It’s Thanksgiving.

Maybe you’re from one of those families that has each person at the table say what they’re thankful for. I don’t doubt that most in New Jersey are grateful for good things.

Yet there’s one category in which we are sorely lacking in gratitude. At least in expressing it.

The courtesy thanks. On Jersey roads.

Portrait of a satisfied driver gesturing thumbs up sitting inside a car

How many times does it happen that you go out of your way to allow someone trying to get out of a driveway into busy traffic to go in front of you, and you get complete indifference? Or their lane is ending, and you do them a solid and wave them in front of you only to receive the coldness of zero recognition?

Look, I’m not saying they must put on a fireworks display. Not saying they need to act like you donated a freaking kidney.

But the slightest nod, or slight wave, a thumbs up? Something?


If you think this is silly, I would guess you’re one of these jerks. Think it through. When a stranger goes out of their way to hold a door for you, don’t you say thanks? I bet you do, because when you don’t, you’re treating them like a doorman. Like it was some foregone conclusion that they were just expected to treat your ass like royalty.

So yes, you thank them. Then why aren’t you doing it in traffic?

My theory? It’s the same thing that turns people into obnoxious trolls on the internet.


You feel being inside your car and in such a transient moment with a stranger you’ll never see again, you can get away with the rudeness. You feel anonymous. Almost invisible. And protected by it.

Driver / driving on the highway

When you let these jerks out into traffic and they do nothing to even slightly acknowledge the favor you’ve done, don’t you want to take it back? Or worse, do unspeakable things that would require lawyers and money? Sure you do. Because you’re human. It’s not that you want your butt kissed. It’s just that you don’t want to be a schmuck and they just turned you into one.

Honestly, it’s gotten to the point that I see most people not giving the slightest thank you anymore. It didn’t used to be this way. Again, I think it’s the internet troll mentality, and the impact of technology in general that we’re forgetting how to talk to each other.

Even if that talk is just a slight wave. Do it. Say thanks. Heck, if I let you in I’ll take a blink of your dull eyes at this point.


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