How do I get a holiday printed on the calendar? Do I start in Washington, DC? Wait, maybe that's not such a good idea. (I don’t know if we’ll be able to get bi-partisan support for something that has the word “left” in it). Besides, there actually already IS a day set aside to honor my people and me - International Left-Handers’ Day, August 13 - but I haven't seen it on any of the calendars at Barnes and Noble or even at the Ninety-Nine Cents store! I just recently found out about this international day of celebration, but let me tell you it wasn't an easy search, not even with google on my side. My people are quite humble, stoic, resigned, and perhaps even a bit shy about their identity. But I'm resigned no longer because I have arrived. It was a journey of some 66 years, but I'm finally here, ready to take my place alongside my brothers and sisters in handedness (when I can organize them), raise my clenched left fist, and begin shouting, "Power to the Left. Power to the Left. Power to the Left (HANDERS) that is. Power to all Left Handed People Everywhere! Power to the Adaptors of the World!” Call Hallmark and tell them to get it on their calendars. We’ll march 60’s style. We'll protest; we’ll picket: “Hell no, we won't go until you print that now!“
I don't know why it's taken me so long to speak out. I don't really know where I've been all these years - busy I suppose - busy trying to turn door knobs clockwise with my left hand - busy trying to peel potatoes with peelers whose blade is angled for right handers - busy trying to re-arrange whatever space I'm sharing with right-handed family, friends, or co-workers who unknowingly re-arrange my rearrangements. (No one can ever find the salt and pepper shakers in our house. They move back and forth in the cupboard depending on whether I put put them back or they're left in the hands of my right-handed husband.
But I remain silent about my handedness no longer.
I'm not sure what brought me here. It could be aging. It seems that around 40 or 50 you start doing things you've never done before -little things - like wearing barrettes for example. Around my 50th birthday or so, I decided to start wearing my hair longe r than it had ever been before to distract people from the fact that it was becoming thinner than it had ever been before. And, of course, with long hair comes the necessity of barrettes - especially if the hair in question is the wild, course, and frizzy Rozanne Rozannadana type that looks like some giant sized SOS or Brillo pad that's been glued onto your head. You need to get that arrangement under control. So at 50 I started buying barrettes, fancy ones, cute ones, all kinds of barrettes. My favorite barrette was one I purchased from the International Bazaar at the MN state fair, doncha' know. This barrette was special. It was decorated with 5 3/4" Guatemalan worry dolls in tiny traditional woven costumes hand sewn together probably by someone with tiny traditional fingers and deftly glued onto the outer clip of the barrette. Sweet. All that summer I wore my hair in that barrette until one morning I looked in the mirror - the hand mirror that showed the back view of my hairdo. It was then I understood why I was experiencing a high volume of snickers from people I passed by. No, they weren't making fun of the thinning gray at top my head, they were laughing at the Guatemalan girls standing upside down as in the back of my head.
Ah... So.... barrettes are right handed. Who knew? If you put one in your hair from the left side, it's upside down!!!!!!!! Grist for the mill that grinds one into a Revolutionary.
Stay tuned for my next essay which maps out my plan for Revolution. Meanwhile. to all my left-handed friends, keep thinking: "Power to the Left. Power to the Left. Power to the Left (HANDERS) that is."