bless you

Have you noticed how strange it is that we’re supposed to say “bless you” to each other when we sneeze? And then if someone says it to us after we sneeze, we’re supposed to say “thank you?” It’s weird.

Why do we* do this? What are we trying to accomplish? And why sneezing? No one expects us to say “bless you” after a cough or a yawn.

Like I said, it’s weird.

*Well, I don’t. Not the “bless you” part, anyway. But I do say thank you if someone else says it to me, because not saying thank you draws way more attention than it’s worth. You don’t say thank you and then you either have to endure the chilly awkward silence or you have to explain that even if you were a believer in gods and blessings, you still wouldn’t have the audacity to think anything you said would have a measurable effect on another person’s health, plus it makes you really uncomfortable when people say words without thinking about what they mean. Nobody wants to listen to all that. Just say thank you.