Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Jeep wave

The Jeep wave. It's an unwritten rule that if you should own/drive a Jeep Wrangler you must hold a minimum of two fingers up on the hand that is holding the steering wheel when passing another Jeep Wrangler. It is expected that the other person will reciprocate. This rule is passed down like a secret code of Jeep drivers. In CA not as many folks driving Jeeps were true Jeep drivers - no wave - posers.

When I moved to TX I realized the sheer population of Jeep drivers is greater and every one of them waves. On my way to work commuting a little over 12 miles I might wave 6-8 times to a passing Jeep. I have gotten the usual two finger acknowledgement, an actual wave and once even a full on salute. If someone waves and I am spaced out on auto pilot and don't see it I feel bad that I missed it - like they might now view me as a fake (I am especially sensitive to this being a woman driver of a lifted wrangler).

 I wonder as I drive why drivers of other cars don't have this code. I think about this as I realize I have a horrible urge to wave at Jeeps when I am driving our Honda Accord. What would an Accord wave look like? What kind of exchange might that be? Would you politely raise one hand in understanding that you are both incredibly practical people, saving at the pump and driving a car that will last forever? Maybe this doesn't work with other car drivers because they just aren't as cool. When you drive a Jeep you add an element of adventure to your life. You wave with a nod of understanding that you are just a little bit different than the rest of the commuting masses - you drive a Jeep.

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