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Hello! You’re Welcome!

While my sorella (sister) Alisha will vouch for the fact that I am a rather hostile verbally expressive driver, she will also tell you that I value ‘the thank you wave’ like no other act of kindness.  I often strain my neck and risk a prolapsed disc I am that enthusiastic to give another driver a wave.  Sometimes I fear they might not have seen my ‘wave of thanks’ and then what? Will they think I am ungrateful? To make sure, I wave a second time once I have merged into their lane.

That’s right, I do a double-wave, just to be sure.

A fully outstretched arm with your body half way out the window is a great technique to ensure your wave is seen by the other driver
Image via Clara Bow Archive, credit P.& A. PHOTO

Do you give a wave of thanks to the driver of another car when they have ‘let you in’ to their lane?

And what about when others need to merge into your lane? Do you wave a driver in with a smile and a ‘no worries’ when they are signaling they want to change lanes in front of you?  Do you go out of your way to make things easy for some poor sucker on the side road looking despondent and concerned they will never be able to re-enter the traffic grind to get home in time to bath the kids?

Due to my addiction of the wave, I most certainly notice when I don’t get a wave of thanks and it drives me crazy. I fail to understand why a little gesture of appreciation is so difficult for someone you clearly made life easy for? Surely if we all realized every one of us have somewhere we would rather be – like being home with our kids for that extra time before bed; or sitting on the couch watching Manu speak in that ridiculously alluring French accent on My Kitchen Rules; or perhaps Kerry O’Brien and the 7.30 Report on the ABC is your cup of tea? Whatever floats your boat, maybe if we acknowledged that we aren’t the ONLY ones on the road trying to get somewhere, maybe we would be more forgiving of people needing to move into ‘our lane’.

I have recently noticed that Mums seem to always acknowledge my lowly presence on the road in the midst of their madness (with kids loaded in the back en-route to various soccer trainings, dance classes, and kids parties; or solo on their way to pick up their young child who has been left at Kindy – the horror- untill 5.01pm). It just never seems to fail that this Mother – with the million things on her mind and in her schedule – can always manage a nod and a wave to say ‘thanks for giving me a break at this moment – thanks for giving me this millisecond of time that will make such a massive difference as to whether I can successfully juggle everything I have to today.’

Good on you mum drivers. I salute you.

I think I might start giving the ‘bird’ or to a less severe degree, tooting my horn until the ‘insert-self-absorbed-person-of-choice-here’ {e.g., the suit with the mid-life crisis in the Porsche; the P-plater in the Barina; the young professional in the VW golf}, recognizes the significance of the wave, and how painless the gesture can be.

And to the mothers and those other few generous souls who appreciate that micro-moment and give the wave of thanks for ‘giving me a break’, for you, I will hold up a cardboard sign out my window that reads ‘You’re Welcome! Have a fab day!’.

x anna

Pope Benedict XVI

The Pope loves to give a 'wave of thanks' from his Popemobile
Image credit Aristide Economopoulos/The Star-Ledger

Are you a pro-wave driver?

1 comment

  • Yay for mums that wave – probably because they are thinking – “I’m sorry I’m a pain, with kids, I’m always distracted, in the way, looking dirty with random bits of food in my hair etc etc excuse me, excuse me, thank-you!!!!” Did this at the supermarket- went to the quick register then edged back through 4 people waiting in the que to chase my boy who had run away to the
    ice-creams – “excuse me, so sorry just need to get my boy”. Then run back past them and finish my transaction at the 1 point of sale they were all waiting for! To which as you suggest anna….. I managed a nod and a wave to say ‘thanks for giving me a break at this moment – thanks for giving me this millisecond of time that will make such a massive difference as to whether I can successfully juggle everything I have to today.’

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