learned. A truly ambidextrous person is able to do any task equally well with either hand. Those who learn it still tend to sway towards their originally dominant hand.
I am mixed-handed, a fact that was borne out in this handedness questionaire (I scored -10) and I always figured it was because I had both left and right-handed parents.
A summary of my handedness:
- I write, eat, brush my teeth and stir a bowl with my left hand and do everything else either dominant right or mixed.
- I can write and eat right-handed, I’m just slower and less coordinated at it.
- I can write and read upside down, which I never knew was an unusual skill until recently. (To be fair, I can’t write cursive upside down, only print.)
- I can only stand to wear a watch on my left arm.
Some groovy random lefty history can be found here.
Enough about me, what about you? I’m dying to know the handedness of More Cowbell’s readers.
Are you happy with your handedness? Did you switch your handedness for any reason? Know any cool trivia facts on the subject? Also, if your handwriting has been analyzed, what does it say about you? Enquiring minds always want to know these things here at More Cowbell!
Quick Note: To avoid smeared ink all over your hand, if my paper-tilt method doesn’t work, try out these SmudgeGuard Tablet gloves. Also, if you missed Susan Spann’s post at Writers In The Storm on the 7 Steps To Writing An Author Business Plan, you’re missing out. I LOVED it!