5 Reasons It Sucks To Be Left Handed

by derek on December 20, 2007 · 46 comments

Last night my wife were out trying to find the last few Christmas presents and as we strolled through the local Guitar Center, I was reminded of the fact that there are times that it sucks to be left handed.
1. Good luck finding a left handed guitar.
My youngest son has been learning to play guitar and I have tried to pick up his guitar and play a little but it feels terrible to try playing right handed. While at Guitar Center, I was looking at the package deals to get a bass guitar and an amp – all of them were right handed guitars.
As we browsed through the selection of guitars and pointed out models we thought our son would love, I noticed that every single one of them was right handed. Now I was on a mission to find a left handed guitar. Just when I thought it was hopeless, I spotted three left handed guitars that looked like they were from 1980 tucked into the far corner of the store.
While I didn’t ask anyone at the store, I am sure that many of the guitars can be special ordered for a left handed player but what if I want to test it out before ordering? Some might say that you should learn to play guitar right handed to avoid this problem but I think that is ridiculous.
2. Pass the left handed scissors.
What? Oh, you only have “regular” scissors. Why do I need to be labeled as irregular just because I want to cut a damn piece of paper with my dominant hand?
Don’t even try to use a right handed pair of scissors with your left hand as the piece of paper will come out looking like it had a bad encounter with a paper shredder.
3. Sure, I’ll play in your softball league – I just need to go buy a new softball mitt.
As a left handed player that is in need of a new mitt, you might as well go buy some leather and stitch one yourself.
Have you been in a sporting goods store recently? You’ll be sure to find all of the latest models of mitts from all of the top manufacturers. Your mouth begins to water as you find the mitt you’ve been looking for but they only have it for a right handed player.
You’ll be lucky to find five mitts in the entire store that are meant to be used by a left handed person – four of which are guaranteed not to fit your hand.
4. Those small, crappy desks at school aren’t designed for you.
Do you remember the desks at school where you slide into the seat from the left and the top of the desk extends out from the right and to the front?
Those desks are very comfortable to sit and rest your arm while you take notes during class – as long as you’re writing with your right hand. Have you ever noticed how many left handed people write with their arm all curled up and twisted? It’s because of those damn desks that force lefties to twist and contort themselves to be able to write without their arm slipping off the desk.
Your school might have had a few of the desks that were actually designed for lefties, although chances are that they were locked away in a storage closet or were being used to hold the globe and other classroom decorations.
5. Every time you write something, you are guaranteed to smudge at least once.
Anyone that is left handed will know exactly what I am talking about.
When you’re left handed and writing on a piece of paper, no matter how diligent you are you will eventually rub the edge of your hand across the ink or pencil and end up smearing/smudging on the paper.
The worst is when you slide your hand across a spot of wet ink and it smears on the edge of your hand but you don’t realize it. As you continue to write across the paper and move your hand, you’re leaving small marks of ink all over the paper as it rubs off from your hand.
I love being a lefty but it really sucks sometimes.
These are just a few of the examples of why it can really suck to be a lefty but I could likely mention many more that right handed people likely never even think about.
Here is one that often goes overlooked – put your watch on your right wrist and then try to wind the watch or change the date without take it off. On most watches the little twisty knobs are on the right edge, which is perfect if you wear the watch on your left wrist and need to adjust the knob with your right hand.
In many cases, left handed people learn how to adapt to the situation because there isn’t a better option. Many lefties that I know, including myself, use the computer mouse with their right hand. Instead of searching for that left handed pair of scissors, most lefties learn how to cut things with their right hand.
To this day I still swing a baseball bat, hockey stick, and golf club with a traditional right handed stance although I throw with my left hand. While I don’t remember anyone teaching me to do it that way, I imagine that I learned to do those things right handed because that is how my friends were doing them – or in the case of hockey and golf because there was no left handed equipment.
While I understand that approximately 80-90% of the population is right handed according to certain studies, I think it really sucks that I cannot easily walk into a store and buy something like a baseball mitt or a guitar and take it home that day. The economy caters to right handed people.
Oh yeah…there is one more reason that it sucks to be left handed – some studies indicate that lefties die earlier than right handed people.

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{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

Damien December 20, 2007 at 11:55 pm

“1. Good luck finding a left handed guitar.”
I understand it might seem ridiculous to learn to play “rightie” but many famous guitar players have gone that path.
I found out not too long ago that my guitar hero, Dave Sharp (davesharp.org) is a leftie who plays regular style.
I know teaching someone on a leftie guitar would be harder for me as the instructor. I have taught several lefties (including my wife) guitar regular style.

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Nick December 21, 2007 at 1:46 am

Interesting post, and I can relate (well, sort of) to many of the things you mentioned. I write, play guitar, and throw right-handed, but I bat and golf left-handed. I’m not much of a golfer, but I have noticed that pretty much all the clubs at all the stores are right-handed.
I have noticed though that a lot of newer scissors are designed to be used by either left or right handed people.

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Nicole Price December 21, 2007 at 1:56 am

Thank God I’m right handed. You may be surprised to know, that I actually try doing regular things like eating and writing and picking up stuff with my non-dominant left hand every now and then. All to achieve the much desired ambidexterity. Ambidextrous people supposedly have sharper brains and a lot of good stuff going for them health-wise. They probably live longer too! So maybe all lefties should try to get ambidextrous. I guess it might be easier for them to learn to do things with their right hand than it is for us to do things with our left. I’m not sure though.

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Nicole Price December 21, 2007 at 2:07 am

And while we are on the topic, here is something I found. www . anythingleft – handed . co . uk (without the spaces). Hope you can find whatever you are looking for.

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James Mann December 21, 2007 at 3:23 am

It can be a pain to be left handed. I am old enough to remember the yard stick used to force me to do things right handed.
I am still a left-hand writer but learned to do just about everything with my right hand, including playing guitar. Holding it to play left handed is the strangest feeling.
Baseball was fun because I could easily play left handed or right handed which confused the heck out of people.

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Male Pattern Baldness December 21, 2007 at 5:53 am

Nice article. Frankly speaking I have never realized the advantages of right over left hand, probably because I myself use right hand. So never had any problems.

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Home Recording Studio December 21, 2007 at 7:18 am

My brother and my son are left handed and I know exactly how you feel. It is however news to me that lefties pop off earlier than righties. Where can I get information on this?
One great advantage that both my brother and son had when they were young and scraping as boys would, was the totally unexpected southpaw blow that would catch most people unawares.

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Futon-Matt December 21, 2007 at 8:52 am

Nice Post, it reminds me of the Leftorium from the Simpsons.
Matt

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Leo December 21, 2007 at 3:32 pm

Ahh, so you’re one of those left-handed mutants.
I work with a few lefties on set from time to time and it always creeps me out to see them holding their gun in the WRONG hand πŸ˜‰

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Furniture Stores December 21, 2007 at 8:51 pm

Gosh I never considered the world from a left handed person’s point of view, and you have my full sympathies for the fact that this whole world seems to be factored on everyone being right handed.

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Ling December 23, 2007 at 3:03 am

There was this game we used to play when we were kids, where you had to hop around on one leg, and I just couldn’t do it with my right leg. Always had to use my left leg. Created total havoc with the game, which was geared for players using their right leg…So I get how you feel. Some things just come naturally to my left hand – And leg. Luckily writing, or playing a guitar, isn’t one of them.

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Nicole Price December 24, 2007 at 1:17 am

Left handed people are believed to use the right side of their brain more, making them better at artistic expression like painting, sculpture, and I guess playing musical instruments. Righties use more of the left brain, which takes care of logical reasoning, mathematics etc.

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paula December 24, 2007 at 7:09 am

Interesting post! Thanks!I write and play guitar too, and throw left-handed.

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Furniture Stores December 24, 2007 at 9:20 pm

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!!!!!!!!!!

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Brown Baron December 25, 2007 at 1:32 am

This is off topic but .. Merry Christmas buddy!!

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Nicole Price December 26, 2007 at 4:08 am

Merry Christmas Derek and everyone else here. Enjoy the holidays!

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domeinregistratie December 31, 2007 at 8:34 pm

I’m a lefty and what I think sucks the most is the guarantee to smudge. I get it all the time. I hate it most when I’m filling out important forms and try my best not to smudge but initially do when filling out the last line! It’s like it my hand does it on purpose just to mock me! LOL!

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Frank C December 31, 2007 at 11:08 pm

For left handed guitars at a reasonable price try Rondo Music (www.rondomusic.com). They have very good guitars for the money. I’ve bought 2 guitars from them and both have been well-built instruments right out of the box.

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Melbourne Mortgage Brokers January 8, 2008 at 9:56 am

I remember when I was groing up in Holland and we had to use fountain pens. Having to write really slowly so that I wouldn’t pass my hand over the wet ink was the one thing I remember really hating about school. I’m over it now though πŸ™‚

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Rebel8 February 8, 2008 at 12:11 pm

You know, I never really thought about it much. Thanks for bringing the plight of the left handed people to our attention! I guess I should consider myself lucky, at this point. Are there any benefits to being left handed? How about driving stick in a right-side drive vehicle in England? Just a thought. Thanks for the informative post!

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derek February 8, 2008 at 12:14 pm

Oddly enough, I am so used to driving stick with the traditional right-hand setup here in the US that trying to do it with my left hand would feel really weird – kind of like trying to use the mouse with my left hand.
Thanks for stopping by!

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Jim March 8, 2008 at 8:10 am

There a great lefthanded guitar shop in uk called leftys i think that caters for lefties !!!

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Golf Club Guy April 12, 2008 at 12:55 pm

My son has the best of both worlds … right handed and left footed. Works pretty well for his choice of sports … soccer, golf and football.

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Document Shredding April 15, 2008 at 5:22 pm

I find that using paper shredders is difficult for us left handers.
Document Shredding’s last blog post..Security Document Guide For Managers:

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Asia'h Epperson April 15, 2008 at 6:23 pm

I am a left hander and I play guitar, so I can understand the difficulty in that. A interesting post, I can relate to most of the points you mentioned.
Asia’h Epperson’s last blog post..Asia’h Epperson On Don’t Buy An Existing Blog

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karthik cmouli April 22, 2008 at 5:32 pm

Well, we are all the same yet for some reason, there are some of us who are left handed. But left handed or not, even their bodies are pre disposed more to the right hand than to the left. No one knows why some of us are left handed, it may relate to the way that you developed as a baby, at least that is what I read in one of the magazines.
have you ever tried to shred with the left hand? shredding is a fairly simple process but even if you are left handed, it is a given that you would be bound to run into a few problems there. the button ma7y be automatic but the machine itself would be designed to suit the right hand more than the left one, for the way you hold the papers may well effect as to how effective you had been in using the shredder to destroy them, for if you were not able to shred properly, then some one can reattach the papers and utlize their content, lefties – sorry guys, wish I had something + to say here on being left handed

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Johnnie@Auto Insurance June 19, 2008 at 7:44 pm

That’s why i’m very thankful for being right handed. Don’t get me wrong though, i have nothing against lefties, especially since my grandmother was a lefty. But left handed people have to many “obstacles” to deal with everyday and it seems like it can be too much of a hassle. Especially the reason you listed about smudging ink over your paper, that must be extremely aggravating. I never thought about that until now…lol.

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olly@Guitar Effects June 24, 2008 at 1:37 am

As a right handed guitarist I do sympathise a lot with you lefties – there just isn’t enough support for you.
Having said that, some of the worlds greatest guitars are lefties so you have something good going for you!

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Chan Sui August 1, 2008 at 2:57 am

My younger brother is one of the Left-Hand

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John February 28, 2009 at 10:22 pm

I had no idea that lefties had it so hard! I think it’s silly that sporting goods stores and the like don’t cater to left-handed people more. It makes no sense to disappoint and turn away potential customers that way.

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Dennis@how to learn guitar August 13, 2009 at 9:49 am

I hope you were able to find a nice left handed guitar. So many people are left handed, I can’t believe they don’t make more left handed guitars. And, I agree, telling someone who is left handed to learn right handed guitar is totally unreasonable.
.-= Dennis@how to learn guitar´s last blog ..About Us =-.

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Matthew@Paper Shredding Chicago October 18, 2009 at 12:41 pm

It is a disappointment that more products are not geared towards people who use their left hand. It really puts them at a disadvantage.

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Elizabeth December 28, 2009 at 1:18 am

Writing and playing the guitar is a problem for me. I always get smudges on my hand whenever I write; it’s frustrating.
It also sucks when you go into a guitar store to buy a guitar. Out of the hundreds of guitars the store has, you can only find about two or three lefty ones. All of the nice ones are “regular” righties.

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derek December 28, 2009 at 1:31 am

As I read through this post again and some of the original comments, I was struck by how the notion of the right-handed items being “regular” is quite common.
I’ve come to realize that playing the guitar right or left-handed is a challenge for me, unless it is Guitar Hero on the PS3 as I can rock that. πŸ™‚
Thanks for stopping by and sharing a comment!

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Lefty hater August 1, 2010 at 2:05 am

Left handed people suck

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derek August 1, 2010 at 2:12 am

Right handed people are single-minded πŸ™‚

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Matthew@chicago shredding service January 17, 2011 at 4:19 pm

I am left handed and had to teach myself how to use right handed scissors because almost no one owns a pair of left handed scissors. It was very frustrating as a kid, i had to learn how to adapt.

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A1rh3ad January 22, 2011 at 4:12 pm

Try playing a right handed game on the wii. It makes it worse than the mouse controlled first person shooters where the character holds the gun in his right hand because now you are controlling the gun with your hand and not the mouse. This has always taken some of the immersion out of games but now with the wii it just ruins it. Link even swings with his right hand now! Im not buying the wii till they patch these games or something where i can play with my right hand and not have it look so freakn awkward.I hate this world and want everyone to diaf. Im tired of everyone discriminating against minorities.

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guitar straps February 18, 2011 at 1:25 pm

number 4 made me laugh out loud!! i never even realised (i’m a righty) but those desks really AREN’T made for left handed kids are they! i bet there’s a market for that somewhere ;~)

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Kirk Hammett March 3, 2012 at 3:45 am

Being left handed is an advantage in playing guitar. You don’t need to buy a left handed guitar. Herman Li is the DragonForce guitarist and he is a very fast guitarist and he is the fastest guitarist i think i’ve ever seen.

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derek March 5, 2012 at 10:11 am

I have to assume this has been posted by someone within the company, and not THE Kirk Hammett himself…otherwise my mind has been completely blown!

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Sewthegirl March 20, 2012 at 10:55 am

Laughed out loud at this list. I’ve also experienced every one of these. And, as someone who loves to cook, I can add this incredibly annoying lefty-thwarting everyday device: measuring cups. Ever try to, say, determine the amount of liquid in a measuring cup while holding it in your left hand? Good luck with that! Drives me crazy. Years ago, there used to be a store in SF at Ghiradelli Square that only sold lefty-serving items (like measuring cups!). I went there when I was 19 and it blew my mind. That’s the first time I realized how often I had to accomodate in my everyday life. And yes, oh, the misery of scissors…

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Bradon August 17, 2012 at 11:27 am

I write right handed, but I shoot left handed. Try finding left handed shooting gear or true ambidextrous fire arms. I’m always getting hit by my own shells!

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Chris December 14, 2012 at 7:57 am

I’m right handed and glad that I am. But growing up playing baseball, I sure wish that I was a left handed hitter.

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