Photo by etech.
If sneezing were an Olympic event, my mother would be a gold medalist. When she sneezes, she lets loose as if there is no more important work in the universe at that moment. No sneezing into a tissue, the crook of her elbow, or her hands. She just wrinkles up her face, tilts her head back in anticipation of the coming "big one," and lets it rip. No feminine, almost-inaudibly squeaked out "chew!" She rares back, screams out "A-HA!" as if she's having the most astounding gestalt of her entire existence, and finishes off with a deeply satisfying, belly-jiggling laugh.
I'm used to this event. In fact, after practicing Mom's technique for myself, I've taken the view there is no better way to spend my sneezing time. For the uninitiated, however, witnessing Mom's sneeze can be a bit disconcerting. After your initial astonishment, your eyes will grow wide as dinner plates, and you will pronounce the most sincere "Bless you!" you have ever in the past , or would hope to utter in the future. You will be pulled into her laughter, and when the giggling between the two of you has ceased, you can't help but feel that somehow you are the one who has been blessed.
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