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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