There is only one successful way to wave. You wave at Target Person and Target Person waves back. Your mission is complete. Congratulations.
Unfortunately, there are a lot more ways to fail spectacularly at waving. Fortunately, these failures are often quite amusing (for unattached observers. Definitely not amusing for all parties involved. Mortifying for them).
- When you think someone’s waving at you, but they’re actually waving at the person behind you.
- You were having an awful day (You spilled orange juice all over your jeans, and no matter where you go, people kept asking if you peed your pants), but the cheerful wave from your acquaintance turned your day around. At least someone is happy to see you. You excitedly start to wave back when you notice that your acquaintance is looking at their friend, who is behind you and waving nonchalantly. They also have dry pants. You awkwardly put your hand in your hair like that’s what you meant to do the entire time.
- When you think that someone is waving at the person behind you, but they are actually waving at you.
- You are walking down the hall, deep in thought, when you see an acquaintance of yours in your peripheral vision waving vigorously. As you have low self-esteem, you conclude that no sane person would purposefully wave at you and they must be waving at the person behind you. Having reached this conclusion, you dutifully ignore you acquaintance, allowing the person behind you freely wave without a doubt as to whether they are being waved at. As you continue down the hall, you see your acquaintance’s face fall and they burst into tears. You surreptitiously glance behind you. Did the Target Person not see you acquaintance waving? The hallway is empty. They were waving at you. They are now weeping excessively because of you and now you are weeping excessively because of how guilty you are.
- When you wave at someone, but the person behind them waves at you.
- You are walking down the hall when you see one of your friends. You wave enthusiastically, but they are reading and walking (which is inadvisable) and they don’t see you. A distant acquaintance (you went to kindergarten together, but you haven’t spoken since, although you do acknowledge each other’s existence occasionally), on the other hand, does see you and is waving back at you. Instinctively, you awkwardly wave again, a grimace on your face because of your hand’s betrayal.
- When you wave at someone, but they don’t see you.
- You are walking down the hall when you see one of your friends. You wave enthusiastically, but they are reading and walking (which is inadvisable) and they don’t see you. You awkwardly put your hand in your hair like that’s what you meant to do the entire time.
- When you pretend to wave at someone so people don’t think you’re lonely.
- This one really doesn’t need an explanation.