While in Boston, we were walking around the market and I heard someone sneeze and then someone not too far away turn around and yell, "bless you!"
"Bless you" sometimes perplexes me. Why do we say it? Tradition? Ok, it doesn't really matter. Just something you say. But I might think it's kind of really weird. I mean, is anyone really offended if no one says "bless you" after you sneeze? "Helloooo.. i just sneezed. Anyone?" And is it not weird that ANYONE can say it? not just people who actually know you? I'm standing by a group of total strangers and it would be totally bizarre/socially odd to suddenly blurt out a word to them out of the blue. Except, when they sneeze, somehow I'm suddenly concerned for them and want them to know they'll be blessed for it? WEIRD. And sometimes it's done in a friendly way but oftentimes people just say it just to say it, as if I'm interrupting their moment and despite how annoying my sneeze is, somewhere in their life, they signed a contractual agreement saying that they'll say "bless you" when someone sneezes--no matter who it is or where you are or what you're doing. You're contractually obligated. And while I'm at it, I'm not really ok with going out of one's way to tell someone "bless you" after they've sneezed. If you're standing a sitting a foot away, then ok, I guess. whatever. But when you hear someone sneeze across the room and shout "bless you!!!" at them, isn't that a little weird/rude? Like, why are you shouting at me, stranger?
Anyway, I shared my views with Brooke as we were walking, right after witnessing this event and I said, "I mean, it's like suddenly shouting, 'ALOHA!!!' to someone I don't even know..." And then--the best thing ever--when I shouted 'aloha,' the woman in front of us jumped, turned her head slightly, and then totally scampered away quickly as if i was telling her to scram. OH MAN. So funny. I felt a little bad but thank you, lady, for proving my point. You felt invaded, right? yelled at. So anyway. Those are my thoughts, now you tell me yours.