The Captain's (B)log

Making Waves

© Captain Obvious 2011

For all of you who’s limbs have risen in salute to your fellow man and the thought crossed your brain… “Is there a method to this madness?”… and for the rest of you who do not partake in such frivolity but can appreciate a good laugh I have composed a comprehensive guide to ‘the wave’ as we know it.

It seems as though we now have at least 6 different types of wavers (for all of which I will use the term “guy” for convenience sake):

The Pre-Emptive Waver: This is someone who enjoys being a waver and waves at everybody, their mother and her cat Fluffy. He starts waving from at least a quarter of a mile away to make sure that you will see that he waved and is expecting the return wave. (Note: Pre-Emptive Wavers symptoms may include [but are not limited to] over-excitement and nervous energy. Side effects can lead to friends pretending they don’t know them and relational estrangement.)

The Late Waver: The guy who was actually waiting for you to wave first, but since you didn’t, the guilt of leaving a fellow homosapien un-waved is too much to bear. He waves at the last possible moment. If you try to give the return wave you are forced to look like A) You’ve run into a spider web B) You’re being chased by a bee or C) A retard.

The Perfectly Timed Waver: The guy who waves at just the right time to be cool, but allows enough time to get a return wave with no extra effort on your part. PTW’s are few and far between. (~RRA~Random Relationship Advice >)If you are looking for the cookie cutter, white house with a picket fence life with 1.89 children, marry a PTW. They will not disappoint.

The Accidental Waver: The guy reaching for his sunblock visor, sunglasses or sunscreen (I know what you’re thinkin’. Sunscreen? What if you’re at the beach? And yes it’s creepy that the Accidental Waver seems to only reach for items with the word “sun” in them… I’ll look into that). Too late you realize that the gesture was meant for an inanimate object and the initial rush of being noticed is replaced with rejection. Such is life.

The Liability Waver: This guy is really not a fan of the wave but will give a half smile and slight raise of the arm if he feels liable and cannot escape said gesture. He will rarely be a First Waver and is much closer to a Non-Waver than a Waver.

The Wave Shunner: This guy will be the only one not participating in a whole stadium of sports fans doing the wave and is therefore (clearly) a lost cause. Trying to force a social gesture on this guy is like a piece of dropped toast landing on the floor butter side up, it’ll never happen.

I‘m sure you’ve experienced most of these wavers somewhere along the line and fit into one (or parts) of these stereotypes. Still, only you know who you are. It takes a lot of personal security to wave at someone you don’t know. What if they’re a Wave Shunner? Then you you feel somewhat offended and spend the next couple of miles (if you’re driving… yards if you’re walking) trying to figure out why you were snubbed.  A few of these instances can actually give you a Late Waver complex.  All viable questions that only trial and error will answer.

The Types Of Waves

There are also 5 different types of waves applicable to all types of wavers:

The Right Angle Wave: This is the open palmed, arm bent at the elbow 90° with the fingers pointed straight up much like a jointed stick figure. This wave can also be mistaken as a right turn signal in traffic.

The Hail Hitler Wave: This wave is performed with the arm fully extended and slightly angled with the fingers pressed together as to resemble the Leaning Tower Of Pizza. A favorite of the Pre-Emptive Waver at long distances, this motion tends to revolt waving reciprocation 99.9% of the time.

The Cool Finger Wave: The peace sign. The pointer finger. The finger gun. This wave will get you shot in some neighborhoods but as such is a clear sign of its demonstrator’s invincibility.

The Miss America Wave: (not restricted to women unfortunately): Resembling a windshield wiper. “Elbow, wrist… elbow, wrist.” This is with the left arm elevated and hand moving side to side like you actually know the person you are waving at.  This wave can usually be seen coming from wanna-be prom queens, arrogant snobs and the Kardashians (but I repeat myself).

The Head Nod: This is a totally chill, very vogue response in lieu of a bona fide wave. Very popular among adolescents and men chewing toothpicks. A Head Nod exchange is indicative of mutual recognition for the others in-crowd status (applicable to the mafia, mobsters, gangs and teenage cliques).

Modus Operandi

What do you do when passing a group of say…7 people? Will one long wave take care of the whole group? Or does it require 7 individual waves, up and down? What about the ‘going the same direction’ wave? Does this require a wave or a nod or both? And with all the commotion in Japan… is it politically incorrect to talk about waves in such a witty and humorous manner?  These are all questions that inquiring minds need to ask.

Find Your Wave

The only way to find and recognize your wave and waver type is to try it. Next time you feel the urge to greet someone with a raising of the arm and a spreading of the fingers… just do it! Record the results in your brain and tell me on here WHO YOU ARE and better yet (if you’re way ahead of me) do it right now. I wanna know!

Happy Waving.



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17 thoughts on “Making Waves

  1. Creative You on said:

    Hahaha wow I wonder what wave I have hmmmm

  2. Alexia on said:

    Good post! *from a pre-emptive waver*

  3. Sincerely, Average. on said:

    Mine’s a definite cool finger wave, although I do head nod from time to time.

    But what about the whole ugly situation when someone looks like they’re waving at you, but really, it’s someone behind you? That one’s the worst.

  4. Let’s see…I’d have to go with the cool finger wave. Hmm, but if my cool fingers are preoccupied then it’s definitely the head nod…but if my head is crooked on my cell phone then it’s a creepy eyebrow raise and smile.

  5. I too fit into that category. Believe it or not, you and I are two of a select group of individuals blessed with the capability to manipulate our eye brows in such a fashion. Its hilarious to watch people say “How do you do that?” and then try it for themselves, pinning their ears back and (in extreme cases) using their fingers to contort their face.

  6. As a purveyor of fine puns and juvenile humour, I am grateful for your custom. Although it may come and go in waves.

  7. Nodding is where it’s at. I am always fascinated by the cultural nuances of various gestures. Laughed out loud about the section here on getting shot! Nice post.

  8. Holy cow! Stop it! I was ROTFL! (I know how you like acronyms)
    Seriously this is genius. I salute you.

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