All of these are high odds scenes for scoring a blessing after you sneeze. Chances are good that if you explode in a loud bang of spit and phlegm at the dinner table, at least one of your aunts will say “Bless you” and there’s a good shot everyone will chime in. Same when you’re grabbing wings or cramming for biology.
But when you’re on your own it’s a whole different story.
Tapping on a laptop at the coffee shop, washing your hands in the restaurant bathroom, double-stepping up the escalator on your way to work.
These are low odds scenes for netting a blessing. The people around you don’t know you and maybe don’t notice you. But when you sneeze and there’s just silence it’s a bit awkward. I always feel a little lonely in those situations. “Didn’t anyone just hear me sneeze?” I want to ask. But instead I just finish washing my hands and wonder if my released spirit is now floating around the urinals.
This is why there’s something cool about a stranger saying bless you. It’s even better when you say nothing before the free blessing and they say nothing afterwards. Like a friendly smile on passing escalator or an empathetic laugh behind you in line, it’s just a momentary little politeness blip.
Illustrations from: here