Life as a leftie: 3 things that make me curse being left handed

A feature that's right for the left-handed folk

Every International Left-Handers Day, I feet a smug pride about being a leftie, even though I had literally no choice in the matter.

Now, that said, the soundtrack to my childhood is peppered with my family’s screams of  “STOP! You’ll cut your fingers off” and “I can’t look at you while you’re doing that, I can’t LOOK”.

To the neighbours, it may sound like I am Ireland's answer to Hannibal Lecter but the truth is even more sinister. And I mean that literally, with sinister being the Latin for my affliction. I am a leftie. It would appear that my brain was put in backwards. But I’m in good company - Leonardo da Vinci, Picasso, Mozart and Einstein were all on Team Gauche. And Angelina, Barack, Marilyn, Hendrix and Dylan all led with the left.


The life of a southpaw is not easy and so I present my top three leftie laments:

  • School of Hard Knocks

How any left-handers get an education is beyond me. From spiral notebooks to ring binders, your hand is constantly being squashed to fit into the madness of this mixed up world. You are guaranteed to sport ink marks and smudges on a daily basis, it’s the stationery equivalent of a leper’s bell.

And worst of all were the study desks. To find a left handed one was like finding the inverted Holy Grail. Invariably I would end up sitting like a circus contortionist, twisted and tormented, blotted and broken.

My mother recently bought me a left handed pen and it is a thing of joy. I just wish I had had it twenty years ago.

stocksnap school

  •  Culinary Challenges

Walking into the kitchen is like facing down the fires of Mordor. The cords on kettles and toasters are all designed to facilitate our right-handed brethren and, ah, sisthren. The serrated edge on kitchen knives is on the wrong side, resulting in more hacking and less cutting. Peelers and corkscrews are a struggle and the dreaded can opener is always off leftie limits.

  • Hobbies (and Everything Else)

Picking a hobby is fraught with angst. You like nail art? Sorry, the manicure scissors has the cutting blade on the wrong side. And you can put down the guitar and violin unless you want to string them upside down. Oh, you want to learn how to knit or sew? Good luck finding someone who can teach you without resorting to the use of a mirror.

Golf clubs, gaming controllers, even the mouse I am using as I type this - all biased to the right, you need to go out of your way to source a sinister friendly option.

lhs scissors

Even neutral Ireland isn’t safe for the persecuted likes of us. Ciotach is the Irish for awkward or clumsy and I’m concerned that next we’ll see the ciotógs appearing on Embarrassing Bodies looking for a cure.

But we are not without hope. There are websites that sell products designed with us in mind. My personal favourite is the smudge guard. It’s like a tiny superhero suit for southpaws.

smudge guards

And my Halloween costume is sorted already - I’ll be going as my little sinister self.


My fellow club gauche members can attest to the pain of living in a world where everything is back to front. What yanks your chain? Is it the tiny chain attached to the pen in the post office that is too short to pull over to the left side? To the comments and show your support for the suffering southpaws!

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