Left is right is wrong

… I am so completely excited about a posting on The Washington Post website regarding people who confuse their left and right.  I am not alone!

I’ve had this silly little learning disability forever.  As a passenger in a car, I instruct someone to make a “my side” or a “your side” when giving verbal directions.  I methodically avoid aerobics classes and took up the one form of yoga (Bikram) that does the same 26 poses in the same order every class, so I don’t need to stare at my classmates in the mirror to know which leg I’m supposed to be standing on.  During my very brief stint in ROTC, drill and ceremony was a constant source of anxiety, and don’t even get me started on being a coxswain in college – I’d simply remember which teammates were ports or starboard and look to which way their oars were pointed before knowing which side to yell at as we drifted off course.  Can you imagine the agony of my poor fellow theater geeks when I was forced to differentiate between stage right and my right while going over blocking in high school?

The funny thing is, I have a great sense of direction.  On foot, I can almost always find my way around a city (with the exception of getting out of a subway station, as I need to reorient myself and the great left-right debacle rears it’s ugly head) – it seems the cardinal directions don’t give me any problems, probably because they remain fixed, whereas good old left and right change every time I move.  If I’m driving and someone else is giving me verbal directions, I’m okay as a right turn feels different from a left turn, but if I’m on foot and you say turn left, I will hesitate for a full 30 seconds and still probably get it wrong. 

My dad has the same difficulty and it drives my mother insane.  Sorry small one… in addition to the 50% chance that you’ll have inherited his color blindness, you may also get grandpa’s complete inability to tell your right from your left.  Now here’s hoping you also get his metabolism to balance out the bad with some good.


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