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“Don’t let the left hand know what the right hand’s doing”

Posted By William Herron On May 14, 2013 @ 10:39 pm In Proverbs | Comments Disabled

The informant is originally from Fullerton, CA and her mother is from New York who would tell her this line.  Both women are Jewish as well.

The informant explains that as a teenager growing up as young woman and beginning to first start dating young men her mother would always tell her: “Don’t let the left hand know what the right hand’s doing.”  The informant explains that her mother would give her this advice with the idea that you should go out with multiple guys at one time as long as you do not let the two different guys find out what is going on.  She explains that she gave this suggestion because the mother didn’t feel as though a girl should have to just date one guy if she was interested in multiple.  The informant explains that this applies more generally to going out with two different groups, but not letting the other group know what you’re doing.  The informant explains that her mother still passes this advice onto her grandchildren.  The informant explains that she first heard this saying from her mother and is not sure whether the mother created the line or heard it from someone else.

This saying gives an interesting outlook on what values or interests the mother who passed this information down to her daughter and grandchildren has.  It is clear that within her view, it is best to not limit oneself when looking for dating opportunities.  It would be interesting to take a survey of a number of people and ask if they approve or disapprove of this saying.

The informant explains that her daughter has heard her grandmother give this advice and that she is slightly annoyed because she doesn’t like her daughter playing with the emotions of multiple guys.


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URL to article: http://folklore.usc.edu/?p=18692