Help Our Cursed Handwriting
Being left-handed is a blessing and a curse. A blessing because we’ve inherited membership in a club whose members are creative in a way only we understand. It feels good to have something in common with Michelangelo, Albert Einstein and Babe Ruth. It’s a curse, of course, because our world is designed by and for our slightly less enlightened right-handed brothers and sisters. We’re at a disadvantage in everything from handwriting to driving a manual transmission to the fact that we can’t play catcher in Little League. We tell ourselves we make up for it with intellectual and wry comic gifts even if those gifts are not always recognized.
It was a few years ago, in the kitchen section of Tokyu Hands, the great Japanese department store, that I first saw the left-handed spatula. This inspired many emotions. For one thing, I didn’t know the left-handed spatula existed. How quaint and charming and, of course, Japanese. This was replaced by a feeling of mild persecution. Had I been stirring with a spatula incorrectly without knowing it? Had my life been more difficult than I realized? Was this a small reason, other than temperament, that I am not a good baker?
Naturally, I bought a few. The woman at the check out kindly made sure I understood that these were left-handed spatulas, as if I was buying a diesel car without realizing it. I gave them to southpaw friends. I’m not sure I ever used mine. I didn’t want to take the sticker off that said For Left Handed. Sometimes being left-handed is more about identity than utility. Later I learned there are quite a few tools for the left-handed kitchen, but they don’t tell you that at Williams Sonoma!
I thought of this the other day because I was spending some time on the Lamy homepage. Longtime readers know I think the Lamy Safari pen is the greatest thing you can buy for $20. I have a number in various rooms, pockets and drawers in New York, Wisconsin and wherever my car is parked. Well Lamy featured the left-handed nib. This set my mind ablaze. What is a a left-handed nib? I’m glad you asked. And I wish I’d asked much sooner. It is, according to the good people at Lamy, “slightly oblique making it ideal for left-handed writers who frequently tilt their hand when writing.” Nice. And it also has a LH engraved on it.