You: Waves hand.
Me: Notices you waving your hand.
You: Smiles and says hi.
Me. Waves my hand back and is about to say “hi” back when…
You: Look at me with the oddest expression on your face.
Me: Realizes (with a face the shade of the Kool Aid man) you were waving your hand not at me, but to the person behind me and are now thinking to yourself ‘Who is that strange girl?’
How many times has this happened to you? Embarrassing, no? The absolute worst is when you don’t even know the person who is waving ‘at you’, but you wave back at them because you think that maybe you really do know them but have just forgotten their name, or your too far away from them at the moment to see and recognize them fully, so in order to protect yourself from the embarrassment of not waving back because you forgot who they were, you wave overly enthusiastic like you really do know who they are, when in reality you really don’t, and end up embarrassing yourself because you did wave. Whoofta. I think I need a breather.
What are you supposed to do after you realize that this person wasn’t waving at you, but at someone entirely different? Unfortunately for me, I have found myself in this very situation on multiple occasions (this very morning in fact), always the ‘blind-sided waver-atter’. Fortunately for you, these blush-inducing faux-pas situations have given me some great tips to pass on to you on how to deal with the after math. I have found that depending on the magnitude of the wave (Was it a ‘jump up and down’ wave? A beauty pageant wave? A full-arm jiggle wave?) , the notice-factor (how much did the person see and think that you were waving at them on a scale from 1-10?), location, and even weather, these go-to excuses are a fantastic way to cover up and hide your ‘Oops-I-thought-you-meant-me’ slip-up.
First off, always try to play it cool. Try not to look like you know you misinterpreted the other person’s gesture; they can smell embarrassment a mile away. Smile and at casual. And never. I repeat. NEVER. Under any circumstances, start LOLing silly to yourself while at the same time trying to duck behind the lady walking in front of you who is carrying a small poodle in her purse. It always turns out bad. Not that I have any personal experience with this or anything…
Of course if you are too caught up in the moment to think on your ‘cool-ain’t no thang but a chicken wing’ feet, you could always act like you’re waiving at the person behind them, even going as far as to shout something ridiculous at your imaginary friend like “Hey how’s it going man?”. Note, this only works in a somewhat crowded area; you don’t want the person to turn around and see nothing but his shadow behind him. At that time, he will assume that you have some issue that requires immediate attention. You could also try doing the whole ‘swatting at the invisible fly in front of your face’ act, pull the ‘Boy, it’s hot out here and I need to fan myself down’ card (this is where the weather factor comes into play–doesn’t fare to well in the winter unless you’re abnormally hot all of the time), act like Mr. Suave and pretend you’re geling your hair back John Travolta style–both Grease and Saturday Night Fever will work– and last but not least–and this should be used only as a last resort option–you could jump into the bushes and wait for the person to pass (although make sure it’s not a rose-bush because, well, OUCH!)
Note, no matter which action you do decide to take in these kinds of situations, it will most likely cause some embarrassment, a funny story to tell to your family at the dinner table later that night, and possibly a few scratches (like I said, NOT the rose bushes).
And with that, I wave to you a great rest of your Thursday!
P.S. To the man who waved at me but not at me who I waved back to but not really…”Man, it was hot out and I desperately needed to fan myself off.”
Ya think he bought it?