I've always had the usual lefty problems like squinty writing, ink smudges all over my hand, computer mice (mouses?) being on the wrong side and problems with right-handed scissors, but I thought that was about as far as it went. Until I signed up to the Left Handers Club* website. Ever since, I've realised that many of the everyday things that I find difficult or annoying, could be a result of being a lefty.
For instance, the beauty salon I go to for various, erm, hair-removal procedures, likes to treat you like a visiting dignitary (this is before they make you remove your clothes and reveal your almost-naked body to them in all it's wibbly glory) and they always take your coat away and hang it up out of sight when you go in. When your ritual humiliation is complete and it's time for you to leave, they bring it back and attempt to help you on with it. I hate this part of the process even more than the ripping out of my hair by the roots, because no matter how hard I try, I CANNOT get my arms to manoeuvre themselves into those arm-holes without getting tangled up. The serene beauty on the reception desk smiles politely, but I know she's thinking what a unsophisticated klutz I am. I've always thought it was just me, but then I came across this section of the LHC website. Apparently, I am not alone.
One of the worst things for me, particularly at this time of year, is the problem of crossing other people's paths on the pavement. You know when you're walking down a busy street, and you and the person coming towards you both move to the same side to let the other pass, and then back again, and you end up doing a weird sort of dance until somebody takes the initiative and just picks a side and sticks to it? It happens to me ALL THE TIME. And I hate it. At this time of year, when the streets are so much busier than normal, and everyone is in much more of a hurry than normal, the problem is compounded. It happens once, and I shrug it off. Then it happens again two minutes later, and I start thinking about it too much, which of course makes it worse and it happens AGAIN while I'm busy trying to figure out whose fault it was that last time. Then, you'll get some nippy sweety like the one I encountered the other night, who huffs and tuts and ostentatiously steps round you as if you're a pile of steaming, fresh dog shit. And then you curl up into a ball in the middle of George IV Bridge and weep quietly at your own inadequacy.
So the next time you end up dancing in the street with an ink-smudged, harassed-looking person with one arm out of their coat sleeve, give them a wide berth (and perhaps an encouraging smile) for the chances are that other person is one of my left-handed brethren, and you are the 467th person they have got in the way of today, through no fault of their own.