I have a bone to pick with umbrellas, particularly ones falling under the category of 'Pretty and Girly', such as 'Specimen A' here, my new possession.

Specimen A.

Specimen A was purchased a couple of days ago  it lured me with its dainty and quirky persona, wrapped up all prim and proper in accordance with the laws of umbrella folding etiquette. The thing is, just like my freshly straightened hair on a humid day, Specimen A is sure to lose its polished edge at the first sign of moisture. Once those pretty frills have unfurled, it's all over, Red Rover.

As my mother kindly pointed out (after duly acknowledging prettiness of above purchase) these fold-up varieties tend to mess themselves in the mildest of weather conditions. Best to pop them away and surrender yourself to the downpour rather than risk embarrassment as you slide along the pavement with your pastel-coloured appendage  inverted into a cone and flashing its undercarriage above your soggy head.

If this does happen to you, at least rest assured in the knowledge you have made a hefty comedic contribution to the public spectacle that is Man versus Umbrella. There are few things in life that will brighten your day so much as seeing someone else's umbrella invert itself whilst on the job, or witnessing the carnage of dead brollies left abandoned on the street after a gusty downpour. (With such an attitude it is little wonder the guy in charge of umbrella-karma has a target permanently fixed on my forehead.)

Dead Umbrella

I'm yet to come up with a solution for my dilemma  the inability to resist acquiring pretty umbrellas even though I anticipate, no, expect, such serious engineering faults. On days of truly harrowing weather conditions I always envy those people (usually suited business-types) who calmly snap open their beach-sized accessories with an air of self assurance. However, I do wonder how they have come to be so prepared. Do they lug these things to work every day of winter, always on the ready for unexpected showers? Or do they stringently check the forecast every morning? Realistically, I'm not sure I could commit to hauling the equivalent of a crutch about town every day, on my person for situations of just in case.


I suppose the conclusion here is that if you do purchase a purple umbrella with white polka dots and frills you are asking to be soaked and ridiculed. In light of these revelations, my mission for next winter is to become the proud owner of a sturdy umbrella. In the mean time, when it comes to pretty umbrellas, it might be best to stick to those varieties I know and trust. Done and done.

No comments: