What is Your Driver Greeting?

I was at a 4-way stop today, and all four of us, coming from different directions, pulled up with similar timing. Apparently everybody forgot what their driver’s manuals said about what to do in such a scenario, so we all stood at a stalemate until I finally took the initiative to move.

Unfortunately, the lady across from me also decided that very moment was a good one to get things rolling, so I stopped in order to let her go. As a thank you, she raised her hand in a gesture and then…blew me a kiss.

What in the world?

What was wrong with the perfectly good and friendly wave?

I mulled over her gesture for a good half hour until, in isle 4 of the local grocery store, I struck inspiration.

I remembered the days…the days back when…after my jaundice ridden baby brother came home from the hospital, grew into a very lazy baby, and sat back and watched the world meander by as he sucked on a bottle, chucking it with utmost power across the room when he was finished (like a total bum. Now, the only difference is that he’s a teenager and the bottles have turned into chip bags and pepsi cans). It was in those early days when most children would begin talking, but my dear sweet brother liked to do things at his pace, and he decided that talking was for losers.

So, my genius and ever-so-hopeful mother came up with the idea of sign-language. So, for several months, my mom and my brother had this secret code of sign-language that the rest of us didn’t get. But I learned a couple things, and “Thank you,” was one of them.

…Which brings me back to the 4-way stop blowing kiss lady. It dawned on me, there in isle 4, that she was saying thank you in sign language.

With this new revelation, I considered this. I tend to just give a nice wave and sometimes, if I’m feeling extra wonderful, a smile. Most folks I’ve seen on the road have done this.

However…This summer, I was riding with a farmer (good friend of my family) in his truck, coming back from a couple of rounds to local farms, checking on pigs and barns (don’t even ask how I got roped into that. There were promises of gardening tips involved. It was motivation enough for me to hop into pig pens and do some pig catching).

We were driving through town, planning to stop by a local sandwich shop before tackling my garden that afternoon, and we passed a truck traveling the opposite direction. The farmer friend of mine lifted his forefinger very subtly off the steering wheel and the other guy in the passing truck did the same.

“What was that?” I demanded.

“What? You saw that?” he asked, surprised.

“Yeah I saw that! What was that? How did that guy see it? He must have been going 50 mph the opposite direction! I barely saw you move that finger, and I thought I imagined him moving his. And did you even know him?”

He laughed. “Yeah, I knew him. We traded compost once. It’s just a country thing, the finger lift. Here, I’ll show you. Practice with me.”

So…we practiced subtle farmer speak.

Finger lifting, princess waving, friendly waving, or blowing kisses (sign language)…What is your driver greeting? (And don’t say the middle finger, psh.)

Copyright 2013

thank you


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