I grew up, for lack of a better description, in the country. I measured distance from friends houses in miles instead of blocks. Out in the country, when you are driving or riding around and you see someone its just common to wave or raise a few fingers off the steering wheel in a small form of greeting. Its a reflex and something that took me a long time to get out of doing once I moved into a more "city" environment. I don't do it anymore when I'm driving around but do find myself do it on occasion when I'm back on the home turf where I grew up.
When we moved into a neighborhood, my waving habit returned. Most of the people I see walking on the sidewalks or streets of my neighborhood are either people I know or just neighbors I've yet to meet. Most of the time it's their children or teenagers. I drive past them making sure to keep an eye out for the random smaller child or family pet in case one darts my way and as I pass I smile and wave. They are my neighbors so I see no harm in this. I've done this for over 9 years and haven't had any issues. Sure some people just give me that blank stare of "Do I know you?" with a look of trying to remember where they know me from then they just go back to what they were doing. Most of the teenagers and kids just smile and some wave back. The ones that are too cool to wave and smile just give me the up-nod of recognition and go about their business.
Until today that is.... Today I'm driving out and make my turn on to the main street and see a teenager up ahead. Its time for the High Schoolers to be getting home and I'm on my way to pick up Logan so there is nothing odd about a solo teenager walking the street. I get closer and give a small wave and a smile and keep going. As I pass the lil punk/thug wannabe I hear "Wha chu wavin at Cracker?"
HUH? Cracker? Seriously? What is that little shits problem?
I glance in the rear view mirror and see him still walking away from me not looking back. Then I notice the 'angry' walk he was doing. His body language was screaming "I think I'm a bad ass and I'm mad at the world!". I refrained from slamming on the brakes and having a discussion with him about manners and keeping your mouth shut when you're the one walking in the street without a bumper or airbag between you and oncoming cars. Part of me wanted to go back and stomp some manners into his lil punk ass. That part was overruled by the more rational part of me, you know the part that reminds you that getting blood out of hiking boots is a REAL pain and they're new boots so lets not muck them up with the blood of some thug wannabe. I kept on driving but was rather confused at what this kids problem was that he needed to speak out when he could have just kept walking in angry silence.