I know I have talked to you about a lot of my weird relationships, but there has never been a more complicated one than my relationship with my umbrella.
Let me start with our history together.
It was love at first sight. I saw my umbrella hanging on a rack and I knew we had to be together. It’s like I saw the future of our relationship flashing before my eyes. I would look so cute holding it in the conveniently drizzling-but-not-pouring rain, and I would be so dry and happy and laughing at nothing in particular.
Sometimes I would be standing near very cutely painted park benches, and other times I would be contently smiling under a perfectly-sized tree. But in all of those fantasies, I didn’t actually have to use hands to hold it and it appeared when it started raining and disappeared immediately afterward. Because that’s what needs to happen in order for umbrellas to be awesome.
But that’s not actually what happens.
Here are all of the things in my umbrella fantasy that are NOT TRUE:
- You have to hold umbrellas. Yeah, even if you have LOTS of other things in your hands, you still have to use one hand to hold it. Also, in case you don’t know about this part, you have to use ANOTHER hand to open it, and lots of brainpower to remember how to open it if you haven’t in a while (Where is the button? Wasn’t there a button last time??)
This means you will have to drop everything you were previously holding on the ground, and you’ll probably kick your coffee over, and oh yeah the ground is wet so forget about that thing you were going to put in the mailbox it’s dead now.
- You have to carry umbrellas around, even BEFORE you need them. That’s right. If you want to use an umbrella when it is raining, you have to remember to take it out of the closet and carry it with you when it’s not raining.
This means you have a lot of explaining to do when people ask you why you are carrying around an umbrella on your arm and it’s really sunny and cloudless because your weather app reset and was showing you the weather to Washington, D.C. instead of where you actually live.
- You have to hold umbrellas AFTER you already used them and THEY ARE WET. If you thought you didn’t want to carry around an umbrella before it started raining, just wait until you have to carry it around after it’s FINISHED raining. It’s dripping wet and super awkward to close and carry so it gets all of the clothes you just used it to keep dry all wet.
Also, if you want to close it entirely with the cool snap-closure you’re going to have to set all your stuff down again in the puddles (where is that cutely-painted park bench when you need it??)
- I don’t actually look cute when I’m holding umbrellas. Technically, this is not the umbrella’s fault. But it kind of is, because while holding an umbrella I have to do a crazy balancing act with all of the other things I’m holding, and sometimes one of those things is a baby who wants to grab and eat the metal rods on the inside of the umbrella.
So instead of standing and looking cute in the raincoat I never remember to wear, I just look like a clown trying to juggle 5 flaming knives that are actually a baby and a purse and a hot drink and an umbrella cover (WHERE DID THIS UMBRELLA COVER COME FROM!?) Just pray that there are not high winds.
Do other people look good holding umbrellas? Good question, Diary. I don’t actually know. Because the umbrella I fell in love with is black and when I’m holding it, I can’t actually see anything other than my shoes, the sidewalk, and all of the things that just fell out of my purse.
But Diary, here’s the true part about holding an umbrella: It actually keeps rain from falling on my head. And at that moment when everything is finally balanced and I’m successfully holding it and it’s raining but it’s not raining directly on my hair, my umbrella is my favorite thing I have ever had, ever, and I love it unconditionally and I’ll never let it go.
It is in these moments that I remember why I bought my umbrella, and why I continue to keep moving it around my house because it’s always in my way, but never actually get rid of it. It’s because sometimes, all you really want is an umbrella, and nothing else matters.
And then... it stops raining and I wonder if I can just casually drop it on the ground and walk away and hope that no one notices.
There have been a lot of ups and downs, Diary, but I think I’m going to keep working it out with my umbrella. I think it’s worth it, especially on the days that I style my hair.
Thanks for letting me process all of this with you, Diary. You should really consider pursuing a degree in counseling.
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23 thoughts on “SQ Thoughts on Umbrellas”
You are so funny and so right! One other umbrella issue that maybe only I experience. Where is my umbrella? Why can’t I find it in the coat closet? Why is it always under the seat in my car? Or worse, in a black hole that shoots my umbrella back into the coat closet when it’s not raining!
You are hilarious and this is all so true. Why do they even make umbrella covers????
I just go with wet hair. The rest is too stressful…
My daughter gave me a sunflower umbrella & it is always in my car. I agree on the awkwardness of umbrella handling, but when needed they are the best! I use mine for rain or shine (when it’s too darn hot) and always get compliments.
I really don’t like umbrellas. If I use one I usually leave it at my destination and never see it again. A hood and raincoat leaves me 2 hands. And here in California we can only pray for rain at this point. When it finally comes I will happily dance in it without an umbrella. They look cute on other people though.
I love a cute umbrella! I currently have an adorable umbrella cover. The matching umbrella has been missing for years but I think I keep it subconsciously hoping that someday it will return.
I think it would be great if we had a worldwide umbrella Cooperative, kind of like the scooters you see on the city streets now. You could pick up an umbrella right when you needed it and leave it in one of thousands of umbrella stands located everywhere when you were done.
Gigi, you are on to something!!
When I was in college I did a study abroad in Rome one summer. The weather was mostly amazing but one afternoon/evening it rained. No lie, within about 5 minutes there were vendors EVERYWHERE selling umbrellas, and within 5 minutes of it stopping they had all disappeared. One of the craziest things I’ve ever witnessed. I did not have an umbrella and did not buy one, so I was getting stopped every few feet by people trying to sell one to me.
It’s just not fair that you’re a talented writer in addition to a gifted quilter. Thanks for the fun read!
Awww shucks, Melissa 🙂
New mothers do not carry umbrellas – you have diaper bags, babies, groceries, handbags and more to carry. Find a cute little rain hat if you want to keep your hair dry. My mom used to say “only sugar melts in the rain” (inferring that I could go out in the rain and not worry I was going to melt) but she was right. A nice raincoat, a rolled up hat you can stuff in a pocket and you are good to go.
I have to drive to get anywhere so I keep my umbrella in the car all.the.time. But… then I’m just going to park and hustle into a store, so I throw my hood over my head and hurry! …b/c opening and closing an umbrella!! :p
I feel you. I live in a city where is rains A LOT. All year long. But I hate umbrellas.
My solution is a cute raincoat that I wear everyday. I keep my wallet and keys in it so it is impossible to leave the house without. When it rains, all I need to do is pull up my hood! And all the things I need to carry go into my waterproof backpack purse where they can stay dry. Quality rain gear completely eliminates the need for an umbrella and I can live in peace.
But do umbrellas even keep you that dry?! I feel that any time I’m using an umbrella, the rain is coming sideways at me! And I have had my fair share of inside out umbrellas due to wind, which I’m sure in the “Windy City” is also a concern.
Thanks for sharing your diary entries with us!
Having lived many years in the Pacific Northwest, we can always spot a visitor as they are the ones using an umbrella! The rest of us wear a hooded jacket/raincoat which has far less problems! AND, more of our covered body stays dry.
Yes, well there is also the issue of having a dog on a leash and balancing an umbrella while you pick up said dog’s “offerings” from the ground, This is why I no longer even own an umbrella.
My umbrella is perpetually under the seat in my car, and I always need it when I’m in my house or at the store. Doh.
I’m just catching up on your blogs. I leave the inside out umbrellas in the car, they have worked on the rainy days. During spring and summer I carry a golf umbrella to deflect the wind & shield the sun when the kids are in outdoor sports.
I hate umbrellas with a passion, but have to confess I have a nice little collection including a very pretty Anais Anais one (free gift with the fragrance) so they’re all in pristine condition because they don’t get an airing. I’ve had too many bad experiences with them, being poked in the eye by other people’s to name a few. My husband favours the golf umbrellas, the larger the better but they take up all the room on the pavement (sidewalk? I live in the UK) so it’s embarrassing when we’re out in the rain and I refuse to walk with him under cover of this monstrosity for fear of being stabbed. He says it makes him look unchivalrous.
So I join him. Aren’t I good?
Coming back into umbrella weather, I need my Paula Nadelstern umbrella. GORGEOUS But I still wear a raincoat of bright orange to protect the nether regions. I’m not old – I’m eccentric!
Suzy, I hope you get to read this sometime, even though I have only just seen your funny little article (Oct 2020) so did you know = there is such an umbrella as a Slinger? I am about to order another one online because my current one is broken after many years of use. The Slinger has a button which makes it pop open and also a strap from the tip of the ferule to the handle, so when it is open not only does it not blow inside out because the strap holds it, but also – yes wonderful idea, when closed you just sling it over your shoulder and you have 2 free hands for shopping, infants etc. What do you think of that?
Mind = blown. You have changed my life.