Modern Manners:

Anne Norcia

There are few things more unappealing than mucous. A well-mannered observer’s dislike for it is most frequently exacerbated by the cavalier manner in which other people – Colgate students included – go about dealing with it. By respecting a few simple guidelines, one can refine their mucous etiquette and help prevent the spread of sickness.

1. Spitting is gross. Sucking up snot from the back of your throat with a sound similar to retching is not only ill mannered, but also nauseating for those around you. Stepping in small dollops of bubbling “lugees” is likewise unattractive; great shoes are not meant to be splattered with another’s biohazard. If you must spit, do it politely in a less conspicuous location than the quad or Broad Street; a toilet can be flushed, a sink can be rinsed, a garbage bag can be taken out.

2. Though a shower may be cleaned, this is a completely inappropriate location for blowing your nose with your hand, as other people will presumably bathe after you and warm areas teem with bacteria. Should you be desperate to do so, tissues, toilet paper, paper towels and the like are readily available in most places. While many argue against the usage of environmental resources like these, a sheet of toilet paper will not destroy the Amazon. If you are concerned, cut back on coffee cups, stirrers, make-up pads and plastic silverware. Recycle Maxim and Parkside delivery bags and consider yourself redeemed.

3. “Snot rockets.” Please. They appear quite ineffectual; most are not terribly proficient and end up dirtying their hands rather than expelling the full extent of their mucous. The sound is also relatively abhorrent. Should you be suffocating from your own nasal fluid, be discreet.

4. Though one would hope this needn’t be mentioned, picking your nose is asking for a cold. The germs your fingers come into contact with on a daily basis are effectively shoved up your nasal cavity and absorbed. Obviously, the consequences for those around you are neither charming nor sanitary.

5. The proper place for a sneeze is in a tissue. Apparently the next most sanitary location is your sleeve. Should you choose the former, do not open it. Chances are it’s fairly similar to other post-nasal drips, sinus infections or malignant snot you have had. If it’s normal, no one wants to see that either. Should you sneeze in your hands, be sure to wash them before giving high-fives, shaking hands with a prospective employer or mounting the elliptical.

6. Though shirts may be washed, maroon does not disguise snot stains. Nor do sleeves. Should you attempt to dodge this logic, white lettering is generally ineffective as well.

7. When another around you sneezes, it is polite to acknowledge their existence with a simple, “Bless you” or, if you object to English, “Gesundheit” will do just fine. Optional is your own, “Excuse me,” though this is not mandatory.

Though you may object to the antiquated nature of this advisory, manners speak volumes about you and your priorities. These simple rules affect not only your own behavior but the way in which you are perceived. Get a tissue, say “God Bless you” and press on!