Sep 22, 2006

The Wave

And I'm not talking about that thing they don't do at ballgames anymore. I'm talking about how do you wave at people without feeling awkward?

This was inspired by professional waver, Tara Reid:

I'm keeping the picture small because I hate Tara Reid. But she does provide an excellent demonstration of the two-hand elbows-bent wave.

I think we can all agree that this is not a wave we would care to emulate. Neither is the two-hand elbows-straight wave, which I couldn't find a picture of because I'm lazy and have work to do, but we all know it--it's the one Tom Cruise used to do before his other arm was always occupied by Katie Holmes.

Somewhat better is the one-arm-straight wave, made popular by many male celebrities. It's just a jut up hey there, and then down. Forceful, yet casual. However, you kind of have to be a movie star putting up with the paparazzi to make that anything other than an arrogant jackass wave.

This morning, I waved at a friend of Girl's as we walked to school. I used the one-hand-close-to-shoulder-spirit-fingers wave. She was cute, so I was going for cute. But used on anyone older than eight and I think the wave would just seem simpering.

Then there's the exuberant back and forth arms and elbows working it wave, used most commonly when you're trying to get someone's attention at the airport. Not really appropriate anywhere else, unless you want people to think you REALLY like them. Which might scare them.

There's the at the hip wave, which is used when you don't really want to wave to someone but feel like you have to acknowledge their existence in some way. Nobody likes that one. The ever-mocked beauty queen wave (elbow, elbow, wrist, wrist, touch your pearls and smile), and the politician wave (one arm, way up, back and forth).

I find I most commonly use what is perhaps the dorkiest looking wave of all: the up-by-shoulder-whole-hand-moving-from-side-to-side wave. It's big enough so people don't feel like I'm dissing them, but is neither simpering nor frighteningly exuberant.

Am I missing any? And does anyone have a preference?


J said...

Excellent. You've found an upside to the whole Tomecat mess!

For fun, I like to do a very exaggerated wave that involves a lot of elbow and wrist action and subsequently make my upper arm flab swing. It's hilarious on many levels.

But usually I use the head nod popularized by "guys"- it's a chin up movement that says "hey." For a more formal air, I go with the head nod popularized by gymnasts. That's a quick down that says "hello, how do you do."

(Both head nods say, "my arms are perfectly normal.")

Guy said...

My favorite is the Queen Elizabeth cupped-hand rotating from side-to-side wave.

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