Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Embrace the Difference

Today, I got to thinking about the oh-so-subtle differences that separate a select few from the majority of the population…namely those who are left-handed and/or colorblind.

Although…now that I think of it, I don’t believe I’ve ever met anyone who was both left-handed AND colorblind.


You may be wondering how I came upon this particular topic…(Are you really surprised by this? Really??)

It seems that the builder of my present abode simply must have been left-handed, for every light switch…every door…every water faucet feels...reversed to me. I’ve yet to be able to walk into a room without reaching on the opposite wall for the light switch.

But, maybe it’s just me.

Consider this: When I walk into a room, I instinctively reach to the left to turn on the light via the wall switch. The door should open to the right….hence, I reach to the left. Makes sense…right?

Wrong….at least, in this house. We have several pocket doors (which I believe are way cool-io) and in each and every room, the switch is on the right.

Out of the ordinary? Uh, yeah.

The faucet on my farm-inspired, deep kitchen sink has the single lever on/off to the left of the actual faucet that dispenses the water…to me, it’s freakin’ backward. I inevitably wind up holding the soap-filled sponge in my left hand and then have to cross my right hand under my left arm to turn on the water…I’m caught in some bizarre dishwashing-pretzel-position. It’s just wrong.

I can only assume it felt perfectly reasonable to the person who built the house, but find myself speculating on the amount of time it may take for me to stop swiping at a blank wall…futilely searching for a non-existent switch. And I can’t help but wonder if those who are left-handed find themselves doing the same thing in everyone else’s digs.

From here it was a mere hop, skip and a mental jump to the topic of being colorblind. Taylor (16), my dad and my nephew are all afflicted with it. With Tay, I was dismayed and confused when he couldn’t see the gold number 8 hidden in the green background at the kindergarten screening. I kept saying, “It’s right there, honey”…and he kept saying, “Where?”

He tells me that one of the biggest challenges he faces is when they’ve got a color project in school…he’ll ask someone if the marker is red, but evidently sometimes it turns out to be pink. (Kids can be so cru-el.) This deception has triggered a knee-jerk suspicion that causes him to require backup verification of the color with a second individual. Oy.

He’s also wary of clothes shopping…there’s a concern that he may inadvertently purchase something that’s (gasp!) purple.

So, the next time you see someone absent-mindedly running their hand down an empty wall…and decidedly dressed like Ugly Betty

stop to consider that you may be in the midst of possibly one of the rarest of combined human traits…the colorblind leftie…and cut ‘em some slack. And for God’s sake…stop laughing.

Anonymous said...

Oh, that's funny. I can relate to the part about Taylor being afraid to wear purple. My son got his sister's hand me down purple cavalier when he was in his teens and he was not a happy camper.

kathryn said...

I must admit...I don't even know what a cavalier is, other than the dog breed) but I can still feel his pain. Teen boy inherits big sister's purple anything = teen horror!

Unknown said...

wow i was thoroughly entertained by this post =]

i am a left handed colorblinder person as well, that's how i found this place, via google... i was trying to find out the actual chances %-wise

1 out of every 11 (or so i heard) is left-handed and 1 out of every 9 males with blue eyes suffer color blindness

so thats 9 times 11, 1 out of 99

or like 1%? of males with blue eyes

kathryn said...

Welcome Dillon! So. You are that all-elusive left-handed, blue-eyed, colorblind male we've heard about....I was beginning to think you were an urband legend. I'm happy I can now report that not only are you out there, but you're as curious about life as I am! Hope you'll stop by & visit again.

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