November 28, 2005

Table Manners for Lefties

A Reader wrote:

Do you use your knife and fork like a lefty or a righty? My dad is a lefty and my mum a righty. Neither considered this to be any kind of abnormality or disadvantage so I was encouraged to use my left hand except at the dinner table. I was taught that I was to use a knife in my right hand and a fork in my left simply because this was the correct way to use them. I never had any drama about this as it was put to me in a way that suggested it was just as incorrect to swap as it would be to chew with my mouth open or wipe my mouth on the table cloth. However, they weren't as strict about the spoon and so I used a spoon in my left hand even though it is considered in polite circles correct to use the right (and in the interest of being considered to be "polite company" I have taught myself to use a spoon in the right hand with no difficulty).

I can see merit in this. For instance when I eat out with a group of right handers I don't have the problem of bumping my neighbour which would annoy me as much as it would annoy them. I also don't feel the need to rearrange the cutlery as soon as I sit at a dining table.

I can also see it from the point of view of restrauteurs. Despite the fact that there is an increasing number of lefties in our society we are still the minority. A restaurant could not know whether any diners are left handed so it makes sense to set the table for right handers. It also makes sense, in my opinion, for left handers to conform in this one area as it just makes life easier for everyone - lefties included. To be honest if I'd been allowed to use cutlery as my natural inclination would have been I'd be one unhappy camper by now. I would be so fed up with having to rearrange cutlery and bumping the person next to me, and them bumping me, I would dread eating in any kind of company.

My point is that if I had left handed children this is one area where I would teach them to use their right hand in preference as I thank my parents for teaching me this one thing on which they insisted I swap.

What do others think?

November 13, 2005

Any other uncreative left handers except me?

A Reader wrote:

Most people have this notion that left-handers are more creative and artistic. However, I am a left-hander (or at least I perceive myself as one - doing most stuff with my left) and I am definitely not creative and artistic. I have this gut feeling (after attending some guitar lessons) that I am tone deaf as well. Based on my life experiences and the random tests that I do, I came to a conclusion that I am left brain oriented.

Am I really the odd one out in the minority?