A gibble-fisted, gar-pawed lefty and proud of it

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 14, 2006

I’ve always been out in left field. Call me a southpaw, gibble-fisted, clicky, caggy , buck-fisted, squiffy or gar-pawed. It all boils down to the same thing: I am a lefty, and proud of it.

It’s almost like being a member of a secret society. Someone watches you jotting notes down on a pad and exclaims things like, &uot;Wow, you’re a lefty!&uot; or &uot;I am always amazed to see someone writing with their LEFT hand. I don’t know how you do it.&uot;

If that someone also happens to be left-handed, a conspiratorial little smile often spreads across their face. Welcome to our charmed circle, that smile seems to say. I KNEW there was something I liked about you.

For a group that is said to be particularly bright, creative and perceptive,

we of the left-handed persuasion sure haven’t gotten good press through the centuries.

&uot;Left&uot; has been associated with everything from illegitimacy, klutziness and weak character to witchcraft and consorting with Beelzebub. Give us a break!

All the same, things are different for a left-hander growing up.

I was a kid who loved books and art. I took to reading storybooks and drawing with my Crayolas like the proverbial duck to water. Learning to write, however, was a different matter, a real struggle for me.

So were things like tying shoelaces and telling time. Sometimes, this smart kid felt like a real dummy – especially when some other kid would make smart-alecky remarks about which hand I used.

Over time, I grew to realize practically everything in the world – sports equipment, musical instruments, school desks, scissors, pencil sharpeners, notebooks – was set up backwards for me and all my fellow lefties.

Still, I learned to adapt, as we lefties all pretty much learn to do.

When I made posters for school or for fundraisers for Mama and Daddy’s Eastern Star Lodge and Masonic Lodge, I learned to work in reverse, from right to left, to keep from smearing the work I’d just done.

The way I tie my shoes is a little different from most people, but it works.

And the first time I took my pricey pair of left-handed scissors and used them to cut, I wanted to do a little dance of triumph. Finally, a pair of scissors that cut well and didn’t pinch the devil out of my hand.

Thank God we have moved beyond those barbaric years when lefty children were beaten or had their hand tied behind the back to keep them from using the so-called &uot;wrong hand.&uot;

I celebrate my left-handedness, and am delighted there is an official day of celebration just for us: International Left-Hander’s Day, which is this Sunday, August 13.

Hooray for the lefties – the only ones who are in their right minds!

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I want to remind everyone of the Watermelon Jubilee coming up this weekend right behind the YMCA on fabled Watermelon Hill.

It is not only an important fundraising opportunity for the Y, it also benefits other community organizations like the Greenville High Band Boosters (who will be supplying some of their delicious festival foods) and the Butler County Humane Society.

The BCHS will be selling some handy-dandy items like those &uot;cool-aid&uot; bandannas that really come in handy with our sweltering south Alabama heat, with the proceeds going to help our county’s homeless animals.

So put on your walking shoes, dress cool and come on out to Jubilee this Saturday and Sunday.

Browse the art and crafts booths, buy chances on the lovely watermelon quilt, enjoy the yummy treats and tap your toes to the live entertainment lineup.

You’ll have a great time and help your community, too.

Don’t forget, school is back in session…watch out for the little ones!

Angie Long is Lifestyles reporter for The Greenville Advocate. She can be reached at 382-3111 ext. 132 or via email at angie.long@greenvilleadvocate.com.