U is for Umbrella

I have a love/hate relationship with umbrellas.

On the one hand, they are usually cute, they make you feel super Girl Scout-y, and who doesn’t like being dry?

On the other hand, umbrellas are very dangerous things to a spaz like me. Firstly, I’m short, so on rainy days (especially when I worked in New York City), I am always getting jabbed with a stranger’s elbow that is holding an umbrella, the points of other people’s umbrellas are always catching my hair, and those same points are always way too close to my eyes when I don’t have my own umbrella-shield up. Plus, I don’t like run-off from everyone’s umbrella ahead of and above me to soak my person.

Secondly, I am always apprehensive when opening an umbrella. I got my finger caught underneath the push-up part on a little parasol I received when I was five. It was cute and frilly and it had my name embroidered on it (which my mother never allowed) and I was playing with it under the spring sunshine in my backyard. Literally, that clasp surrounded my finger like a knuckle-ring. Now, I own many button-push umbrellas, so this danger is somewhat negated, but I don’t even like closing one of those. When I go out on a rainy day, I calculate and contemplate the umbrella-worthiness of the rain. Heaviness, windiness, what I’m wearing, and how far I have to go all factor into the formula. Most times, I am aware rain is coming and am wearing a hooded windbreaker anyway.

Complicating this is an innate talent for choosing the exact moment rain is heaviest to have to run outside. I did this the other day. I was at the Laundromat around the corner from my house (not exactly walkable with laundry, but not far) and it was a nice, sunny afternoon. I had heard on the news before I left the house that it was supposed to rain “during the evening commute”, but since it was 1:00 and I would be done before 3:00, I figured I was in the clear. I did my laundry, sun streaming through the windows, and was about to leave from the back folding area when I saw that it was wet outside. I said to one of the women sitting by the door “Where did that rain come from? Of course it’s raining when I have to leave!” She didn’t even know it was raining, and turned around, shocked. So, I wheeled my cart, laden with two extremely heavy loads of laundry in the basket and my purse and John’s uniform hanging from the top bar, out between all the parked cars and over to mine.

DOWNPOUR! Take Cover! Rain pellets bouncing off the ground like Super Balls! AAAAAAACKKK! I soaked myself, and the inside of my car doors. As I drove the 82 seconds to my house, it let up.

This would never happen if I owned this umbrella:

Bubble Umbrella – MOMA- wanelo.com

Because I would bring it everywhere. Phone? Check! Keys? Check! Wallet? Check! Umbrella? Check! I would overcome my fear of the little push-up device to use this umbrella. Seriously.

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7 thoughts on “U is for Umbrella

  1. I have a weird umbrella fear… closing it! Pushing the button to open it automatically is no big thing, but using my tender little fingers to press in those metal flaps and gently close it scares me to death. In public, anyway. I can do it at home with no one watching.

    – Allison
    http://www.allisonwrites.com

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  2. I had one of those wonderful see through umbrellas a very long time ago, 80s I think. I lost it. But it was fabulous! But my fave umbrella at the minute is an extremely light, small one that fits in my handbag and is surprisingly and mysteriously strong. I take it everywhere and it even fits in a pocket. I love it. I did lose it for 2 years and then found it in the end of a suitcase! i’d taken it on holiday and forgotten this particular pocket… My other fave umbrella was a beautiful pale grey with a see-through handle, big, stately, a Knirps, a German make i think, very expensive. It is still in the rack but very old and doesn’t open very well any more. I AM scared it will get my fingers, but can’t throw it away. ~Liz http://www.lizbrownleepoet.com

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  3. Oooh, I love knowing there are other umbrella phobics out there. I’ve been poked, dripped on, mangled fingers and done the rest with the best of them. But my most humiliating umbrella move was the time as a child I was standing on a busy street corner waiting for the light to change, leaning (who knows what I was thinking?!) on my full size closed umbrella sort of like it was a cane. But the point slipped in a puddle sending me falling flat on my face in a mud pile in front of countless witnesses. Grace is clearly not my middle name.

    Liked by 1 person

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