Some of my best friends are left-handed
I think part of the reason I am so open-minded is because of where I was raised. A few blocks over from our neighborhood in New Jersey, literally on the "other side of the tracks," there was a community of lefties that I had to walk past every day going to and from St. Agnes Catholic School.
"Who are all the people who live in those funny houses?" I remember once asking my mom - I was probably in first grade at the time - "with the front doors right NEXT TO the car ports and the downspouts all feeding off to the left?"
"Those are the left-handed peoples' houses, honey," she said to me, "They build them that way because it's easier for them to get around in."
Then my dad called in from the other room "Don't you go talkin' to any of them 'Lurches' on your way home, you just walk straight home from school, y'heah?"
My mom scolded him as she often would and said to me, "Don't ever use that word. Just because people favor their left hand doesn't mean they're any different than you or me. They can go on to lead remarkably productive lives. President Coolidge was left-handed: Don't ever forget that."
Now, so many years later, I still live by those words.
Just a few years ago I even hired a lefty. I walked into the conference room where he was completing the aptitude test and quickly averted my eyes (like I always do).
The rest of the interview was barely strained at all, save for me consciously trying to avoid using the words "right" or "left" and ultimately I hired the fellow. After we bought the appropriate furniture for his office he worked out just fine.
I have found that giving directions is my biggest challenge when interacting with lefties. I just hate to use the words, I don't know why. So I tend to say things like "when you get to Blossom Boulevard turn towards the big water tower on the far side of town" or "go to the first traffic light and take a turn in the direction of your gas pedal." It works out pretty good, I must say. But sometimes I just have to break down and give the directions in Spanish.
If anyone has any edifying or heart-warming stories about your personal interactions with the "differently-handed" folks, please pass them along. I think there are some lefties in the world feeling a little bit left out and who could use a little love right about now.
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