One of the most embarrassing things about me is my allergies. By no means am I saying it’s the only thing, but it definitely tops the list. See, when I sneeze, I don’t just sneeze once. I don’t just sneeze twice. On a good day, I sneeze five or six times and get it over with. Sometimes, I sneeze twice, then wait an acceptable amount of time, then sneeze again and every thirty seconds after that.
Sometimes, I give honkin’ big sneeze. I mean, this is a serious business sneeze. I start hyperventilating, and my face scrunches together like the pleats of an accordion, and I bare my teeth like a rabid animal and I have to scramble to hold myself together so I don’t go spraying snot everywhere and then I sneeze so loudly I literally shout, “AHH-HWOO” and my throat burns. If I’m in a small space, it’s merely just loud. If I’m in a large place, it echos.
Sometimes my sneezes are tiny. A tiny little cough or a snort that people give me funny looks for. The worst are during classes when people notice that I’ve sneezed and say ‘Bless you.’ They then feel compelled to say ‘Bless you’ every time after that. However, by the thirteenth time I’ve sneezed, they give me a look with raised eyebrows that says, ‘seriously? Do I need to call an ambulance?’
So, a lesson in proper sneezing etiquette from the Queen of Allergies: if the person sneezes once, and it’s a good solid sneeze, you may offer the proper sentiments. If the person sneezes and a second and a third time, with proper space in between, likewise. If the person sneezes five times in a row and is turning red, let them do their thing, catch their breathe, and please do not draw unwanted attention upon them.
Thanks so much!