There exists, in our society, a collection of guidelines that most people follow called “Manners.” Some people use them as the boundaries surrounding an exclusive group, but manners exist mostly so that we don’t all end up hating each other’s guts. It’s true that some of these traditions are outdated; for example, it’s no longer acceptable to treat women with the sort of condescending delicacy that was once demanded by typical European manners. However, the majority of these manners still apply, and most of them can be easily summed up by Wheaton’s Law: Don’t be a dick.
Why am I talking about manners? Because there is one polite thing people do that pisses me the hell off. I think I speak for many people with allergies when I say that the words “Bless you” are FREAKING ANNOYING. We appreciate your consideration – saying “bless you” or “gesundheit” or whatever it is you say is friendly – but when we’re having a sneezing fit, and you’re at the sixth bless you and ready to keep going, it drives us crazy.
The thing you have to understand about sneezing spells, is that as funny as they may be to you (the person not sneezing like a maniac,) they’re really frustrating and sometimes painful. You can’t really control your body when you sneeze, all you can really do is aim, and that’s frustrating. That’s really frustrating. So why does someone else saying “bless you” piss me off? Well other than the fact that I’m being a grouchy old man today, I don’t know. I think it reminds me of the fact that I’ve just sneezed a bunch of times, which pisses me off to begin with, and “bless you” just pushes me over the edge.
To clarify, I’m just being grumpy. I think saying “bless you” is a nice, if outdated, gesture, but please do wait until the sneezing fit is over. If someone’s face is still scrunched up, chances are you’re in for another bout of sneezing, so hang on to your wishes of good health and blessings until they’re good and done. Their soul isn’t likely to escape from their nose in the time that it takes for them to sneeze a few more times, so it’s probably safe.