The other day I was driving on the freeway and the guy in the lane next to me wanted over. It was pretty clear by the persistent blinking of his blinker. The people in front of me obviously couldn’t stand the idea of letting even one more car in front of them during this traffic ridden morning, so they quickly sped up so he’d get in with someone behind them. That someone was me. I politely let this driver in front of me and I waited. I waited for the courtesy wave. I waited for three minutes as I drove behind him and I’m technically STILL waiting for this wave because it never came.
I started to think to myself, what happened to the courtesy wave? I remember the days you’d get a wave for being thoughtful. Well folks, those days are gone. Now the only hand gesture you get is a specific finger if you DON’T let the guy in. It’s now the general public’s expectation, for everyone else on the road to be the selfless drivers and be thankful you didn’t get shot along the way.
My challenge to my readers (all 30 of you) is to wave a little more on the road. If someone kindly lets you in, shoot them a happy “thanks a bunch” wave. Maybe we can get the wave trending again. In fact, why not wave outside the car as well? How hysterical is it to think waving at a stranger has become so awkward?
I can imagine being in a store and waving excitedly to some random person in the aisle across from me. At first, they’d be confused and wonder if I was waving to someone behind them. Soon, they’d realize it was them and wonder where they knew me from. Finally, it would dawn on them that we don’t know each other and I’m overly friendly in public situations. Maybe they’d wave back and it’d make them smile or maybe they’d ignore me and frown. Either way I made an effort to make their day. Remember when people waved at their neighbors? Hardly see it anymore. Stadiums of people used to do the wave because their team needed a little pick me up. Now people only wave at sporting events to get a free T-shirt thrown at them.
Ever wave at someone’s kid? That’s always interesting. They quickly usher their child behind them for protection. I’m waving at them, not negotiating a hostage exchange.
It’s a simple polite and friendly gesture that’s fading away and it’s sad. I think the world would be a happier place if people waved a bit more. It would be an ecstatic place to live if people danced more but I’m not going to push the boundaries of impossible here.
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