I am a right-handed person. Depending on whose study you wish to believe, so are 70-90 percent of everybody else on the planet.
In Hinduism, I've been told, the right hand must be used for all auspicious and respectful activity, including eating, giving, receiving, and worshipful offering.
Also, a great number of technological and everyday devices are made primarily for right-handers, including: refrigerators, scissors, microwaves, can-openers, the computer mouse, and padded kitchen mittens (padded on one side only).
Many classical-era Japanese swords were (and even modern cooking knives are) favored to cut more efficiently for the right-hander, according to Wikipedia, the internet source of knowledge, definitions and trivia, on which I often rely.
Now having said all that (backed up by my most favorite online resource), how come it is that double doors are almost always locked on the right-hand side? I know that I'm not the only one who goes charging up to double doors expecting them to open on the right-hand side?
I've noticed this in banks, office buildings, professional-type businesses, and even restaurants. Going in is not usually a problem, but coming out, I always kerploosh into the locked side. I'm not prone to grace in the first place, and it really adds insult to injury to klutz up in public. And it begs the question, what would be the reaction, if I were to unlatch the other side in order to leave?
It makes me much more sympathetic to the poor little birds that thunk into my dining room window. Come to think of it, Stuart and I have two sets of double doors, and in both cases, we only unlock one side.
I know in our case it is out of habit. And in our defense, the side we open is the side that has the doorknob on it. We only open the doubles when we're entertaining or cleaning.
I've noticed that they do the same thing at church - and it is interesting that they open the side that is perceived to be on the right hand as you are entering the church.
I've noticed that the single-sided entry seems to be much more prevalent in windowed doors than in solid ones. But, you have to ask why. Doesn't it make sense that it would increase flow through the entrance to have both sides open?
Wouldn't it decrease the likelihood of traffic jams and accidents that are inevitable when folks are coming in and going out of a single point of entry?
I guess you could make some argument for energy savings, if you only had one door open, but given that it would have to be opened twice as much to accommodate the throughput, I don't really see the logic in that supposition.
Sometimes in the afternoons, Stuart and I like to sit on the sun porch and pontificate life's mysteries. I'll have to put this one in the discussion queue.
Denese Rodgers is executive director of Connecting Henry, a social-services, networking, community organization in Henry County.