It only seems natural that Shelby Louthen is left-handed. It is merely another unique facet for a person who walks to the beat of her own drum.
Louthen, a cook for Cities In Schools, often refers to herself as the left-handed lunch lady, and is one of those souls who define the term free spirit.
“I am 22 and probably began using my left hand when I was 2,” she said. “I would color pictures, I believe I used a crayon, and I believe it was probably blue.”
Louthen said her favorite color is blue, which as she has gathered, is the preferred color of left-handed people. Between baking and “doodling,” Louthen is constantly using that trusty left hand of hers.
“I like to draw and throw things,” she said. “I like abstract art and using my imagination. I could be drawing ‘ligers,’ it could be unicorns and it could be clouds. I do like drawing hands. I can look at my right hand and draw more easily.
“I use the right side of my brain, which is the creative part.”
While Louthen may not be in the same realm as George Constanza’s hand modeling career, she does say her hands are among her best features.
“I show my friends my hand drawings,” she said. “They are perfectly proportioned; I have nice hands. They are my best attribute, along with my winning personality, which I also attribute to being left-handed. It’s phenomenal being left-handed.”
And it is, for lack of a better term, handy. Louthen said one of the best things about being left-handed is being able to work with her 4-year-old nephew, who is also in the club.
“I can teach him things,” she said.
Louthen said learning in the kitchen was a change, as she was forced to eschew her dominant hand and conform. Utensils, such as can openers, are simply built for right-handers, and there is no getting around it.
“I had a right-handed person teach me in the kitchen, and now I do things right-handed,” she explained. “It used to be difficult, but I have learned to cope.”
If you see Louthen, you will have to see her doodling and baking to see her using the dominant left hand. In social situations, she is more apt to use her right hand.
“When I meet someone and shake hands, I use my right hand,” she said. “I just don’t want other people to suffer.”