Thursday, October 23, 2008

National Wave Day

Disclaimer: A few days ago, I posted a quick comment on Twitter which automatically updates my Facebook status. Within minutes, several folks posted a comment and the discussion was on. This post is a humorous attempt to discuss a serious topic.

National Wave Day. Yes, this fictional day took the "heartland" by storm. This past Wednesday, several volunteers took to the streets to find out exactly who or better yet, who "would not" wave. While I will encourage others to post their thoughts as well, you'll find below my discoveries on this historic day.

The morning started at 6:45am as I took my son to early morning band rehearsal. Even though it was dark outside, I stood firm by my decision to wave at anyone I met while I was driving. As the few early morning travelers approached, my hand immediately shot into the air for a friendly "wave." Not surprisingly, there was no response. Obviously it was too dark to see.

My next test would be the drive through town. This time it was light outside, and the cloud cover made for a perfect hand-waving day. I made my way to the elementary school to drop of my youngest daughter. First car. WAVE! No response. Second car. WAVE! No response. Dang! What's going on people!?! There's a bus! WAVE! It's a friend, Kelly Korokis. She spies me in the car and with a smile...WAVE! YES! Score one wave! Two no-waves to one wave. At least it's close.

On my return home I pass at least ten more cars, all of which I incessantly wave at. The response? Zero. I had been brushed off. Surely my next trip out would be more enlightening?

About an hour later, I make my way out of the house, this time driving through town and then out towards the highway. WAVE! WAVE! WAVE! Each time I wave, but this time I try some different techniques. First I try the "one finger wave" (not that finger!). Not much luck. Then two fingers. Still no response. Then I hold the steering wheel with my palm/thumb and shove all four fingers in the air...AHA! Success. The first car sees me and responds politely with a wave back! Maybe the key is in the technique?

As I pass several more cars, I give it the four finger salute...WAVE! Very little response even with my new found technique. In desperation I throw my entire hand in the air, nearly running off the road as I do so. Out of the next five cars, only one waves back.

After a day spent teaching, I head back home trying to figure out this apparent tragedy. I pass many cars on the way back through town...dissed...again. I finally arrive home, head hung low, reeling from a lack of self-confidence. I smell my armpits. They smell delicious. It wasn't body odor then. What could it be? Would National Wave Day be destined to failure? I'd have to examine the results.

Here are my official results from National Wave Day:

As you can see, National Wave Day was a dismal failure. 6 out of 52 cars? Are you kidding me? What would cause people to be so rude and uncaring? Who do these people think they are not waving at me!?!

When it comes down to it, most of us lead a very busy life. When you're in the car, a lot of us tune out the world, our minds become focused on our current problems or situation, and our "auto-pilot" takes over (either that or an alternate form of ourselves takes over, kind of like that new TV show, "My Own Worst Enemy"). What happens to you when you enter the car?

Now, I must admit, most of the time I don't wave to people while I'm driving. I just don't. But then again, neither does the person in the other car. But...have I been guilty of a "no-wave infraction?" Not that I recall. I don't ever remember actually seeing someone wave at me, only to glare and turn my head and continue driving without so much as lifting a finger. I would much prefer someone give me "the finger" then totally do nothing...on purpose. Has society digressed so much that we can't offer our fellow citizens a courtesy wave?

So for now, National Wave Day is complete and in the books. A dismal failure? Perhaps. Or just maybe this day has opened the "hands" of would-be-offenders as they take their next drive around the neighborhood. May your hand (and the others you see) be with you.


Becky said...

Got a big kick out of your post. Mark is a waver and it drives me crazy!!!! He waves at everyone. He has this idea that people accually know,who he is,in ANY vechicle that he drives. Like I said HE drives me crazy. Have a good weekend. Becky S

Anonymous said...

You should try waving and honking at the cows that you pass. They at least look up. Derrick is a waver too, even to the livestock. Amy

Mel said...

I've been trying the wave thing. Most people are not so interested and it's just too depressing to wave at all those people and only have one or two wave back. I think the people you know don't count. I just realized my husband now waves at everybody, all the time, I have a feeling this will continue for a long time with him. I'm sure we'll be waving at livestock before long just like Derrick!!!