The Lost Art of Waving- It’s a Southern Thing
Almost thirty years ago when visiting my husbands hometown in the South, I noticed many differences between the common folk (locals) and the tourist (Yankees- AKA me). One of the main things that stood out was their friendliness and Southern Hospitality. I was convinced everyone was related because they all called each other honey, darling, and sweetheart; words that were reserved for those closest to us in the northern states.
When traveling down the roads of memory lane I noticed my husband kept waving to everyone that we passed by, at first I didn’t pay it a lot of attention but then I started to get a jealous tinge because happenstance, most of the people he was waving to were women. “Do you know her? Was she a girlfriend? What is her name?” He replied “that is what you do down South, you’re friendly to each other and wave when you pass someone” Well I never! I was certain he was lying and covering up some sort of past life he didn’t want me to be a part of. I spent a great deal of people watching for the duration of our vacation, low and behold, everyone was doing this waving thing. Either everyone knew everyone on a first name basis or my husband was actually telling the truth, people down South are friendly to strangers and go out of their way to express this kindness.
A wave is a movement of the hand that people commonly use to greet each other but can also be used to say goodbye, merely acknowledge another’s presence
Shortly after our return I thought long and hard and decided I wanted to raise my family in a town where children respect adults, doors are held open for each other, ‘mam’ and ‘sir’ are still used, and strangers wave to each other. So I made the move and completely embraced myself in the Southern culture, laid-back lifestyle, waving and y’all.
Now I am the one who gets the laugh when my family comes from out of town and ask why I am waving to everyone, holding doors open and my children call them “Mam and Sir”, it’s a Southern Thang and I wouldn’t have it any other way.