Social Question

Aethelwine's avatar

Do I really need to wave at Linda every time I drive by her house?

Asked by Aethelwine (42940points) July 25th, 2010

My neighbor Linda is retired and sits on her porch the entire day. She is a very friendly person, and will keep you in a conversation for hours if you don’t come up with an excuse to leave.

I sometimes drive by her house 4–6 times per day. I like to wave as a friendly gesture, but 4–6 times per day can be a bit much imo.

Will I offend her if I don’t wave every time?

Do you wave at your neighbors?

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44 Answers

syz's avatar

Sounds like it may be one of her few joys in life – just think of it as easier than getting caught in an endless conversation and I’ll bet you’ll happily wave.

chyna's avatar

I actually avoid my next door neighbor as she started stalking me and calling me all the time, up to 10 times a day. I don’t even look at her anymore. She set fire to another neighbors house 3 times in one week. (They have her on video.)
But in your case, yeah, just a wave would be nice. As @syz says, it probably makes her day.

Austinlad's avatar

Wave. Small gestures (to us) can mean a lot to others.

MaryW's avatar

Sure a wave is nice. It is such a simple thing to do. You can maybe could do the truck wave. That is you lift all your fingers straight up off the wheel from one hand as you glance their way. The people passing each other on our road have it down to a one finger wave. It is cute.
If she sits there all day she may be playing the counting game. A friend of mine even got his elderly dad a push counter as he liked to count diffferent types or colors of vehicles from the porch for hours. She might treasure waves.

AmWiser's avatar

How much of an effort is it to raise your hand and wave. By now it should just be an automatic response;-). Just show a little love, it really does go a long way.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I wave to my neighbors
.I also wave to complete strangers.Sometimes I will honk the horn and moon them—but only if I’m driving slowly—;)

jazmina88's avatar

my whole neighborhood waves…....i kinda like it.

I bet you do make her happy :)

Aethelwine's avatar

@MaryW My husband works out in the country and has perfected the one finger wave. It is cute! I’ve also learned to appreciate the farmers on the road with their tractors. I make sure to give them a big wave to show them that I appreciate what they do. :)

@lucillelucillelucille Love the occasional moon! ;)

john65pennington's avatar

Suppose Linda was not there anymore? would you miss her? keep waving and thank God she puts a little smile on your face each time you pass by.

Aethelwine's avatar

@john65pennington That is very true. I think I would miss her. She does put a smile on my face too. Thank you.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@jonsblond -If you moon her every single time you pass her it might cut those long conversations in half…or maybe not!LOL

Aethelwine's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille and you always put a smile on my face too. you have just been mooned.

casheroo's avatar

A wave is nothing compared to awkward conversation. All my neighbors insist upon small talk. blegh

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

I have brought the Texas “Drive Friendly” wave to the UK.

I always give a wave, when passing a car, when someone lets me cut in front of them on the road. There is so much road rage here….I think waving helps.

I wave someone into my queue if they are sitting in traffic and no one is giving them a break.

I wave at my neighbors…and people on the street waiting to cross…at school kids at crosswalks and the lollipop ladies….and the people who work on the roads.

I’m a waving fiend. :)

I think that if your neighbor is out there at every moment…just do a simple wave or a nod of the head with a smile. That would work.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@jonsblond -Thank you! I just sent that to the Mayor of my town—I hope he doesn’t fall in love—;)

You could always shoot her with paintballs—giggles…that’s just wrong…don’t do it!—

YARNLADY's avatar

Wave. How hard can that be?

Facade's avatar

I can see how it’d be annoying, especially if you’re just not in the mood. But I’m sure it puts a little joy in her heart when you wave, and that’s a nice thing to do.

Aethelwine's avatar

@YARNLADY But 4–6 times per day?! I may end up with hairy palms. ;)

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@jonsblond -Give her the finger and wave! LOL! Oh gosh,I didn’t say that! Don’t do that!

lillycoyote's avatar

Yes, I wave at my neighbors but I am very lucky to have absolutely wonderful neighbors. It’s a very stable neighborhood and most of us have known each other for years. Edit: Anyway, what’s the harm in waving at her? Plus if she sits on the porch all day she’s better than a burglar alarm. No one will break into your or your other neighbors house when you all are away at work if she’s keeping an eye on things.

tinyfaery's avatar

And this is another reason I love living in L.A. Everyone ignores each other.

Edit: Some people come to L.A. and and think it’s rude, but really, it makes the day so much easier.

Ivan's avatar

Even if she is offended, who cares.

charliecompany34's avatar

i tend to wave at certain neighbors all day if there is a space of time when we havent waved. we’re a quiet settled family oriented block of parents and kids. to “wave” just means to say, yeah, make sure you call me when stuff aint normal “round these parts.” it’s a mutual understanding.

Aethelwine's avatar

@Ivan obviously not you. ;)

lillycoyote's avatar

@DarlingRhadamanthus And then there is the thank you wave, an absolute must wave, for your driving wave repertoire.

Berserker's avatar

I agree with @syz On the other hand, an elderly woman like that probbaly has enough wisdom to not be insulted if you don’t wave at her every single time.

wilma's avatar

I wave at my neighbors and most of them wave at me.
We also do the had on the wheel, or one finger-up, wave going down the road.

I’d keep waving at her, if you don’t, you will feel bad when she is gone.

Aethelwine's avatar

@Symbeline Either that, or she tells all of our neighbors what a bitch I am because I never wave.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I think it depends on the neighborhood. My neighborhood is not the nicest, and we really don’t wave to each other. My husband and I are actually quite close with several of our neighbors, and we still really don’t wave.

My parents’ neighborhood, however, is a very nice development – and their neighbors wave at ME. I don’t even live there.

bob_'s avatar

Smile and give her the finger every now and then to spice things up. I’m sure she’ll appreciate it.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

No, you shouldn’t have to do this 6 times a day and I hate the pretense of ‘do it for her even if you don’t really give a shit’ and sure you do give a shit, somewhat, obviously but I am more of a fan of genuine rather than bothersome and contrived gestures – which is why though I nod at some of the neighbors, I only care to check up on a few.

lillycoyote's avatar

@jonsblond You also really need to consider how your behavior in your neighborhood will effect your “legacy.” No one is going to be honest and tell you this but me, but if there is even the smallest, even the most remote chance that some day you might snap, might completely lose it and end up gunning down a crowd at your nearest Gap or Walmart, eventually being shot by the police, if there is any chance at all that that might happen, you might want to listen to me.The local media will most certainly come out and interview your neighbors. What do you want them to say? You’ve seen it. Linda’s going to be the one who they interview with her head poked out of her front door, which she’s only willing to open about six inches. What do you want her to say about you? “Well, she was kind of a loner, mostly kept to herself, I would see her, she must have driven up and down the street 5 or 6 times a day, kind of aloof, she was” or do you want her to say, shaking her head in shock and confusion: “I just can’t believe this. She was just the nicest, friendliest person you could ever want to meet. She would always wave and smile when she drove down the street. I just can’t believe that this could have happened.” The choice is yours. :)

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@lillycoyote that’s quite a story ;) – of course the one she killed was Linda

bob_'s avatar

@jonsblond Or you can shoot Linda first.

lillycoyote's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I am sometimes given to flights of fancy. It is one of my many charms. :)

Aethelwine's avatar

I love Fluther you guys! :D

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Wave, it will be like a refreshing summer rainshower to dear old Linda. That is all she needs, a smile, a wave and a “how are you today” once in a while. I always think when I see the elderly that they have been where I am now and I will be going where they are now, so….. yes, flash that charming smile of yours followed by a small wave and drive past knowing that you have given a small dose of pleasure to an elderly person.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Clinical Response
There is no mention of who waves first…if it is Linda, then yes, it would be nice to return the wave. If you’ve already waved once in a day, are passing her again, and she doesn’t initiate another wave, then you should be off the hook. You could always talk to her about it if you really want the right answer.

Personal Response
Yup, I’m a waver. And I’ve never taken offense by someone who doesn’t return it. It brings a bit of joy to me, and I’ve learned that even if someone doesn’t show a positive response to a kind gesture, occasionally, they think about it later and smile.

FutureMemory's avatar

When I lived in New York I resented how friendly people were considered strange or somehow bothersome. Now that I live in a smallish town in California (again) I feel like everyone is staring at me/overly friendly. You just can’t win!

john65pennington's avatar

2nd Answer: one day, i was working a traffic accident in a dangerous location. the wreck was directly in the center of the road, on a curve and down a hill. this was on a Sunday morning, when we were running a skeleton crew of officers, so i had no backup to help with the traffic. i never realized this many people drove their cars to church on a Sunday morning. while waiting for two tow trucks, at least 100 cars had to be safely manuvered around the accident scene. this meant stopping one lane and letting the other lane pass through. this lasted for about 30 minutes in the hot sun.

For that 30 minutes, i raised and waved my hand and arm to at least 98 of the passing 100 autos. i was amazed at how much it meant for the people to have me there, in the middle of the street, to guide them safely through this accident. everybody waved a “thank you” and that meant the world to me.

Point her is this. i can understand what it means to Linda to set and wave at the people that pass her house. its a heart-warming connection thats hard to explain. when you wave back at Linda, its like giving her a few more days of life and something for her to live for. i know this feeling, i have felt it when directing my traffic accident.

Give Linda the thrill of her life….........keep waving.

lillycoyote's avatar

@john65pennington I don’t know if you ever watch King of the Hill but your story reminded me of an episode from the show. The town of Arlen is suffering from heat wave and Bill’s car breaks down on the side of the road and at first he’s waving just to flag down someone for help but everyone seems to be so happy being waved at and Bill is so happy just to feel important and useful that he stands there all day, just waving at people who drive by, eventually becoming something of a local hero and celebrity. He becomes known as “the heat-waver.” Here’s a short clip from the show.

Hibernate's avatar

@jonsblond if you think 4–6 is much how about saying hello to your neighbours 20+ times per day. But I don’t mind because they reply every time and I’m not the first to interact every time.

Well wave to her all the time you see her and even say hello once in a while.

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