If you’re right-handed and you’ve made it to this page, you’re surely wondering what you’ve gotten yourself into.
And why. Saturday (Aug. 13) is International Left-Handers Day, an obscure “holiday” that probably very few left-handers even know about, and most right-handed people couldn‚t care less about.
But maybe by the time you make it to the last page of this edition, you‚ll have a greater appreciation for what left-handers deal with on a daily basis in a right-handed world. If you think leafing through a newspaper printed backwards (at least to right-handed readers) is difficult, image what lefties have to deal with when using all the things invented for right-handers: scissors, school desks, spiral notebooks, computer mouse, gearshifts in a vehicle, etc.
So that‚s why today‚s edition of Your TIMES has the stories it does and is printed where it opens from left to right. We think this design gives everyone an idea of what it would be like to function in a left-handed society, and for your counterparts to recognize the obstacles you have to hurdle to function in a right-handed society.
We hope you enjoy this special edition, and make sure all your other southpaw friends get a copy of Your TIMES for their enjoyment.
Today‚s edition is dedicated not only to left-handers everywhere, but also to two people who are special to me.
One is my daughter, Lindsay, who lives in Virginia Beach. I enjoyed the challenges her left-handedness created as a child for two right-handed parents, but she handled everything with ease, as she seems to do everything else. She was a terror on the tennis court as a high schooler, not unlike pro tennis players Martina Navratilova, Jimmy Connor, John McEnroe and Rafael Nadal (at least in her father‚s eyes).
Interestingly, she ended up marrying a lefty. And they got to experience what their right-handed parents faced, because they have two children âÂ€Â” both righthanders.
The other is my mother- in-law, Frances Pettigrew. Even though she has been gone for about 40 years, I think she knows this special edition is published in her memory.
The first time I became aware of International Left-Handers Day and saw a newspaper printed the way this edition is printed, was when my wife, Brenda, was advertising director for a newspaper in southeastern Iowa. It was a hit, not only with left-handers and the public at-large, but also with the Iowa Newspaper Association in their Better Newspaper Contest where the left-handed newspaper won first place. (It also took top honors at other newspapers where Brenda and I have been in West Texas, South Texas, Ohio, Virginia and Ardmore.)
Brenda, a late-life child, tells the story her mother used to tell about how embarrassed she was as a lefty 100 years ago. As a little girl in school, her teachers would tie her left hand behind her back to try to make her write with her right hand. It didn‚t take. It just served to make her an object of ridicule, and singled her out as being different. That humiliation marked her for life, and she always seemed to think less of herself and her accomplishments.
It‚s well-documented that left-handers are ultra- talented and creative âÂ€Â” Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Mozart, Aristotle, presidents, astronauts, professional athletes, actors, business magnates âÂ€Â” and Brenda says her mother was just as talented. She was a master seamstress, making, among other things, beautiful draperies for her church sanctuary as will as her home. Sewing was but one of her many talents, but she never got over the embarrassment she endured in the classroom.
So, Lindsay and Frances, this newspaper is in recognition of you, your many talents and your beautiful souls. And for right-handers everywhere, celebrate lefthanders with whom you come in contact, and appreciate the challenges they must overcome that we right-handers take for granted.