Drive down almost any rural road, and you’ll will be greeted by the ubiquitus rural wave – that little flap done by the natives which serves two purposes. The first motive for the motion is to welcome strangers to the neighbourhood. The wave is normally initated by the resident, and returned by the stranger. The second purpose is to advise the interloper that ‘You’ve been seen’…and if something goes wrong, your presence has been duly noted.
Having grown up in, and always resided in, rural communities, the rural wave is instinctive for me. I find my hand raised before I even think about it. But recent events have forced me to stop the greeting for fear another person will misinterpret it the way an invasive individual has done.
I am attending court this Friday in an attempt to secure a peace bond (restraining order) against a woman who mistook my wave for an invitation to become part of my family’s daily life. It got so bad, we would see her sitting outside our house up to seven times a day. Watching the children get on the bus. There when they got off the bus. I’d drive home for lunch and there she’d be. When she approached me like an old friend at the grocery store, I’d finally had enough. You see, I had never met this person before, had not conversed with her other than asking her not to approach the children or beckon the kids toward her car (both of which she did while I was not nearby), and in no way had invited her attention. Or so I thought. Turns out, waving at someone can be interpreted as an invitation. Who knew. She expressed her surprise when I explained -standing in an aisle at the grocery store – that her presence was making me nervous. ‘But, you waved at me!’ I’ll admit, the wave had become facetious for me…’Oh, there she is again. And again.’ But now, I make a point of not waving at people, if I catch my arm in time, so that I won’t be opening a door for someone who obviously has some serious problems.