Tuesday, October 03, 2006

 

why try to be a jerk? sociology and shared meanings and whatnot

So today I was at the corner waiting for the light to change, and a girl standing to my right sneezed. I hadn't noticed her before the sneeze; I had been pleasantly lost in my little world of anticipating the tasty BLT clutched in my hand.

I said "God Bless You," and she said thank you, and smiled this huge smile.

I used to know someone who never said God Bless You - he said that it was stupid, since it originated from that whole "may the Devil not steal your soul" business. We all know sneezing isn't related to the devil, and souls, so why bother saying it?

He explained that to me once, and it shut me up. It made me feel like I was being sensitive and silly and quaint. Continuing to bless him and the world in the face of such cold logic became my little gift.

The girl's smile brought that all back to me today as I crossed the street, and it made me realize why it sorta stings when people systematically refuse to acknowledge the sneeze.

When I said "God Bless You," I wasn't trying to protect her soul. I was saying "Hey. I notice you, my fellow human. I wish you well."

Her smile showed that she feels the same way - sometimes it's nice to know that there are random people who got your back.

Comments:
I always say bless you. Someone sneezes half the hallway away from me, I'm the one hollering out "Bless you!" And everyone knows it.
 
She sneezed on your back?

Okay, that was probably the worst comment ever.

Self-sneezing always brings out the
"Excuse me", from me even if there is no-one around.

Sneezing is the best reason I know of not to eat from supermarket salad bars.

The recommended method of politely sneezing is to honk into the crook of your elbow.

Have I made up for the first idiotic statemtent yet?
 
tc: haha me too...sometimes I say it, and I realize that I had pushed it a bit far. Oh well.

Wombat: I've found myself saying "excuse me" when I'm alone, or saying it to the computer. I guess it's like using my blinker - I always use it, even if I'm just pulling into the driveway and I'm alone on the street.
 
Funny thing is..saying bless you to people you don't know- they tend to react in different ways- from complete indifference to the big smile. I tend to say it just because...
 
In chinese, there is no expression for after someone sneezes. Every time after someone sneezed, I would experience this awful silence that only I was suffering in.
 
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