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Wednesday, April 20, 2005 :::

Post Modern Bathroom Etiquette

Saying "Gesundheit" or "Bless-You" after someone sneezes has become so obligatory that sincere shock and an offended attitude always follow when I don't receive one or the other. (I always opt for the non-secular "Gesundsheit"). But I don't know where proper etiquette ends, because I was at the urinal a minute ago and I sneezed (which was akward enough, in regards to bad timing for uncontrollable full-body convulsions), and some ghostly voice from the bathroom stalls said "Gesundheit". I just assumed that bathroom stall etiquette (i.e. being completely silent and pretending you're not there) would override the Gesundheit etiquette. I guess not. But then I was even more perplexed about my appropriate response. Was I supposed to shout "Thank you!" over the stall door? I just cleaned up and took off as if I never heard it in the first place, which I think was the wisest solution.

::: posted by dan at 1:19 PM :: [ link ] :: (7) comments Social Bookmark Button

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7 previous comments:

I think "Thank You" is appropriate.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:10 PM  

I would have said thank you as well.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:20 PM  

I'm with Dan...I'd have bailed too -- it's creepy when I'm in there and someone I work with comes in and just starts gabbing with me..."Did you see so-and-so's shirt today? I mean, what was she thinking?" I can tell you I'm thinking "Who the hell ARE you" because the bathrooom acoustics distort the person's voice. Total yuck.

By Blogger annie, at 3:10 PM  

I think you should have knocked on the bathroom stall and said and said can come in??? Once allowed entrance you could have said since you were so nice to give me a are a genius for spelling that correctly by the way.I thought I could possibly use some of your toilet tissue to blow out my nose?"Then for the sake of being polite you could have said...oh looks like you need all the toilet paper you can get.God...I am not funny today forget it...forget you know where that is from?I will give you a hint...puuuuush a pennnny under the doooor...Ditto

By Blogger Stacy, at 3:47 PM  

Furgit it! Sam Whh-heat?

By Blogger Kristina, at 4:35 PM  

Personally, I am not concerned with losing my soul or inhaling an evil spirit as a result of sneezing, so I would prefer that everyone refrain from blessing me when I am exposed to a bit of pollen. I think you took the proper course of action, but you may have requested that the guy in his stall keep his religious beliefs out of your sinuses.

By Anonymous MarkD, at 11:18 AM  

Ok, first off Mr. Mark, Gesundheit actually means good health. Now I don't know when the hell good health became a religion... wait strike that, judging from some of the people you find hanging around health food stores and Yoga classes it may very well have become one without anyone informing me. That aside, gesundheit is not a blessing, just "well wishing" I guess. (I suppose if you really don't want people to wish good health for you that's fine.)
And second off, Dan, from coversations I've had with male friends it would seem that male and female bathroom rules varry greatly. Most of the girls I know think it's totally acceptable to hold conversations over the walls of the bathroom stalls (so to speak), while guys seem to have some "code of silence" in the can.
So I wouldn't have been weirded out at all. I probably would have said thanks and that would have been the end of it.

By Anonymous Jen, at 12:57 AM  

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