Just Say Thank You!! Argh!!

My husband can be a bit of a pill about some things. And by pill, I mean words that are more fitting for after the jump, so here we go.

Yeah, sometimes he is a total shit. For example, for quite some time I noticed that when he sneezed and I said, “Bless you,” he wouldn’t respond. It didn’t really register with me at first, but then I started paying closer attention. I though that maybe he hadn’t heard me, so I would repeat myself. I would receive a grunt of recognition in response. One day, instead of saying, “Bless you,” I said, “Gesundheit;” he immediately said thanks. So I started saying that instead, and for awhile he would say thanks. Then he stopped responded to that, too, so I finally asked him what his deal was. He started in with the whole, “It’s a silly holdover from the bubonic plague,” and, “It’s a ridiculous antiquated custom” nonsense, and he questioned why I found it necessary to say anything at all when he expelled some spit and snot from his facial orifices. I calmly replied that it is, “Just common fucking courtesy, so just say thank you, damn it.” This went back and forth longer than such a ridiculous conversation should, and we came to an agreement. Responding when a person sneezes is a deeply ingrained habit in me, and in many of us, so stopping isn’t something I will probably do since honestly, I have bigger and more obnoxious habits I should work on breaking first. Instead, since he is being a bit of an ass about the whole thing, now when he sneezes, I say, “Fuck you.” It is hilarious.

I will be upstairs doing something, hear the echoing achoo, and call down, “Fuck you, honey,” to which he replies, “Thanks, babe.” Yes, we are strange, and should probably get some actual problems, but it is a compromise that works for us. I am no longer God blessing his little atheist heart, and he is acknowledging some deeply ingrained automatic sneeze response from me as I’d like. It’s a little trickier when we are in public or have small children around, but it’s manageable. It’s only a matter of time before I say it to a coworker when they sneeze, but whatever, it wouldn’t be the first time.

Isn’t that what everyone says relationships are all about? Compromise, meeting your partner’s needs or wants, being open to alternative suggestions? Sure, that advice is usually reserved for things that are, I don’t know, actually important, but the point still stands. Isn’t it easier to meet in the middle on the big stuff if you can figure out a fun and creative way to do it with such pressing concerns as sneezing etiquette? So fess up, folks – what are the weird little idiosyncrasies of your relationships? It doesn’t have to be with a partner; it could be a best friend, a sibling, or your parents? Is there something or a behavior that you cling to even though it is silly or irrational, and what was the compromise you came to?

14 thoughts on “Just Say Thank You!! Argh!!”

  1. I tell people to stop wishing me health because I get these sneeze attacks and it just embarrasses me a bit to hear ‘Bless you’ seven time sin a row. I will say Thank You every time though.

    Boyfriend likes every light on. I like only the necessary lights with candles. Now we have dimmers.

  2. The Mister and I are both incredibly indecisive. Left unchecked, we can get into epically long circles of, “What do you want to do tonight?” “I don’t care, what do YOU want to do tonight?” “OMFG WHATEVER YOU WANT TO DO JUST MAKE A DECISION ALREADY.” Eventually, we developed a system of turns. There’s a little piece of paper stuck to the fridge that says “BBC’s turn” on one side and “Mister’s turn” on the other. Whenever we’re getting to a point where we’re about to get frustrated about not making a decision, the person who’s turn it is has to choose, and then we flip the paper over so the next time it’s the other’s person’s turn.

    It is ridiculous, but it works!

      1. It works like a dream. At first we would still get to where everyone was frustrated before finally calling turn, but now we’re at the point where when one of us just really doesn’t want to deal with it, we’ll say, “I think we should use the turn.” It stops all that before the cycle even gets started, and it works well for stuff even as small as which tv show we should watch next. Sometimes we’ll go weeks without flipping the turn. (Because it’s not for every decision, just when we know we’re about to get into the what should we do-I don’t know cycle.) Sometimes we’ll do it a few times a day if we’re feeling stubborn and cranky. But it was truly an amazing idea. I give the Mister full credit.

        Of course, it’s always hilarious the looks on people’s faces when they ask us why there’s a piece of paper with
        “______’s turn” stuck to the fridge. Ha!

  3. Very late on this because of time zone differences but: my boyfriend is Indian, and here in India when you sneeze, you (the sneezer) says “excuse me.” It didn’t dawn on me for a while. I just got a little confused and slightly miffed when I sneezed around him and there was silence. Then when I realized he excused himself after he sneezed, we had a nice discussion about the cultural differences of sneezing and courtesy etc etc. He is, however, moving to the U.S. soon to go to graduate school, so I told him he needed to start training himself to say “bless you” after someone sneezes. Now when I sneeze, he says “bless you!!” really quickly and gets really proud of himself for remembering.

  4. I’m sorry if you’re not a Seinfeld fan, I couldn’t resist. The quality sucks, but the message is still gold.

    Mr. Nonsense never said anything to me when I sneezed and it annoyed the crap out of me. So I started to bless myself. This of course lead to a debate of sorts in which my main complaint was that he never said anything or acknowledged me when I sneezed (why does this still make me feel crazy?). Anyway, he agreed he’d start saying something when I sneeze. He says, “Gross.”


    Basically I suck at arguing, that’s the moral of this story. But it’s become a joke between us and we’ve gotten a few strange looks in public when one of us sneezes and the other one exclaims, “Honey, that’s gross.” I’m glad I’m not the only one that’s had a “fight” with their SO over sneezing.

  5. I can’t think of things my husband and I do, other than him just giving into whatever sort of crazy notion I have to feel “ok” at a moment might be — whether its a seat preference at a restaurant or “[x thing] is creeping me out. Will you [take care of it somehow]?” He figures it’s better to just do what I ask rather than ask why it matters. IT MATTERS BECAUSE IT DOES (dammit!)

    With the kids, if we’re trying to brush off their questions of “What are we having for dinner?” we’ve come up with answer that used to make them laugh, and now they just roll their eyes at us, but crucially, they stop asking. The answer to What are we having for dinner? “Monkey sauce and hippo butts.” Usually followed by, “Now go find something to do until it’s ready.”

  6. Ha! I love your story!

    Jeremy, whenever he thinks I’m super mad at him, will try to hug me. It drive me freaking nuts. He is the most non-confrontational person ever which usually means I’m angry and trying to work it out with words and he either a) ignores it, b) gives me sad puppy eyes, or c) tries to “hug it out”. The other day we were fighting and he wouldn’t take me serious and actually started laughing (asshole!) so I stomped on his foot! And then we both cracked up laughing! It drives me crazy that I can’t get him to ever share his opinion with me in an argument but he’s probably just giving me what I need most: an opportunity to vent. Love that guy.

  7. I am an arguer.  I argue about big and little things, and usually passionately.  It’s not personal to the people I argue with, I grew up arguing with my (lawyer) parents and brothers constantly.  But sometimes Boyfriend takes it personally, or as an attack, especially when we’ve been imbibing some adult beverages.  So we put a “let’s argue later” rule in place.  Because I don’t like to let an argument go, at least when it’s something I feel strongly about, because I feel like I’m betraying my beliefs and silencing myself, but he gets hurt sometimes.  So if I think I can’t calm my arguments down or he starts feeling attacked, we’ll just say “let’s discuss this later/tomorrow/in a few days.”  It gives me a chance to decide if it’s something I really do want to address (and if it is, I will and do bring it up again) but address it in a calmer way, and him a chance to remember that it’s not about him or an attack, and we usually have a much more productive argument/discussion when it comes up again.

    This mostly happens with things like which dog breeds or movies are better, and other stupid arguments, and most of the time we end up finding out that we’re mostly on the same page anyways, but it prevents a lot of fights because it allows us both to feel respected when we engage in (often silly) debates or arguments.

    1. Oh, ditto on being an arguer. It is a running joke with me and my family about my inability to find a partner who will argue back with me at the level I want. I’m a pretty stubborn and passionate person, so when I’m riled up (through either interest or anger), I want someone who will stand up to me and give as good as they get.


      I like your compromise, as long as the person is willing to actually debate later and not just give up. Sounds like it’s a good way to get the satisfaction of finishing the argument while keeping everything respectful and avoiding debates in inappropriate places/times.

      1. He is, and it gives us both a chance to decide if we’re actually on opposite sides of something, or if we’re just arguing with each other as a knee-jerk reaction.  Yeah, I’m not gonna give up on arguing, but I don’t want my need to argue about everything harm my relationship either, so I like where we’re at with this.

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