Thursday, September 27, 2012

Riding the Wave With a Smile on My Face

Ha!  Did I catch your attention with that title?  Sorry.  It is totally misleading.  My bad. This post is not about surfing, although it could be.  I do love water, I love big waves and I think surfing looks like a lot of fun!  In the back of my mind I've kind of always wanted to try surfing at least once.  I'm pretty sure I've passed my prime surfing days, though, and I think surfing on our river might be tough.  Let's just discuss another kind of wave.

I'm talking about the hand wave.  You know, a simple gesture of greeting.  Specifically, I am referring to waving at people when you are passing them in your car.  Where Mike and I met, (Turner, Montana) is one of those friendly places of this world where I am certain the wave is still alive and well.  When driving on those country roads that's just what you'd do.  Any car that passed, you'd wave.  It's nice.  It acknowledges the other vehicle has a living, breathing person in it.  In Turner it is likely that you know them but even if you don't, you wave.

We live in a bigger town now.  It is rare to see anyone wave here.  I miss it.

So, I started waving again.  I'm waiting for it to catch on here.  Really, think about it.  If more people waved, don't you suppose there would be a lot less road rage?  It just puts you in a mind frame of courtesy.  It means you realize the other vehicle holds an individual person, someone to be valued.  Sometimes I think that public forms of courtesy, in general, are in danger of becoming a thing of the past.

Up in Turner, we all came to know some people's individual style of wave.  You guys from Turner reading this know that's true!  Does anyone remember Virgil's wave as he drove the school bus?  It was classic.  So far my little attempt to bring the wave here hasn't produced much response.  Maybe it is because I need to develop a fancier wave.  Right now my wave style is kind of boring, straight and to the point.  I think I need to try a Queen-of-England type of wave or perhaps one reminiscent of an excited little and furious.  What do you think?

I've seen a few motorists wave at each other.  They always seem to have the same wave style. It involves just one finger.  Weird.  OK... moving on.

Just so you know, I'm not waving at every car on the street.  Some places here in town have a lot of traffic and I don't want to be responsible for a pile-up or anything.  I also do not want to develop carpal tunnel syndrome.  No, but I AM trying to remember to wave when I am on the less traveled streets, places where it is just a one on one passing of my vehicle and another.

The most important part of the wave is knowing that it is difficult to do it without smiling.  That might be the whole key here... the smile. Hmmmmm... perhaps we just need to work on bringing back the public smile and head nod toward strangers.

So, what do you think?  Is it worth the effort or do you think I'm just scaring people?  Are you a waver?  A smiler?   Huh?  My spell-checker tells me that "smiler" isn't even a word.  Sad.  Well, there's our next mission, to make "smiler" a real word.


Pam Brewer said...

Reminds me of when I was a kid riding down the country roads with my grandpa. He'd (of course) wave at every car we met. I'd ask him who they were and he'd reply, "I don't know every Tom, Dick, and Harry on the road." Too funny.

Annmarie Pipa said...

I do not wave, or make an effort to say hi to a neighbor when she is way on the other side of the gym, or walk across a resturarant to make small daughter, however does. always. and when I am with her I notice everyone is so happy to see her and genuinely happy. everytime I spend time with her I promise myself I am going to be more like her. it is nice, and makes people feel good. I will start waving tomorrow.

elizabeth said...

you make me smile. :)
i wave . . . sometimes . . .
when i am not driving, i often make eye contact and smile - when i'm in a store, walking down the street, riding bike, etc.

i think it is the smile- one can't be too grumpy when one is smiled at and smiling.

i am definitely a smiler. :)

Susan said...

I enjoyed all your comments. Elizabeth, I am going to be more intentional about smiling as I think your words are sooooo true!

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