Saturday, June 09, 2012
Country is Country.
Sure, I’m in Iowa at the moment. But certain gestures maintain their meaning regardless of the state. I’m talking about rural road manners, neighborliness, and all.
Here and in Maine, the house sits on a long, country road with about 30 houses on it. Cars pass every 15 minutes or so. In both places, the same hand-waving spectrum exists.
- The one-finger wave: the non-committal wave, made with hand still glued to steering wheel. This gesture is for those who may or may not know each other but don’t want to be caught being unfriendly. I'll give you the time of day, sure.
- The four-finger wave: it says you recognize each other as neighbors and therefore can be more forthcoming in your friendliness, especially since you might be asking each other for a favor sometime soon. Sure, you can borrow my post-hole digger. No problem at all.
- The hands-off-the-wheel wave: Reserved for good friends, good neighbors, and ones who’ve shared laughs together. Come by sometime soon for a beer or a coffee.
- Intentionally Erratic Steering or a Game of Chicken: Reserved for really good friends and close family members only. Ha, you really crack me up.