In a world that is mostly geared towards right-handed people, it can be hard out there for a lefty.
With just an estimated 10% of the world’s population being left-handed, the struggle to find various items like scissors, can openers, baseball gloves, etc. is a very real one—one that right-handed people rarely have to deal with.
Luckily, in recent decades society started to accept left-handed people more and more, and companies decided to make specialized version of these objects specifically for a left-handed clientele.
But when it comes to buying items for your own home, is it rude to have only left-handed objects knowing that you may very well have right-handed guests?
Left-handed Redditor AggravatingEngine469 recently sparked drama with her mother-in-law (MIL) over this issue, so she turned to the subReddit “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) to see if she’s in the wrong.
“AITA for being left-handed? But actually more like blowing up about it.”
The issue for the original poster (OP) started when her boyfriend’s mom moved in with them.
“You guys I am losing my f**king mind over here.”
“My boyfriend’s mom moved in with us after she was laid off from her job. ‘Temporarily’ of course but it’s going on about 8 months now.”
“I, like hundreds of millions of people on this earth, am left-handed. It hasn’t posed much of a problem for me ever since I left school and got away from tiny desks, but she (who I will call MIL for simplicity’s sake) for unfathomable reasons is determined to make it one.”
The lack of “normal” kitchen items made her MIL feel unwelcome.
“We have a smattering of speciality left-handed items throughout the house: scissors, measuring cups, can opener, some lefty Japanese knives. Since I did all of the cooking for me and my bf, we don’t have any normal versions of the kitchen items except for a regular chef’s knife.”
“According to MIL this is wrong.”
“I am not being accommodating to her and her son and ‘creating a hostile environment that says ‘you don’t belong here” in the kitchen. She didn’t ask but demanded that I buy normal versions of the lefty items in the house that she could use.”
The OP refused to cater to her MIL’s demands.
“Here’s where I might actually be TA.”
“I told her that I wouldn’t be buying anything new and that she should be grateful to be living here. That she can use a left-handed can opener just like I can use a right-handed one she needs to suck it up and get over it.”
“I told her I did not appreciate her switching the direction of the toilet rolls in shared bathrooms and adjusting the thermostat when she wasn’t the one paying the bills. I said that we did her a huge favor by letting her move in with us and that my house isn’t a hotel.”
This only sparked even more drama.
“She snapped back that a good host should make their home accessible for guests, and that I use a right-handed computer mouse so it’s not as much of a burden for me to use right-handed goods as it is for her to use lefty stuff.”
“She lost her job and she just wants to be comfortable in her own home. I tell her it’s not her own home and that bf would be speaking to her later about establishing house rules.”
“She started sobbing loudly and said she might as well disappear, I told her I didn’t have time for her theatrics and left for work.”
Redditors then weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
They assured the OP that she was well within her rights to deny her MIL’s demands.
“NTA at all, but your MIL is entitled as f.”—amy8220
“I’m just hopping on the top comment to share my favorite quote I’ve seen in a museum. ‘On the first day we serve you, on the second day you serve yourself, on the third day you serve us’.”
“It was by a lady who had the firm belief that you’re only a guest for three days. She also has another quote saying that you should throw a guest out after 3 days.”
“OP, you’re not a host after that time. MIL just lives there. She needs to contribute as a full member of the house, not act like a guest and just demand things when you’re being generous anyway.”—DeathPunkin
“MIL: ‘I’m a guest here!'”
“Also MIL: ‘I should feel comfortable in my own home!'”
“Can’t have it both ways…Unlike many left-handed people who need to adjust to a righty-dominant world and become ambidextrous out of necessity. (raises hand)”—SuperKamiGuru824
“‘She snapped back that a good host should make their home accessible for guests.'”
“After 8 months she’s not a guest lmaoooo.”
Lefties have had to adapt to a righty world since the dawn of time, so it’s only fair that the OP’s MIL should be willing to adapt as well.
“Fellow lefty here. Would you be willing to let your MIL bring in her own version of these items?”
“If you have the space in the kitchen for them, that seems like a reasonable compromise. She must have had these items before moving in with you, are they in storage somewhere?”
“But it is kind of interesting to hear about a righty complaining about what lefties deal with on a daily basis. She can use the scissors and knives and stuff, it is just going to be more awkward.”
“An awkwardness we face every day. So, sadly, I don’t have much sympathy for her.”—krankykitty
“NTA. lol. I’m a lefty and just got my first pair of left-handed fabric scissors a week ago. My god, what a f**kin *treat*.”
“But you know what I did for the 33 years before this time? Just used right-handed tools. If she wants these things, she can buy them.”—greenwitchy
The OP agreed, commenting:
“F**king *right*?? I’m over here like I had to use the wrong kind of scissors for decades and I survived, pardon me for not considering it an emergency that you’ve had to use a lefty pair for a couple of months while living rent free in my house.”
Since the MIL is basically living there now, most agreed that if she wants right-handed items she can buy them herself.
“NTA. While yes, a good host would want to make their guest comfortable, that depends on how likable the guest is.”
“Sounds like she’s overstayed her welcome, and on top of that, being unreasonable about what makes her ‘uncomfortable.'”
“Lefties use right-handed items all the time, and while I’m sure it’s not the most fun, it’s doable—so MIL needs to figure it out if she wants to live in your house. You laid it out for her: this isn’t her home.”
“If she wants to be ‘comfortable’ with right-handed items she should get her own place. Also for small items (not toilet roll configurations but a mouse, a can opener, etc.)… why can’t she buy her own sh*t?”
“Is it because she’s broke? Is she living rent free in your home, using utilities, and not paying a single cent for any groceries, house supplies, anything?”
“Because in that case she sure has some audacity telling you that you should be MORE accommodating.”—actually_kate
The OP responded to say that her MIL has not been paying for anything.
“She pays no rent, utilities, or groceries and we have been paying for her prescriptions as well. She was terrible with money and had zero savings of any kind when she lost her job.”
In the end, the OP commented that she’d basically reached her limit, but was conflicted about what steps to take next, saying:
“I think recent events have convinced me that it’s about time for her to wrap up her stay with us. I’m just not sure where else she can go when she doesn’t have a job.”
“This whole time I’ve been thinking ‘she’ll leave as soon as she gets a job’ but she’s just…not gotten one.”
“Honestly even if we tell her she has to be out by X date job or no job, she will probably call our bluff by not getting a job and see us not follow through, because I legitimately could not throw her out on the street with nowhere to go even if I do think she’s a big old b-hole.”
“So I really don’t know what the solution is here.”
Hopefully the OP and her MIL can come to some sort of understanding before their relationship sours even more.
If not, her MIL may find herself kicked to the curb and hailing a cab—with her right hand, of course.