I love thinking about things that I haven’t thought about in years. I was driving down the interstate the other day and got caught in the inevitable Seattle traffic jam. I noticed a little girl in the back seat of the car next to me. Suddenly I was transported to my childhood and the many boring back seat rides I endured.
Back in the early 70’s, I created a game for myself called “Peace and Hi”. It was simple, really. It involved sitting backward, and looking out the rear window of my mother’s Rambler. (These were the days when seatbelts were a mere afterthought. I’m amazed I survived to adulthood.) I would study the drivers behind us and try to figure out, just based on their appearance, whether to wave hello or give them a peace sign. If I judged correctly and they responded in kind, I’d won.
This game was more challenging than you’d think, because I was painfully shy. It took guts for me to reach out to a total stranger like that. And a lot of them would either ignore me or scowl. Then I’d dive down below the window line, stewing in my own mortification, until I assumed they’d veered off our route and it was safe to emerge. And if they did wave or give me that peace sign, I’d still often duck, but this time I’d be giggling. My mother must have thought I was nuts.
I wonder what would happen if I gave someone the peace sign today? I may have to try it, next time I’m stuck on I-5. Of course, as the driver, I wouldn’t be able to duck.