I have never been a big fan of when people use their blogs solely as an outlet for venting. HOWEVER, the occasional rant is perfectly justified. Well, this one is long overdue.
I really don't like using an umbrella, and I really really don't like it when other people use umbrellas improperly. Seriously, a bad umbrella incident can put a huge damper on my day.
First off, let me just say that I love how umbrellas look. Sometimes I wish I could just collect all of the cute ones for fun. In fact, Jenny bought an adorable one today! Umbrellas can also be very useful when used at the beach or outdoor-restaurant tables to help shield people from the sun. The obvious use for an umbrella, keeping the rain away, is a wonderful invention, and I have personally used an umbrella on a few occasions to keep my head dry.
Nevertheless, some days, if not most days, I wish that all umbrellas would vanish from the planet.
Here is why I do not like using an umbrella...
First, I like to keep two hands free whenever possible. Carrying an umbrella with just a shoulder is pretty much impossible. Having two hands free also means that I am able to keep both hands warm and dry in my pockets. Second, I get fed up pretty quick having to shake off and wrap up an umbrella every time I enter a building. Lastly, since I get really annoyed with people who are inconsiderate with their umbrella usage, I avoid using an umbrella to ensure that I am not being a nuisance to others who share my distaste for them.
I am quite passionate about the fact that there should be a rulebook, if not some type of law, for people who choose to use umbrellas. (Most of this applies to when it is raining) If I were to write said rulebook, here are some of the things that I would include. Perhaps these are more like directions...
- Use only as much umbrella as you need. If I had a dime for every time I have seen one person walking down the street with a golf umbrella...
- If you are walking the opposite direction of other walkers, lift UP your umbrella high enough so that it does not whack people in the head as you pass by.
- If it's raining hard enough for your umbrella to be dripping consistently, be especially aware, if not completely paranoid, that you don't create a waterfall on an innocent bystander.
- When you choose to shake off your umbrella, move away from other people. Seriously.
- If you choose to share with a friend, ensure that you are holding the umbrella high enough so that you do not crush their head with the inside structure.
- If/When you violate one of the previously stated "directions", give a sincere apology to those you may have inconvenienced. And please...change your behavior.
May I remind everyone that I grew up in Oregon, and am no stranger to rain. Before coming to London, my parents strongly urged me to bring an umbrella. I did, in fact, purchase one at good ol' Fred Meyer and brought it with me JUST IN CASE. I think I took it on our first day trip to Stonehenge, and then remembered how much I despise using an umbrella, and it has been sitting in the bottom of my drawer since then. I have other solutions to staying dry.
Today, while walking home from Queensway station, it was raining. This was no downpour, but enough precipitation for me to pop my hood on. WELL. A woman was walking towards me on the sidewalk, with an umbrella big enough for the entire state of Oklahoma. As she passed, she didn't move a single inch to the side, and did not raise her umbrella up one bit. Before I knew what hit me, her large, obnoxious umbrella whacked me in the face. Oh, don't worry, she continued as if nothing had happened.
Common courtesy, people. That is all I ask for.