Waving and a-Shaking

You know those awkward moments when someone across the room waves at you? Well, at least you think it’s you. You wave back tentatively only to discover they were waving at the person behind you. They haven’t even noticed you. Probably because they don’t even know you.

I’ve blushed through plenty of those kinds of moments. Like the awkward “should I, shouldn’t I” moments when you meet someone and you’re not sure whether or not to shake hands with them.

The other day, I went to have coffee with the pastors and team at our church. I arrived at the offices, greeted the various people I saw and then one of the elders came over to greet me. He extended his right hand towards me and, while I thought a handshake to be slightly formal, I did the same. As I extended mine towards his, he lifted his hand and scratched his head. And then he laughed like a drain.

I blushed, but then my phone rang and I answered it. I told the elder it was 1968 calling and they wanted that joke back.

A few weeks ago, I arrived at my gym to do a Pilates class. Our instructor was away, and a “cover girl” took the class in her stead. As I walked into the class, ticket in hand, the instructor started walking towards me. She told me she was covering the class and told me her name, and extended her hand towards me. I told her my name, and duly shook her hand.

She giggled a little and then asked me for my ticket. Clearly she had put her hand out for me to give her my ticket. She got a handshake in its place. Awkward.

And now to the joys of adolescent sons and their over-communicative mother. (Although that’s not how my sons would have described this moment.)

Some years ago, I went to watch my younger son play in a mid-week rugby match at a local school. I had arranged for my older son to be dropped off at said school after he had finished his day’s activities and, as I watched my younger son play, I kept an eye open for the arrival of my other son.

I spotted my older son as he arrived on the far side of the field. He was about 14 at the time. This is important.

I waved at him, and he didn’t wave back. I thought he wasn’t looking in my direction, so I kept watching him and waving at him. I thought he didn’t know where I was. He continued walking towards me, but I still wasn’t sure he’d seen me.

After wave number four hundred, I focused my gaze back on the rugby game in front of me. My younger son was directly in my sight, play had stopped momentarily for a penalty, and he was waving at me. Coyly, barely lifting his hand above hip height, and agonisingly hoping no-one else could see him, he was waving at his mom from the middle of a rugby match. He was twelve.

I realised immediately what had happened.

My older son arrived at my side, and he said to me, “Mo-o-o-m, I saw you as soon as I arrived. You didn’t need to keep waving at me; I was walking towards you.”

After the match, I asked my younger son if he thought I was waving at him. He said he did, and he wondered why I kept waving at him in the middle of his match. He was so embarrassed and thought if he waved back, I might stop.

So next time you want to wave at someone or shake their hand, think about it carefully before you do anything foolish. It’s a jungle out there, I tell you, a jungle.

Sunshine signing off for today!


36 thoughts on “Waving and a-Shaking

  1. I have done that! How many times!
    Very funny. How do you even remember all of these moments? I think my mind tries to kick them right out of teh filing system so that i never have to deal with them again.

  2. What a laugh I got at the image of you waving repeatedly to your 14-year old son. As the mom of two boys, 14 and 13, I could feel the moment. I’ve had many of these awkward handshake/waving moments. Have a blessed weekend, Diane

  3. Ha! So funny. Awkward, sure, but leave it to you, Sunshine, to turn the story into something so giggle-worthy. 🙂

    I was at a funeral the better part of this week, and saw members of GB’s family I haven’t seen in years. I didn’t know if I should greet them with hugs or handshakes, so I almost always went for the hug. It took a few people by surprise, but if you can’t hug people at a funeral, when can you?

    Thanks for the morning laugh!

    1. Glad you had a laugh, Maura – and thanks for your lovely comment!
      I’ve been wondering where you were – sorry to hear you’ve been at a funeral. Love and thoughts to you and GB.
      I agree about the hugging though … but then I’m a hugger xx

  4. LOL…I am the Queen of Awkward…or at least I used to be. I’m growing more comfortable now, so it’s not so bad; I just laugh it off and make a little joke where appropriate.

  5. Haha! And I thought it was just me that these things happen to! Do you remember we went to the midnight service at church one Christmas, and when I saw the sidesman, I opened my handbag thinking he was checking for explosives!!!!! We giggled for most of the service!!!!! Love the story about the boys! LOL

  6. Hee hee — I love that you waved 400 times. I do that, too. And, when my teenage daughter is being ridiculous about thinking “people are looking at her” (I mean really, people are living their lives for goodness sake.) I start looking around shouting, “Hello everyone who’s looking at my daughter!” She loves when I do that.

  7. Sunshine.
    1. that elder should be jack-slapped for that “joke”–that is AWFUL! I want to fly over (on a Concord, wish they still had them) and PULL DOWN HIS PANTS IN FRONT OF YOUR CONGREGATION. What a jerk.
    2. I love the rest. 🙂

    I know about those “waves” with my son, now…and, as he gets out of the van or out the door…he very quickly still waves and even mumbles (while making eye contact) “iloveyou”

    1. Hahahaha, jane! The elder I mention is absolutely lovely – he’s just a fan of lame old jokes and pranks, that’s all! But thanks for having my back, jane – glad I can count on you!
      Glad you love the rest, and that you are familiar with those waves. It goes with the territory of motherhood, doesn’t it?
      Hugs from London xx

  8. That is funny. Nearly as bad as when you see somebody you know walking in front of you and you call their name, they turn around and it’s not them 🙂

    1. True – it’s funny and awkward when that happens! When I was a little girl I hugged a lady, thinking she was my mom. When I felt a corset, and then looked up to see her face, I realised she was so someone else! Oops.

  9. I loved this post and read it to my two teenagers. They never believe there are other moms like me who are embarrassing their kids this way.

    I got threatened not to use Amanda’s trick of yelling out to people, but I’m not promising. 🙂

    You are a great writer.

  10. A great way to start a Sunday morning, I’m still giggling over here. For every new instance I read, my stomach sank as if it were happening to me. Probably because I related with many!! 🙂 Loved your post.

    1. Hi Bonnie – glad you could relate! So at least I’m not alone in doing things like this – haha!
      Welcome to my blog – good to see you here, take a seat and make yourself at home.

  11. I hate when that happens! I don’t know which is worse, waving at someone who’s not waving at you, or being invisible! Neither one is good for the ego!

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