CULTURE SHOCK: Umbrellas 101
February 11, 2015   //   By:   //   New York City, Travel ViCARRIEously   //   Comments are off

It rained for a day last week on our tour….pretty severely.  We knew it was coming.  Erin, one of the BTGE (Best Tour Guides Ever), warned the gang to buy umbrellas when it wasn’t raining, since they were cheaper!

So that morning, we were waiting for the group at breakfast, and never before had we seen such a thing, they would walk in the door with their umbrellas open….or stand blocking the door whilst they TRIED their darndest to close the thing.  We were bewildered, and another BTGE said, what have they never used an umbrella before?  Then it dawned on us.  Maybe they hadn’t!  One sweet mom finally made her way inside….shaking her head at the umbrella, and said, you know, I own one of these at home, I’m just not sure what to do with it!
So I thought, mayhaps there should have been an Umbrella 101 leaflet…..that just had some top ten hints in it like this….
1.  Buy your umbrellas when it’s dry, save the money
2.  It really could rain ALL DAY!
3.  and because of #2…., we don’t stand close to curbs when crossing the street either, they become like the Nile.  Also, don’t plan on ever catching a cab, ever.
4.  Start the closing process as you approach a door, for the common sense reason of fitting through the door, and also to minimize your time in the rain!  (Also, don’t pinch your fingers in the closing process, that scarred me for life as a child and I’m still frightened of most umbrellas.)
5.  Guard your eyeballs.  This is important….I’m going to re-write it in caps…GUARD YOUR EYEBALLS!
6.  Golf umbrellas are never acceptable in the city, it’s not only rude, but it’s dangerous.  9/10 golf umbrella holders, never golf, and therefore, haven’t a clue how to wield the greenhouse that they’ve chosen to carry around an island of millions of commuters.  It’s simply audacious.  And the reason we need Hint #4.
7.  Small and compact so you can fit them in your purse, or pocket, or else you WILL leave them once you sit down in a dry place.  (If for some chance it’s not raining when you leave, you’ll not be reminded you’ve left it, until it’s too late, and well, see hint #1!
8.  When buildings have a stand of plastic bags….those are for your wet umbrellas…..PUT the umbrella IN that!  One of the top 5 inventions, along with velcro, baby monitors, and extra spicy cheetos.
9.  Dry it out when you get to your room, what if it rains tomorrow or what if it doesn’t and you have to pack that thing?  Dry it out.  Opening an umbrella in a building is good luck, whomever says different is just a crazy person that believes in luck, good or bad.  I believe in NOT SMELLING LIKE WET DOG!  So dry your umbrellas!
10.  Go Bright….or go home!  (and while “clear’ is an acceptable choice, it didn’t rhyme.)  I say this because in large groups….visibility matters, black, is cheapest and most readily available, and looks the same.  So, unless you are in the witness protection program, grab a fun umbrella, and be found!
This leaflet isn’t all inclusive, but hopefully we’e saved at least one life.  I’d like to thank Jenna Richardson from Phoenix for inspiring this blog, helping save the eyeball, one informed umbrella user at a time!
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