I am a huge fan of the “thank you wave.” It’s a small gesture, I know, but that wave literally makes my day. I think it’s so great that I even talk about it with my friends. But when people don’t wave back after I’ve let them go in front of me, I get really bummed out.
Traffic in L.A. can be pretty bad. I’m lucky – my commute is only about 25 minutes. But if someone’s commute is an hour each way, that means they’re spending a minimum of two hours a day on the road. So, why not spend a small fraction of that time being polite to other people on their way to and from work? Now, I’m fully aware that in L.A. – and a few other big cities – drivers need to be a little aggressive in order to get somewhere. But there’s no reason we can’t be nice about it, right?
The “thank you wave” was instilled in me as a kid, which is probably why I love it. Growing up in a small college town, we could walk down the street and say hi to someone and they’d respond with a smile. It wasn’t weird - it was friendly. And it was quite common for drivers to give the “thank you wave.”
I suppose I shouldn’t take it so personally – people have a lot going on in their lives, so the last thing they need to think about is waving at some random driver. But my parents taught me to be polite – which includes my time behind the wheel. Maybe I’m just nostalgic for the way things were. But then again, it’s possible that I just like a friendly wave every once in awhile.