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What is in details

Следующая серия эксперимента "делаем дела 'неправильной' рукой", а точнее выкидываем в форточку представление или, вернее, привычку делать что-то правой рукой, а что-то — левой.

Перекладывать вилку в левую руку я пока не готова (этикет, кажется, требует всегда держать вилку-ложу левой рукой, а нож, если он нужен — правой. Я делаю наоборот, держу вилку-ложку правой, а нож, когда нужен — левой. Привыкла на самом деле держать правой и то и другое, перекладывая вилку в левую руку, когда режу мясо, а потом, пару лет назад, переучила себя держать нож левой рукой — для резки мяса нужно гораздо меньше мелких движений, чем для собственно еды).

Вместо этого стала играть с такой привычной и автоматической процедурой, как чистка зубов, щёткой с пастой и зубной ниткой. Привычная-то оно привычная, но сколько, оказывается, мелких привычек входит в одну эту большую!

Давйте я опишу всё, как в замедленной съёмке. Я беру зубную щётку левой рукой, пасту — правой. Выдавливаю пасту на щётку. Перекладываю щётку в правую руку, и большим пальцем левой руки ровнее распределяю "колбаску" пасты по щетине. Перекладываю щётку в левую руку и начинаю чистить правую сторону рта. Добавляю на щётку пасты, повторяя ранее описанные действия. Чищу левую сторону рта, держа щётку в правой руке.

Привычка у меня — чистить зубы именно в этом порядке. Раздавливать колбаску правым большим пальцем? Но это же неудобно! Выдавливать пасту левой рукой? Щас выплюну её в раковину мимо щётки.

И это только паста и и щётка. А нитка! Нижние зубы я ею чищу "логично" — левая рука внутри, когда прохожу правую сторону рта, правая — при проходе левой. На верхней челюсти же правая рука всегда снаружи, даже когда приходится скрещивать руки при чистке левой стороны. А менять положение рук неудобно! Непонятно, как нащупать тогда промежутки мимо зубами, и руки как чужие, как будто заново учусь пользоваться зубной ниткой!

Если моё описание заставило вас задуматься, как чистите зубы вы, это хорошо. Если же от такого подробного перечисления действий у вас закружилась голова, ещё того лучше.


This is a new twist in my "using the wrong hand" experiment, or rather the experiment of throwing the habit of doing certain things with that hand only out of the window.

I am not ready yet to start holding forks and spoons with my left hand (etiquette seems to insist you hold them there always, and take up the knife with your right hand if you need it. I do the reverse, and always hold my forks and spoons in my right and take up the knife with my left. In fact, I used to hold all three utensils in my right hand, switching the fork to my left when I needed to cut something, but then it turned out that holding the knife in the left is easy and more efficient. It's easier to learn to hold the knife with the left hand because you need less precise movements for cutting than for, well, eating.)

So instead of playing with utensils, I started playing with such a habitual action as brushing and flossing my teeth. Habitual and automatic it may be, but do you know how many smaller habits comprise that bigger one?!

Let us go slowly. I take the brush with my left hand, and the paste tube with my right. I squeeze a bit of paste onto the brush. I switch the brush into my right hand, and flatten the paste on the bristles with my left thumb. I switch the brush into my left hand and start brushing the right side of my mouth. Then I add more paste onto the brush repeating the above described actions in the above described order, and start brushing the left side of my mouth with the brush held in my right hand.

I have a habit of brushing my teeth in this exact order. Flattening the paste blob with my right thumb? How weird and inconvenient! Squeezing the tube with my left hand? It feels like I will miss my brush and squeeze the paste into the sink!

And that's only the brush and the paste. What of flossing? I hold the floss "logically" when dealing with my lower teeth: the left hand is inside when I'm working on the right side the jaw, and the right hand goes inside when I'm working on the left side. But then when I'm flossing the upper jaw, the right hand is always on the outside, even when it means I have to cross hands a little when doing the left side of the upper teeth. And it feels uncomfortable to change hand positions! I can barely find the spaces between teeth and my hands feel alien, and it's as if I were teaching myself to floss again!

If this description made you pay more attention to how you care for your teeth, good. If all the details made your head spin, even better.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 27th, 2016 05:21 pm (UTC)
Hm. I don't understand the flattening the toothpaste part with your finger. Wouldn't just holding it against your teeth do that? Or is your kind of toothpaste more "powdery" and less "pasty?"

It is supposed to help with cognitive powers to swap hands like you're doing. Maybe I should try it.
Jan. 27th, 2016 08:08 pm (UTC)
No, it's "regular" I suppose, Blend-a-med and the local brand Forrest Balm (I alternate every other day). I have always flattened it. Don't know why, perhaps sometimes it is not liquid enough and bits get into my mouth without this.
Jan. 27th, 2016 08:13 pm (UTC)
Yeah, when my friend's daughter had problems developing logical skills, the doctor made them do physical exercises like rotating her arms in different directions and touching her ears with opposite hands.

Learning to do this is also supposed to be good practice against and in case you have a stroke: you will already have had practice using the other side of the brain doing things you did not use it for.
Jan. 28th, 2016 08:13 pm (UTC)
etiquette seems to insist you hold them there always, and take up the knife with your right hand if you need it

Interesting, I've actually never heard this before. Is it Russian etiquette? Usually we just use whatever hand is our dominant one in the US. I use my right hand for my fork and spoon while Garry uses his left. All that really means is I need to sit to the right of him when we eat somewhere because otherwise we bump into one another lol
Jan. 29th, 2016 03:25 pm (UTC)
I was wrong, haha. It seems the spoon is held in the right hand, same as the knife (because it's difficult to imagine a situation where you have to use both at the same time).

Yes, this is how the table should laid here. But of course younger people pay much less attention to all of this. For the older ones though it's so natural my parents did not pay attention that I was holding my knife with my right hand, and then were surprised when I asked whether it should have been left.

(I have only recently learned that if you see two forks and two knives laid out before some posher meal, it means there will be several dishes, and you should start with the outer utensil, then give it away to the waiter together with the plate, and use the inner one. Confusing.)
Jan. 29th, 2016 10:28 pm (UTC)
Haha, I am left handed when I eat! :D This always weirds people out and have lead to awkward elbow bumpings at dinner parties. I must have learnt it from my mum, who does the very same thing. We're both right handed when it comes to everything else.
Feb. 18th, 2016 02:54 pm (UTC)
At the hotel where we spend the Zvenigorod conference, they lay out the utensils for you for each meal, and it was very awkward to me, because they put the knife on the right an the fork on the left, and I had to switch them the way I prefer them before every meal, lol.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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