Monday, June 14, 2010

Sneezing Politics

I grew up in a home where no one said "Bless you" after you sneezed. We sneezed, nothing was said, life went on.

Then I entered the "real world." A world where everyone - even complete strangers - jump at the chance to say "BLESS YOU!" right after I sneeze. It makes me try not to sneeze in public. It's so awkward.

I always cringe when someone sneezes, because I feel like they think I'm super rude if I don't say bless you. But then I also feel so dumb and awkward, squeaking out a "bless you." I don't want to be viewed as being rude. It's just how I was raised. Also, I think saying bless you is kind of dumb, to be honest.

In fact, I'd like to propose this - when two people first meet, they each say "bless you" to each other ... a sort of "blanket blessing", if you will. From that day forward, you won't have to say bless you when they sneeze, and vice versa. It's covered. 'Til the end of time.

This would be an especially good rule at work. I find it so awkward to bless people/be blessed for sneezing at work. I've only just started sneezing in front of other people ... so it's all new to me. I'd rather my sneezes go unnoticed.

Not to mention - blessing people for sneezing at work brings with it a bunch of new conditions/rules/questions:

  • If someone doesn't say "thank you" after you bless them, do you still say "bless you" the next time they sneeze? Or are you free from ever blessing them again?

  • If someone NEVER blesses you after you sneeze, yet blesses everyone else every time they sneeze, do you still bless them? Or do you sneeze, glare at them, shout "THANK YOU!!!" and turn back to your computer, typing angrily?

  • If you can't see the person who sneezes - say they're two offices away- can you be exempt from saying bless you? Or do I have to yell down the hall, "BLESS YOU! DEAR GOD! BLESS YOU!!!!!!!! WHOEVER YOU ARE!" ?



  1. Well *I* grew up in a house where you do say "Bless you," Karyn because if someone doesn't say it after you sneeze the devil enters your body and takes over your soul.

  2. My family never said "Bless You" either. We aren't religious so why would we say "Bless you" ?!?!? I feel weird when I say it but I still say it out of curtesy. I think I'm gonna start saying "Gesundheit!"

    Sometimes just to mix it up I say it in french. à tes souhaits!

  3. *I* grew up in a house where we announced it everytime we sneezed.I don't expect a bless you. But I do expect you'll get out of my line of sneezing fire.

  4. Wow. This clears up a lot. I thought I was just being subversive...I shudder every time someone says "bless you."
    "bless you"s on the bus are the worst!

  5. CarliQ - ugghh I know, right??

    Mike- hahaha.. bus "bless yous" sound like the most awkward things ever!!!


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