From A to Zowie
Friday is National Lefthanders Day!
By Richard Zowie
(Published in the August 11, 2010 issue of the Clio, Mich.-based Mt. Morris/Clio Birch Run/Bridgeport Herald)
Friday, August 13 is National Lefthanders Day, and I wonder how many left-handed people there are in Mt. Morris, Genesee, Clio, Birch Run, Bridgeport and the surrounding townships.
How many have been frustrated as I am when trying in vain to use a pair of scissors designed for someone who is right handed?
How many were bitterly disappointed, as I was at Army basic training in 1996, when told that the M-60 machine gun is designed for right-handed firing only? (I know exactly what you’re thinking and the answer is no: I never tried to shoot at any right-handed drill sergeants).
How many are sick of being called wrong-handers?
When did I first realize I was left-handed? It was back in kindergarten during the prior millennia in 1978. I wrote my name down and realized all the other kids were using their right hands to write while I used my left hand. Curious, I tried using my right hand. It felt clumsy, foreign, so I switched back to my left hand.
Richard “Lefty” Zowie, around 1980.
My mother, upon realizing I was left-handed and struggled with scissors, bought me a pair of left-handed scissors. Likewise, for Christmas around 1980 I received a lefthander’s baseball glove.
While I’m ambidextrous when it comes to scissors, there is virtually nothing I do right-handed. I throw, eat, bat, kick, and write left-handed. If I ever take up golf someday, I am quite certain I will do that left-handed; I’ve tried golfing right-handed, and it does not work.
One of these days I’d also love to learn to play guitar. One professional guitarist suggested I try playing guitar right-handed to see if that works for me having my dominant hand working the chords. I tried it, and I found that I would do much better playing left-handed. Yes, I know that Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry and former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony are natural lefties who play their instruments right-handed, but for me playing southpaw is far more comfortable.
I don’t know if being left-handed is genetic, and if so, my family seems to have strange trends. I have two left-handed relatives. On my mother’s side, there’s my cousin Greg, who calls himself a “confused” lefthander due to his days where schoolteachers would try to make him write right-handed. My Dad’s younger brother, Uncle Jerry, is also a lefty. Both of my parents are right-handed. However, of the three Zowie kids, two of us ended up being southpaws–myself and my middle sister, Misti. Also, through marriage I have two other southpaw relatives as my wife’s younger brother Joseph writes left-handed and her Aunt Carrie is also left-handed.
That being said, you’d think that some of the Zowie grandkids would be left-handed. Nope. All five of my oldest sister Sabrina’s kids are right-handed while both of Misti’s sons are righties. And as for my three sons, all are righties. Charles, the middle son, is left-eye dominant and feels more comfortable firing BB guns left-handed.
And, of course, while I fit the left-handed stereotype of being clumsy and eccentric, I don’t exactly fit another one. Yes, I often have sloppy handwriting, but I’ve found that whenever I write at normal speed instead of being in “I’m in a hurry” mode, my handwriting’s actually legible.
Even to me.
Richard Zowie grew up in Beeville and currently works as a writer in Michigan. Send comments (including, yes, left-handed ones) to firstname.lastname@example.org.