I love driving through rural areas for many reasons. It’s usually scenic, at least for stretches of the drive. Traffic is typically not an issue. And rural people, as a general rule, are friendlier. For proof, I offer to you the country wave. I love the country wave. Because I grew up in the “city” and am liable to make an egregious hand gesture error, Matthew always reminds me how to properly execute the country wave since he did grow up in a rural area. Note: City is in quotes because, while it is technically true, it’s a bit comical since my city is the farthest thing from a bustling metropolis. No disrespect, fellow denizens. I happen to love my city.
Here’s how I deliver the country wave:
- I have one hand on the top of the steering wheel. Preferably just one. Casually draped. Since I’m lounging in the driver’s seat, I’m slouched a bit to the right with my right arm comfortably resting on the armrest. Look. Don’t judge me for not being all 10 and 2. I’m paying very close attention to the road. Eyes watching the road and flicking to my mirrors periodically. I’m only texting when absolutely necessary. And when I text, I use my right hand, leaving my left at the ready for steering corrections. Of course I’m on the phone, too. But hands free. I may or may not be consuming food. But if I am, I’m using my right hand. And I’m only disciplining my kids in the back when my buffers are free, so I don’t drift into someone’s bumper or door. It’s all good, people.
- As your fellow travelers pass you in the oncoming lane, coolly and casually lift your pointer finger in acknowledgement. If you’re not cool, like me, you lift your pointer finger before they lift theirs. You’ve lost ground. It’s ok, though. It’s friendly here, and they won’t judge you. Much. I’m kidding.
- Repeat for each oncoming car. Feel happier with each person you pass.
The city wave is quite a bit different, though it does involve one finger. You knew that was coming, of course.
Speaking of middle fingers, I must permit myself a segue here. I have seen some people use their middle finger for pointing when they are pointing down at papers or the like. And I always give them the side-eye to verify their intentions. It always appears to be an aboveboard point because they have an innocent look on their face, so I’m uncomfortable calling them out. But, to you middle-finger pointers, you need to cut that out. We pointer-finger pointers are confused. We think you are executing a stealth slam, and that is just not cool. You’ve got to own it. Just point that middle finger up proudly and let us know that we are meant to see it, be affected by it, and not question its meaning.
Ahem, sorry for the segue. And it appears I don’t really have any more to say except that I wish we could bring the country wave and the spirit behind it to the city.