Tuesday, May 17, 2011

What I Really Hate About the Rain.

     The Umbrellas. 
     Generally, I think they're more trouble than they're worth.  And I think they are worth very little.  People often fail to account for the circumference added by the umbrella.  They think they can still walk side by side down the sidewalk.  They cannot.  I have oft been smacked in the face by an umbrella when a stranger does not do a courtesy see-if-anyone-is-right-next-to-me-glance before they whip open their umbrella.  They still push through crowds.  They don't realize that if each person has an umbrella, fewer people can take up the same amount of space.  Most of them behave like they're the only ones on the street; like they're Gene Kelly and we've all paid a quarter to see the show. 
     I also find the umbrella to be generally demoralizing.  There is a very specific type of rain in which an umbrella is useful- a steady drizzle with no wind.  In a really light drizzle, it's just more trouble than it's worth.  You're using up an entire hand to carry this thing just over your head, throwing off your balance.  You've given yourself a handicap, and for what?  Do you think you're special?  You can't get a drop of water you?  Are you a painting?  Or made of suede?  Save face and leave the umbrella at the door.  In a downpour, you're going to get soaked regardless.  The umbrella is futile.  It makes you look really really sad.  You stand in the rain, using the umbrella as a shield, until the wind changes direction and flips the umbrella inside out.  It wasn't doing that great of a job anyway, since the rain was probably falling sideways and you were probably splashed by a few cars on the way. 
     Umbrellas break.  A lot.  I see them on the streets all the time and it upsets me.  I suppose I can imagine it- a person walking along, fighting the elements, but the elements are just too much.  The rain hits the delicate frame of the umbrella too hard, the wind shifts, and the next thing you know your umbrella is in pieces.  It's completely worthless now.  The best thing to do is just drop it where you're standing and move on.  Who cares it there's a trash can 10 feet away.  The umbrella isn't good enough for the trash, it belongs in the street. 
     Also, storing them is kind of a pain.  When I was a kid my mother insisted we put our wet umbrellas in the bath tub.  This is fine until it rains for several days straight and we want to take baths.  When it wasn't raining they were fine hanging in the closet.  Some fancy homes have those umbrella holders.  Fine.  I guess I don't have a comment on that.  But then you take your umbrella from home to where you're going and then what?  I lost three umbrellas in as many days during our last string of storms because I kept leaving them places.  I put one in a restaurant's umbrella stand, never to see it again. 
     The only reason I carry an umbrella now is to avoid people asking me where I put my umbrella.  I put it up your ass, how about that?  I'd rather just put my hood up and give in to the rest of me getting as wet as I would have even with the umbrella but without the hand cramps.   I've never not gotten wet because I was carrying an umbrella.  If anything, it has created more unpleasant moments of wetness when I have to move my umbrella out of the way of a passer-by and get a stream of water down my sleeve or my back.  Or that moment when you're not quite sure if it's stopped raining so you move your umbrella out of the way to see and it hasn't quite.  So you move it back and the edges drop on your head.  Unpleasant.  Or unpleasantness in general when I open it inside and get screamed at by loony superstitious types.  Take it down a notch.  If I have to walk outside before I can open the umbrella, I'm going to get rained out, defeating the purpose of the umbrella. 
     Ugh.  Umbrellas just aren't worth it. 

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