26 September 2010

living a lie, southern style

In a little over a month, I will turn 36 years old. That particular number is quite ghastly to me. I remember being a wee yipper-snapper thinking 36 was old. Now, it is on my door step.

But while the entire upcoming birthday saga will surely be discussed at length (I am certain), today's topic is the simple fact that while I was in Peru, I learned that I have been living a lie for the past almost 36 years.

Yes. A. Lie.

While on holiday over dinner at a five-star restaurant, I learned that I have been living a lie; deceived since childhood by a woman I call "mother".

No, I am not adopted nor is my real daddy the mailman; I am a south paw!

Picture it: Lima - on a cool spring evening enjoying a truly South American culinary masterpiece dinner when the conversation somehow moves from the guinea pig entree description to my noticing how my father crosses his fingers.

Traveling back in time.... several years ago I went to a palm reader who had me cross my fingers. She asked my hand orientation, to which I replied I am right handed. She noted that my left thumb sat dominant atop my right thumb. I never thought about it but when she asked me to reverse my thumbs, it did feel awfully odd. This palm reader informed me I was left handed. Quite frankly, I never dwelled upon this fact until a few weeks ago seated at dinner when I noticed the positioning of my father's fingers.

Back to dinner in Lima: I ask my father if he is left or right handed. While I remember him as right handed, I asked because at that moment I noticed that his left thumb was placed atop is right. His response shocked me. He is left handed but his mother forced him to be right handed. Growing up, whenever he grabbed anything with his left hand, his dominant hand, his mother forced him to use his right hand.

Then he turned the questioning on to me, why had I asked? I explained that I too crossed my fingers like him and looking at my mother asked if she had done like my father's mother and forced me to be right handed. The woman looked like a trapped rat stating she remembered forcing me use my right hand but at the time it didn't dawn on her that I was left handed. Of course, that is the important caveat she would reiterate the entire night. Then she went on say that she did me a favor because the world is built for righties, not lefties.

I don't care about what she did; however, my mother ostensibly defended her decision to "make" me right handed for my own good. It certainly explains a lot about my ambidextrous tendencies. While I use my right hand, my immediate impulse always triggers left. The subtle undercurrent that my mother could not rid me of.

Funny, the little things one learns about herself in a brief moment in a strange land. Travelling reveals so much more than the differences that lie above the surface.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Holy crap! I wonder what other cool things you can do that you don't even know about, yet. Like, can you make your own wine? Are a dog whisperer? Mechanic?