View From The Glen

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Nod

I passed a blue mini van exactly the same as mine on my way back from lunch.

I say exactly the same but I expect the interior was different. (Not everyone carries hockey skates, spare shoes, a dog leash, a package of juice boxes, and a couple of emergency rather worse-for-wear books spread out across the floor of their van. Although they should, because you never know when you might need hockey skates. But I digress!)

My point is that as I passed I glanced at the driver - a woman, mid 30’s, hair in a ponytail, imagine! – and did one of those “nod” things in her direction. And she “nodded” back.

Why? For Heavens Sake, Why?

I’ve noticed this phenomenon before, most spectacularly in the late 90’s when for two marvelous years between getting married and having a baby, I drove a silver VW Beetle. Oh, I loved that car. But what drove me crazy was The Code – some fine print I must have missed about how I was supposed to wave at every other Bug driver I passed on the road. I started to dread seeing another Bug. Inevitably I would either wave and smile and nod, and feel like an idiot. Or I would not, would stare stoically ahead, and would feel like a big meanie for violating The Code! I imagined the other VW driver saying Sheesh! What’s her problem? and couldn’t stand the thought of all those sheeshes sending their negative vibes my way through the universe.

I’m stronger than that now. And I haven’t waved, or smiled or nodded at someone just because we have the same taste in vehicles for a long time.

Until today.

And I wonder what makes us do it? Do we assume having the same vehicle gives us a special bond? Would I have given her the nod if she had been driving the same make and model in a different colour? What about the same colour in a different model?

These are the huge cosmic questions I am asking myself today.

Obviously I don’t have enough to do!

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