I’ve always considered myself left-handed. I write with my left hand and use fork with my left hand to eat.
But I throw a ball with my right hand, bat the same way and shoot right-handed.
Like many left-handers, I have worn my watch on my right wrist.
I’ve also ended up with many watches heavily scratched and damaged internally.
As a photographer, I focus and shoot photos with my right eye.
All this means I’m not right or left-handed. Doctors say I’m cross-dominant: A mixture of actions that are dominated by the left on some things and right on the other. According to those who study such abnormalities, about 90 percent of humans are right-handed with nine percent left-handed. The remaining one percent are “cross-dominant.”
Talk about being a minority.
In Little League baseball as a kid, a coach tried — and failed — to turn me into a “switch hitter.” I could hit well right-handed, even hit home runs that way but “nada” if I tried it left-handed. I played golf for a while, right-handed. Back in another life, I was taught to shoot right or left-handed with a pistol and a long rifle, but my marksmanship was, and still is, better right-handed.
As a kid, I wore my watch on my left-wrist, until a friend said I should be using it on my right hand because I appeared to be left-handed.
Good advice, if I were fully left-handed but it took me more than five centuries to learn that the advice was bad.
So I switched from wearing it on my right wrist for about 50 of my 70+ years on this world. I’ve also damaged more than a few good watches because I have banged them on obstacles and subjected them to more wear and tear than they might have received if I had been using them on my left-wrist.
So, with less than a month left before I turn 72, I’m switching my wristwatch back to my left wrist.
The need to do so was driven home this week when I reached into the bin of a bending machine to retrieve a roll of mints. I reached with my right hand, my dominant one in such tasks, and caught the crown of the watch on the edge of the machine bin cover and the band broke. I got the mints but also had to reach back into the bin to receive the watch and its broken band.
One of the boxes in our dresser contains bits and pieces of watches damaged over the years, including the expensive GMT model destroyed when I laid my motorcycle down onto hard pavement to try to avoid hitting a cow in 2012. The insurance company wasn’t happy paying to replace it.
A second expensive watch required a lot of work to repair when it slammed into the pavement in another accident three years later.
Thinking back, I realize that more than one watch has had problems after spending several hours on a gun range, firing a collection of high-powered pistols with the hand where a watch took the brunt of kickback.
So maybe this dog is not too old to learn a new trick.
I wonder if anyone will notice.
It will take my old mind a while to remember that when I want to check the time I most look at my left wrist and not the right one.
“Shouldn’t be a problem,” says a conservative friend. “I’ve always suspected you are a leftie.”