Tiffany Luu | Photographer

To wave or not to wave: A moral dilemma affecting millions

Tiffany Luu | Photographer
Tiffany Luu | Photographer

In between third and fourth period yesterday, by the K-building lockers, junior Lynne Brianson was faced with one of the most difficult decisions of her life. After several moments on the verge of tears, Brianson was finally able to divulge the story of her trauma.

“I saw a girl who was on my soccer team four years ago,” Brianson said. “And I didn’t know if I should wave or not. It’s not like we knew each other well, but we once shared a bag of orange slices, and now it’s really hard to get a read on our dynamic.”

It is a problem afflicting thousands of Americans each day: in hallways, parking lots, and Costcos nationwide. An MC staff member recounts his own unique experience.

“It happened while I was walking the dog,” math teacher Stan Trig said. “I saw a member of my wife’s book club approaching while pushing a stroller. We’ve met each other several times, but what are we?”

The question plagues the souls of the nation. The line between stranger, acquaintance, and friend have never been so blurred. Trig’s insight on the matter further complicates it.

“The worst part was the waiting,” Trig said. “We could clearly see each other as we grew nearer, but when is the correct time to wave? If you make eye contact 20 yards away, do you just smile until you reach each other? Or do you pretend not to notice until you nearly collide?”

Trig’s decision in that fateful moment changed the course of his life.

“I couldn’t do it,” Trig said. “I chickened out. I pretended to look at my phone intently until she passed. It was easier than the humiliation of saying hi and having her not recognize me.”

This recent trend of suddenly receiving urgent text messages or calls when faced with life-and-death decisions such as Trig’s has allowed millions to avert their worst nightmares.

“I always used to fake a phone call so I could walk past environmental activist hippies in the streets without guilt,” one MC student, who chose to remain unnamed, said. “But now I find myself talking into my phone to avoid interaction with classmates I’ve known for years. It’s just too awkward to see them outside of school. Like, what if they don’t even consider me a friend? I’m not willing to risk it.”

Brianson, however, displayed remarkable courage in her earlier mentioned situation.

“I just decided to go for it,” Brianson said in between sobs of humiliation. “I waved at her across the hall.”

Unfortunately, this kind of bravery sometimes comes with a price. Brianson may have made history with her acknowledgement of a long lost acquaintance, but the results were no less than tragic.

“She waved back,” Brianson said, a moment of hope glimmering in her eyes before vanishing. “But it turned out she was just waving to her friend behind me.”

Written by Annie Price

Annie is a senior and a co-editor-in-chief for the MC Sun. Her hobbies include dodging questions about her future, driving on an empty tank of gas, and forcing people to look at pictures of her dogs.

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