It has been said that it’s the little things that bring happiness into our lives. Not to make this a glass-half-empty conversation, but isn’t it also the little things that drive us up the wall or at least make us shake our heads in perplexity?
I took a three-day road trip recently and noticed the striking disappearance of a little thing. So simple, but now, so gone.
I am talking about the thank-you wave.
I also happen to be pretty darn generous with drivers who wish to cut in front of me—unless, of course, it’s some doofus who has flown down the shoulder and suddenly wants VIP treatment. But usually I allow one car. If each of us practiced this, traffic might just keep moving smoothly.
In the 500 miles I put in on the road last week, I’d say I let more than a dozen drivers slip into my lane ahead of me, just to be nice.
Not one thank-you wave came my way, in 500 miles.
What happened to this simple gesture of thanks? What made it extinct?
Others have noticed, I know, because mine isn’t the only commentary out there about it. I agree wholeheartedly with one woman who commented, “Let’s not let this gesture go the way of the R.S.V.P. or be piled on to the ‘that’s ol’ fashioned’ etiquette junk heap.” Another person started a blog entitled Thank-you Wave, in January 2009, but the blog is empty, in which case the wave has literally disappeared.
Part of me wants to be mature and not sweat the small stuff, while the other part wants to explode into a George Costanza-esque tirade and shout, “We’re LIVING in a SOCIETY…”
I’m sorry to be complaining so much this week. I don’t know what else to do, except perhaps keep on over-waving. And letting people in. And continuing to look for the best in my fellow motorists. Except that jerk riding the shoulder.