Daily Chatter

Friday, July 29, 2011

Waves - A Tutorial

 Given that I live in a very rural area

most of the drivers I encounter each morning and evening are used to my presence.  Regardless of the familiarity we still go about the formalities of waving hello to each other. 
Here are a few of my most commonly seen driver greetings.

The Peace Wave
The Driver:  has only one hand on the steering wheel.  He makes eye contact with me and slowly raises his pointer and middle finger from the wheel creating a V or peace sign.  No notable changes in his facial expression.
Me:  I'm thinking, "why does he only have one hand on the steering wheel and what he is doing with his other hand that he doesn't raise it to wave?"  Scratch that.  I don't want to know.

The Tech Age Peace Wave
The Driver:  is the younger version of the Peace Wave Driver.  He makes eye contact and does the peace sign one handed gesture.  However he does smile as he drives by.  He has also only one hand on his steering wheel which is notably because he is holding his cell phone in the other.
Me:  I'm thinking "Idiot"

The Death Grip Wave
The Driver:  has two hands on the steering while.  He makes no eye contact with me and quickly lifts his pointer and middle finger from the wheel holding them tightly together and quickly returns them to the wheel.
Me:  I wonder why he bothers waving each day when it appears to terrify him.

The I'm Gonna Hit You Wave
The Driver:  has two hands on the steering wheel and a crazy look on their face while he weaves around the road as they head towards me pretending to be preparing to hit me.  As he get closer he is hysterically laughing and then swerves away.
Me:  I'm thinking again, "Idiot"

The Head Bob Wave
The Driver:  has a combination of hands on the steering wheel.  He makes eye contact but rarely smiles.  He simply raises his head notably and then drops it.  This is most commonly the wave I get from the many Mennonite neighbors
Me:  I'm thinking, "I hope I'm not showing too much skin."

The Non Wave
The Driver:  has any combination of hand placement.  He is unknown to me.  He doesn't notice my presence or allow me any room and if he does it's a sudden jerk of the steering wheel as if I jumped out and scared him.  He sometimes is saying unheard potentially mean words to me as he drives by.
Me:  I'm thinking, "Thanks for not hitting me."

The Oh My Gosh You Didn't See ME Wave
The Driver:  has only one and at points no hands on the steering wheel.  He is smiling like a crazy people just escaped from the loony bin.  He is waving frantically with one or both hands.
Me:  I'm thinking, "just like yesterday, I see you!"

The Nice to See You Wave
The Driver:  has both hands on the steering wheel.  He is smiling as he eases his car over to give me a bit more room and slows slightly while passing me.  He often does a combination of headbob and hand wave depending on the conditions of where we encounter each other along the road. 
Me:  I'm thinking, "Why can't all drivers be like that?!"

What kind of greetings have you encountered?


  1. Since I get out of my neighborhood pretty quickly, and I'm out uber early, I don't encounter many peeps I know, therefore few to no waves from drivers.

  2. I don't spend too much of my time running near cars, I haven't thought much about this. I could write something about waves from fellow walkers/runners/cyclists sometime though. lol

  3. love this! and really?! someone pretends like theyre going to hit you? how is that even funny

  4. I get a lot of "Man, you must be crazy" head shakes to accompany my waves. :)

  5. This is a hysterical compilation!!! Drives NEVER wave at me. I'm happy if they don't blast the horn!

  6. This post made me laugh. I live in a small town too and the variety of waves I get never fail to entertain me. In fact, I have 'met' many people because of the frequency I see them on my run!

  7. No joke--my friend got hit by a car while running last week. She's okay, but it made me a lot more nervous around cars! They just don't see runners!

  8. Great post. It reminds me of the times I've been out in the country. Aussies are friendly but really laid back so you get the slightest of nods and a one finger lift.

  9. I find there are a lot of "the non wave" where I run.... However I have to say the transport trucks, the ones that should have the hardest time moving over, always do, and with a wave! The small cars act like there's no possible way they could move over without compromising their safety, the 18 wheeler...no problem and here's a wave to go with it!