Right, Left or someone in the Ambidextrous?

Thought I was going to go all political on you here huh?  Think again!!
 
Recently, while having a discussion with AtHomeDaddy on Facebook, a topic came up that inspired me to develop into a post.  (Not a "great" one mind you.. but a post none the less.)
 
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I recently brought up the topic of someday replacing my gun, in which I talked about how it would be nice to FINALLY be able to shoot a gun made for a left handed shooter.
 
This brought on some (fun and good natured) ribbing about me being "wrong handed", and how my (yet unpublished) story of a unproductive yet "successful" duck hunting trip could have been made more "productive" had I been shooting with the "correct hand".  We bantered about a bit, and he had admitted that he was slightly envious of my left handedness (aren't you all??)  He has a "lefty-in-the-family" and would like to be able to help them out more than he can with various tasks (that require a left or right handed touch).
 
I have often wondered about my "left-handedness", "right-handedness", and "ambidextrousness".
 
My strong arm is my left arm.  I throw a ball left handed.  I bat left handed.  I dribble a basketball left handed.  I am left eye dominant.  I shoot left handed.  I golf left handed.  Most things I do are "left handed". 
But....
I write right handed, and I cut right handed.
Yet...
I can catch a ball ambidextrously (more on that later), and I eat ambidextrously.  (I am as comfortable with a fork or knife in one hand as the other.  In fact, at any given meal, you will see me interchanging the fork and knife - depending on my "angle of attack".  It is easier for me to switch utensils than to turn the plate, or readjust the food on the plate...)
 
It has always been sort of a conundrum to me.  Why do I do so many things left handed, and yet a few of the more important things I do right handed.
 
My parents and I have always theorized about this.  One of the most practical, and (I suspect) accurate explanations is that at a young age (perhaps kindergarten, or even "nursery school" (the "olden days" term for preschool)) the teachers noticed that I was taking my pencil, and/or scissors in my left hand, and forcibly made me use my right hand - "converting" me (like sheep to the slaughterhouse) into the world of the right-handed.
 
According to my mom, it was not unusual "back in the day" for schools to try and convert lefties into righties..  Which would explain the right handed writing, and cutting (school related activities) and the left handed everything else (non-school related activities).
 
Another notable impact the lefty/righty dominance had early in my life was little league T-ball.  I played only one season of little league (probably around first grade).  I quickly discovered the inherent problem of both throwing AND catching left handed. 
 
That one (and only) season of t-ball was all about learning how to catch the ball (in my left hand), grab the ball (with my right hand) out of the glove, drop the glove (from my left hand), put the ball back into my now empty left hand, and then - throw the ball.
 
When that season was done, so was I.
 
I never picked up another glove until I was (somewhere around) 12 or 13 years old.  While out "junkin" (another AtHomeDaddy reference)  Anyway, while out junkin' - I came across a RIGHT HANDED baseball glove in someone's trash. 
To be completely honest with you all, I am not a sports minded sort of guy.  Because of that, I (being completely honest here) never even knew something like a right handed baseball glove even existed!  It was a true "find"!
For the first time since I was about 5 years old, I found that I could actually catch the ball in one hand and throw the ball in the other!  Over the next few years I re-taught myself how to catch "right-handed".  I never did play any sort of community or school sanctioned baseball, and never really participated in much more than playing backyard catch, but I could now catch the ball ambidextrously.
 
So, that is how I roll through life.  Mostly (but not quite) a lefty, not quite a righty, and not quite ambidextrous.
 
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Can I be the only one out there like this?  I know, I know... I'm an "oddball" (I have been told that MANY times by MANY people).  If what I suspect is true, and that teachers (back in the day) did their best to "convert" us lefties into righties - there has to be a few more of "us" out there...
 
Sorry AtHomeDaddy, I cannot help you teach your youngin' how to be a better lefty (at least when it comes to writing, and cutting...)

9 comments:

  1. You're not the only one . . . my son is the same way. He bats
    "both" handed, golfs left-handed, throws right-handed, plays hockey both-handed, and writes with both hands . . . if he gets tired of writing with this right hand, he switches to his left - and you can't tell the difference.

    He's 8, so out of the "I don't know which hand to use" stage. And obviously not a product of the old school teachings that all people normal are right-handed ;-) 2 Grandpas are lefties, and hubby and I are righties . . . I guess he got all the genes :-)

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  2. I write and eat left handed, but use scissors and knives right handed. I don't throw well, but the right hand is slightly better than the left. I consider myself left-handed.

    One son started out truly ambidextrous. He was equally comfortable using either hand to write with. His teacher refused to allow that and forced him to choose. He became a lefty. Had I only known that I would soon be taking him out of public school and homeschooling him! I would have encouraged him being bi-manual. Maybe even had him use one hand one day and the other the next, or one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. Would his handwriting have been the same or different?

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  3. Wow. I didn't know there were so many ambidextrous people out there. I'm not one of them. All my girls are lefties, and I suspect my baby is as well, but they are not bi-manual. I have never had the teachers in their school try to change them, either. That would be really great to be equally comfortable with either hand.

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  4. Yep, sounds like you would just confuse the poor girl. So stay away from my progeny, you freak of nature!

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  5. I have 3 righties and 2 lefties. I couldn't teach the lefties how to tie shoes or write, thank God their teacher was a lefty.
    A high percentage of ambies are dyslexic also, but also exceptionally bright.
    It's just all how your brain is wired.

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  6. Like you I can eat with both hands. But only when eating popcorn.

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  7. It was the 70s my man.
    My adopted mom used to smack my left hand when I used it (she wasn't a very nice person). I didn't find out about this until I was grown up and my dad told me (they've long since divorced).
    I was born a lefty, but my strong arm is my right one now.
    Things I still do with my left hand better:
    - brush my teeth (I can't get the motions right with my right hand)
    - eat
    - clap (it's my dominant hand)

    You're not the only freak.
    MLI shows a bit of the ambi, but MLE is definitely a righty.

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  8. Weaselmomma - Very interesting.... Our #3 of 5 is our only lefty child, and he is dyslexic.

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  9. You can make A LOT of money in baseball being ambidextrous. Don't forget, there are lots of tools you can purchase from THE LEFTORIUM for your needs. HA! You know, this just solidifies your weirdness!

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