The Thank You Wave

This afternoon about 5:20 I was leaving work and making my way through the gigantic maze of interconnected parking lots toward the main road when I saw someone trying to make a left hand turn into one of said parking lots. There’s a tennis tournament going on right now, the Memphis Open, and many people are crowding these lots looking for parking, so it’s kind of a mad house. I could have kept going, pretending not to notice the motorist trying to turn, but today I took passion on her and slowed my car to a halt, and motioned for her to turn. I don’t know who hands out award for Memphian of the year, but perhaps I should be considered. The woman barely gave me a glance as she turned left in front of me, guiding her Mercedes SUV into the parking lot. I don’t know if it was because she felt entitled and most everything in her life was given to her so she didn’t feel the need to express any gratitude, but she didn’t give me what should have been an obligatory thank you wave. Now some of you probably think I should have made this kind gesture with no expectation of thanks, and maybe that is true, but I was raised to show appreciation for kindness and the fact that this woman didn’t even nod at me, made me dislike her and judge her as a human being.

I feel that the first thing you should learn when you become of driving age is the thank you wave, and then how to honk at someone who is rude enough not to give it to you. What kind of person feels that they are so important that everyone else on the road should just make way for them to do as they please? Apparently the answer is those who drive Mercedes SUVs. As I sat in my car, stunned by the arrogance of the other driver, I made a mental note of her face and car, just so that on the off chance I ever encounter her again, I can proceed forward without stopping to let her pass. Tomorrow I will go to work with the hope that the same events will unfold and our cars will meet at precisely the same time, just so I can unleash my small act of vengeance upon this woman. It is very unlikely, impossible even, but it’s that hope that will drag me out of bed in the morning. It’s the little things in life that keep you going, and this is one of mine. It didn’t cause me much any inconvenience at all, but it’s just the principle of the situation. If someone does something for you, you thank them, even if it’s just giving a slight wave of acknowledgement. If you are out driving and someone let’s you turn, do the civil thing and show your appreciation, otherwise unbeknownst to you, that person could go through the rest of their day hating you with every fiber of their being. It’s pretty simple. Don’t be a jerk.


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