In ancient Greece, sneezing was believed to be a sign from God. They believed that when a person sneezed, it was a blessing. So basically whenever someone would look at a bright light or got a piece of dust in their nostrils, it was a sign from a superior being...riiiiight. In ancient Rome, it was believed that your breath was directly tied to your life. So, every time a person sneezed they had the potential to drop dead instantly. Hold on, it gets better. In Polish culture, it is believed (I’m not making any of this up) that when a person sneezes, someone’s mother-in-law is speaking badly about their son-in-law at that very moment. And we wonder where Polish stereotypes come from. Maybe that’s why everyone hates their mother-in-laws.
Saying “God bless you”, “Gesundheit” (German for “health”) and “Salud” (Spanish for “health”) were different ways of responding to someone sneezing. Some beliefs were that sneezing was an evil spirit trying to exit the body and saying “God bless you” would prevent it. Others said it because they thought it would prevent someone’s heart from failing (thought to be caused by the sneeze). So....yeah, people still say these things even though (I hope) people don’t really believe in these superstitions. It’s just good manners now to say it. Even though that etiquette is based on thousands of years of total stupidity.
The action of sneezing is also very weird and foreign to me. It’s an involuntary action that can occur from a large number of causes and can happen at any time you're awake. It has an alien-like feeling to it. You're doing your everyday things when all of a sudden your face squishes, your eyes water, you inhale, your eyes close, and you spit a bunch of crap from your nasal cavities and your throat into the air. None of which you have control over. It’s like something is controlling your body for a few seconds. And I don’t know who said that sneezing is like 10% of an orgasm, but they are full of it (unless they like the feeling of a third-party controlling your body, but I'm not getting into that right now). If I could choose one thing to never have to do again, I would choose sneezing. Sneezing totally sucks.
By far the worst thing about sneezing is how inconvenient it is. Ever notice how sneezing occurs at the worst possible moment? I swear that I sneeze more in the car than anywhere else, because some higher power likes watching me squirm, freak out and yell obscenities. I’ll be coming up to either an intersection or a very intense amount of traffic on the highway and that feeling will come. That unholy annoying little tickle in my nose. Right as I’m about to hit my breaks or change lanes, I will sneeze, thus involuntarily closing my eyes and losing all control of my body for about a second. During this moment two things occur: I open my eyes as fast as possible, hit my brakes and make sure I haven't already crashed and then I curse at the top of my lungs followed by “unbelievable!”. I swear someone is messing with me. Not cool, man. Not cool.
Luckily for me I don't have bad allergies, so I don't sneeze every 30 seconds like some people. If my allergies were as severe as some people, I would either have to wear a gas mask all the time or just cut my nose off. Strangely enough though, I have noticed an increased amount of sneezing on my part within the last few years. Maybe I've developed slight allergies? Maybe because I don't dust my room often? No idea. All I know is that I resent sneezing so much that it feels like every time I sneeze, a asifooijsijof ...yes I just sneezed as I typed that sentence. DAMNIT!
Written by: Kyle Cicilioni