I’m a big fan of The Wave. Not of sporting event fame, but rather, that moment when you’re driving and a friend sees you and waves. I have a friend who is terrible at this. Truly. There are only like TWO THINGS my friend Sarah can’t do, and spotting friends in vehicles is one of them. For me, there’s great pride associated with spotting a vehicle in motion and identifying the driver. In my small town, it’s a quick way to keep up on life.
“Mark must have had a good winter. New truck, new letters, new boat.”
“Wow. Guess she got everything in the divorce- he’s STILL driving that Explorer. ”
“You-know-who is back in town. THAT can’t be good.”
“Randy’s home from vacation.”
That kind of stuff. The idle gossip of small-town people.
There are different kinds of waves. There’s the town tight-ass who’s wave looks more like Nazi salute. There’s the town flirt who’s wave is just as flirtatious as he is- all his fingers kind of tickle the air between him and his windshield. There’s the genuinely happy to see you wave of our local politician. There’s the half wave of the “I’m so busy being busy I can’t take my full hand off the wheel” local business owner. Regardless of style, with each wave, you have a connection.
For me, The Wave is an essential way to gauge the state of your relationships. A while ago my former best friend stopped waving at me. This was YEARS after we stopped being friends, but we were still civil- at least on the roadway. When he stopped waving at me, it was as devastating as our friend-breakup. What had I done? Why can’t he see me? I have the same car! Insert Lifetime Movie worthy obsessing here. He later upped his game and would turn his head to face the opposite direction when we passed. [Side note: That’s a dangerous kind of “FUCK YOU.”] Turns out, he just doesn’t care about civility anymore.
This morning a different friend of mine didn’t wave. It gave me pause: did he not see me? Was he so focused on his day that my car fell into his myopia? Maybe he just wasn’t aware of me because it was so early- I’m notoriously NOT a morning person. I spent quite a bit of my drive to work mulling over all the possible scenarios, because that’s just how I roll. As I walked to my office, I laughed at myself:
IT DOESN’T MATTER.
Besides, Joe always waves. That’s all I need.