Those Instructions

Years ago I did some ironing for friends who owned a student guest house. There were many shirts to do and my mother suggested, ‘Change hands if one arm gets weary’. The irons weren’t designed for Molly-Dookers! Neither were most things in our right-handed world.

Mum and I were left-handed, but she was forced to use her right hand in school. For all her other tasks, she ‘did her own thing’. Although I wasn’t made to hold my pencil in my right hand, my father encouraged me to; he thought it would make life easier for me. I suppose it did, but for colouring-in, spreading butter on bread, sweeping the floor, tying shoe laces, putting on a necktie, and many other tasks, I went with ‘what came naturally’. (You right-handed people never realised we did so many things differently, did you?)

Getting back to the ironing! I didn’t do a lot; except for one daughter, our family was all sons, so I didn’t have many intricate frills to negotiate. I went through a few irons over the years! My first was a wedding gift – a Morphy Richards. No steam, and a lovely smooth sole plate that never became tacky because we didn’t wear many man-made fabrics then. I haven’t used steam much because our water was hard, with minerals that stained the clothes, stopped the soap from lathering, made our hair dull and… blocked the vents in the iron with calcium and magnesium deposits. More work for the householder.

A couple of times my ironed sparked when the cord frayed after I’d wiggled it around too much. Ironing clothes was now a dangerous job for me! When I heard that a left-handed friend had a cordless iron, I wanted one too. I felt so blessed to receive it for Christmas!

Unfortunately they’re not really cordless; they still have a cord from the power point to the charger. I tripped over it a couple of times, and the iron cracked when it fell to the floor. I can’t believe I didn’t learn from the first experience!

My current iron was a challenge at first. It doesn’t have a ‘foot’ so I can leave it standing up, but providentially, my ironing board was beside the spare bed, and when I forgot that I couldn’t leave it on its ‘heel’, it gracefully slid onto the soft bedding which broke its fall! To reheat it, the user has to slide it backwards onto the charger: a movement that’s taken this lefty a while to accomplish easily.

Deciphering the instructions was a nightmare too. They were all in pictures and even my clever husband found them difficult to follow. I had to look hard to find any English words among the 29 languages which I presume repeated this: EN Please read carefully the “Safety and Instructions booklet before use”. Well, I suppose you could call it reading. There were very few words in the small brochure I received with the appliance. They call it a ‘User’s Guide’!

No in-store demonstrations either. I couldn’t help comparing it with my Bible. God had to rely on word pictures to get his message across. He used lots of stories that we can relate to, and he even sent someone to show us what he meant: Jesus!

God’s made sure we can still understand his story. Jesus also sent someone to help us: the Holy Spirit. Everyone can find the instructions they need in this book. Even lefties aren’t left out of the stories in the Bible! Can you find any? (Hint – I doubt if Benjamin ever did any ironing!)

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2 Responses to Those Instructions

  1. Adele Palmer says:

    Thankyou, Lyn, from a fellow lefty. In my family it was Mum & John to the righthand; Dad and me to the lefthand. Dad had been forced in his youth, and I profited from his woes–lefthand had equal status with righthand, even for polite cutlery use!

    I could equal your tales, but I won’t. We know the perils of living left in a righthand world! Did you know that through the ages left-handers have been labelled evil, dark, demonic, and more?

    But God…!

    Love, Adele

  2. Lyn Thiele says:

    Thanks for your comment, Adele. Yes I’ve read about ‘the sinister’ etc!
    I’ve also read that some countries/cultures esteem the left-handed. But as you imply, God has uses for us! I’m glad inventors and manufacturers these days have adjusted many things so that they work for both.

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