the wave

it’s a social nicety we are all familiar with, at least those of us who brave the urban streets in our modern chariots.
it’s a small thing, really. some poor soul is trapped trying to merge, or caught at an intersection with no break in sight, and you pause to allow them to join the fray. you lose a precious five seconds in your act of kindness, causing blood pressure to inch up a few points, but you do it out of the goodness of your heart. after all, you would hope that someone would do the same, were they in your shoes.

in this not-so-humble writer’s opinion, your courtesy should be acknowledged, not with flowers or fanfare, but with ‘the wave.’ the hand doesn’t have to go out the window (unless obscured by tint) – it just needs to go up in the air, the barest notch above the gearshift will do just fine. a few calories expended to grease the social machine…
and yet, people don’t seem to do it, at least, not all the time. this is where road rage is born, people.

occasionally there is the need for the reverse wave, too, where someone doesn’t let you in, but by gum, you’re going to merge anyway. you raise your hand to say, ‘sorry…asshole move, and i know it…’ it can be a risky proposition if someone honks and you raise your hand after the honk (it could be mistaken for a gesture involving the middle finger). i’m never sure what do do in these situations.

i won’t overanalyze. just remember to do the wave the next time someone lets you in (or the next time you cut someone off – innocently, of course). at the risk of engaging in hyperbole (who me? hyperbole?), it’s things like this that keep the fabric of our society intact.

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2 thoughts on “the wave

  1. connie

    ah yes, the wave. one of those niceties i often practice (being the people pleaser that i am) but is seldom seen in the cold, cruel midwest. not to be overly critical, but i think that people are less trusting of strangers here. therefore, even a simple, courteous ‘wave’ might be misconstrued as an insult. chicago could greatly benefit from a lesson in ‘the wave’.

  2. michele

    I always try to wave, even when I cut assholes off after they’ve patently refused to let me merge despite the fact that it is very obvious that if they do not let me merge they may indirectly cause my death…at that point, I can only hope the wave is a lovely guilt trip, or perhaps will mollify the evil driver enough that he will not pull the same dipshit move on someone else.


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