Why on earth do we say Bless You! to one another after a sneeze?! We don’t get a blessing for burping or coughing. So what do sneezes and blessings have in common? Mr President ALWAYS says Bless you after I sneeze. If I sneeze in the middle of the night and he’s dead asleep, he mumbles Bless you without waking up. It kind of freaks me out! When I sneeze at school, I almost expect to get a text from him, Bless you. I’m rebelling and not saying it. Well, that’s not exactly true. Lately, when I hear him about to sneeze, I quickly say Bless you! and then his sneeze gets stuck somewhere in sneeze land down in the deepest nasal portions of his nose! It cracks me up. And irritates him. Which makes it even funnier cause Mr P has the patience of Job.
But I think it’s a strange tradition. Apparently, it all started because people were afraid the devil could steal your soul when you sneezed and a quick Bless you would save the day. And your soul! Some even thought you could lose your soul through a sneeze! So the blessing was pretty much the same as saying Way to hang on to your soul! Others believed your heart stopped beating mid-sneeze so a quick Bless you got it ticking again! I think this is a pile of hogwash.
Especially when most of the world doesn’t Bless one another for worthy acts, stuff that deserves a blessing. Not like a wet, germ-spreading sneeze.
This will prove my point.
This past weekend I frolicked in the country with my beautiful sister-in-law, eating fabulous food, enjoying even more fabulous live music, wandering through little towns meeting the locals and getting to know one another even more. We’re an interesting combo, me and Chantal. She’s logical, no-nonsense, pretty black and white. She loves milk, and she’s gonna’ drink it when she wants regardless of all the hype about its supposed evils! I’m meaning-of-life, romantic, the blue pink and yellow sort. And I haven’t drank milk in 20 years! But we are both giant walking hearts. On Friday night, as soon as the live band started to play, we immediately started crying into our napkins, giggling and feeling silly. A couple of feelers, the type that cry at the sound of beautiful music.
Saturday evening found us at an intimate warm little restaurant where the tiny tables were cozily clustered and your dining neighbours weren’t far…in other words, you could reach out and touch them! Not long after we were seated, a man and woman, mid-sixtyish, settled in beside us. I probably wouldn’t have noticed them, except he had wild Einstein hair! When the waitress approached them, he was most concerned that this was a women’s restaurant! Einstein kept insisting that there were only women in the restaurant, but she assured him that it was not true and he was welcome. The rest of the evening Wild Hair Man and his partner conversed in French, leaving all us women in the dark.
EXCEPT FOR CHANTAL! My French-speaking Quebecois girl with the huge heart!
You know that saying, I wish I was a fly on the wall? Yup. That’s pretty much what we were! Chantal translated and I gasped. Now if they were talking about normal stuff, like the bad winter we’re supposed to have or Trump vs Clinton, these flies would have found their own garbage to dwell on. But no, WHM went on and on about EATING IN A LESBIAN RESTAURANT! And he did not think favourably of the situation. We couldn’t believe his ignorance and his offensive attitude and words. Yet it felt so naughty knowing what he was saying when he didn’t know that we understood!
Eventually, Chantal started thinking in English and tuned out WHM and we thoroughly enjoyed our dinner and the wonderful conversation you get when you mix black and white with blue pink and yellow! At some point, I sneezed into my elbow dear friends! And Wild Hair Man took a second from his ugly thoughts and words to murmur Bless You.
TO WHICH I DID NOT SAY THANK YOU! AND WHICH FURTHER CONVINCED ME THAT SNEEZE BLESSING IS HOGWASH!
You guys! Can you believe it?! And that’s my point exactly!! But I do have a tendency to throw out the baby with the bathwater! So I’m trying to be a little less blue pink and yellow in this situation. I guess we don’t have to completely throw out the tradition of blessing sneezes!
The conclusion of the matter is I suppose it’s okay to bless a sneeze even though I think it’s strange but then again I’m not afraid to own a black cat- even though i don’t- or walk under a ladder or step on the cracks of a sidewalk!
But only if your many words are a blessing on this journey we’re all stumbling through together. Lifting and blessing one another.
Annnnnnnnnd.…. I couldn’t let WHM leave without having the last word!
As they stood to leave, wrapping their scarves and coats, I reached across the table where Chantal’s hand lay outstretched. I gently stroked it, entwining my fingers through hers, leaning into her, gazing longingly into her eyes, whispering sweet nothings, lightly licking my lips!!! Like I was gonna’ take her down right then and there! And Chantal loved me back!
It’s a wonder Wild Hair Man didn’t have a heart attack! He whispered desperately to wife/friend/sister, nodding toward us! We could hear the hissing, the chair legs scraping, quite a commotion!!! But we ignored them and continued to make love!!!
When we heard the door close behind them, we giggled like schoolgirls! You know the snorting kind of laughter?! You feel it in your lower gut kind of laughter?!
Bless you Wild Hair Man!
May God look favourably upon us all.