Thursday, March 4, 2010

Left or Right: Determining Long Lasting Life

This morning I open my internet explorer as I usually do, and my home page pops up, as it always does . . . . It's, which is often my source of news and attention-grabbing articles. Today, upon viewing MSN's slideshow of links, I observe something that is rather disheartening. According to said slideshow, I have a certain characteristic that may be hazardous to my health. After clicking the link and reading the words on the screen I learn that this very trait of which the article is speaking may ensure my life is shorter than the average person's. "What is this infamous feature?" you may ask. "Does it affect me?" Well maybe, it affects 10% of the population. This distinguishing attribute being referenced is not the upper digestive Crohn's Disease for which I have been diagnosed (and have been in remission from for 3.5 of the 4 years since the diagnosis), nor is it that I'm prone to stress and anxiety. No my fellow readers, it is not because of either of these things. The reason – now wait for it . . . is of all things – the fact that I'm left handed. Upon finishing this offbeat article some thoughts certainly slip into my head and, "You've got to be shitting me!" is among the least of them. Can This Be Right? INDEED!

I am a southpaw and proud of it. Yes, being a lefty has many inconveniences in a righty world . . . . I get ink on my left hand when I write, and I've had to adjust to using scissors with my opposite hand. It's annoying when I go to sign for the credit card and the pen is attached on the right side, the chain securing it barely long enough to sign with my preferred paw. Using a spiral notebook properly is something I have never been able to do, and upon starting baton twirling lessons in my youth, my need to acclimate makes itself obvious. Conforming to society's handedness is something I've become used to over the years though, and I feel I have done it well. In fact, my baton twirling skills have become good enough over time for me to make the majorette squad for three years in a row in high school, and twirling with my left-hand is just as awkward as it is for everyone else who is 'normal'.

So, I cannot see how any of the above mentioned annoyances can shorten my life, and since I do not use power tools, as the article suggests, I suppose I have nothing to fear. I am so aggravated after reading the author's findings that I want to exclaim, "Talk to the left, 'cause you ain't right!" All 90's slang aside, I need to give props to the author of the article, who has written it to pay homage to his two left-handed daughters; he seems to share the same amount of cynicism as I do on the matter at hand (no pun intended). Thus my aggravation is not directed at him, rather the right-handed harebrained boneheads whose idea it is to study such rubbish in the first place. What a misuse of time and money that is assuredly much better spent on finding the cure for Crohn's, ensuring the longer life I need to prove this wasted research wrong. In short, I have a hard time buying into the idea that one's handedness has anything to do with one's life expectancy. When scientists haven't even found the gene that causes hand preference, how can they possibly presume the life length of a lefty? This musing mother deems the aforementioned hypothesis preposterous, but I'll let you decide for yourselves on the matter . . . at hand. J

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