The refreshing rains of spring are upon us, reminding me once again that 80% of New Yorkers have NO IDEA how to use an umbrella. I have put together this list of umbrella DOs and DON’Ts for their benefaction. Please read closely and then pass this along to your umbrella illiterate friends.
1.) When you are under an awning, a covered bus stop, or scaffolding DO NOT keep your umbrella up. You see, the umbrella is meant to protect you from water falling from the sky. If there is something else between you and the sky you DO NOT need the umbrella. You DO need to stop being an asshole and nearly poking our eyes out for NO REASON.
2.) If you hold out your cupped hands in the “rain” and they do not fill with water, then you DO NOT need an umbrella. Put it away. Some sensitive-hair-specific exceptions MIGHT be allowed. This form of aerial moisture does not qualify as “rain” and if while in it, you refer to it as “rain” we will no longer respect you, especially if you do so while needlessly under an umbrella.
3.) If you have not yet emerged from the subway station you DO NOT need to open your umbrella. Wait AT LEAST until you are coming up the stairs and are directly under THE SKY. This also applies to exiting buildings and other interiors. See number one if you are confused about the sky-rain relationship.
4.) DO NOT put your wet umbrella on or over subway seats. What the hell is wrong with you?
5.) If your umbrella breaks DO NOT just immediately drop it to the sidewalk and keep walking. You have to throw it away in a garbage can just like any other peice of trash. Why do I have to be telling you this?
6.) YOU MUST LOOK WHERE YOU ARE GOING. Your umbrella is not a force field or an auto-pilot device. Do not lower it below eye level and just walk around blindly, peeking out only to note how many thousands of people loath and abhor you. The answer is ALL OF THEM. Stop doing that.
7.) If you are in a crowded enclosed space that you have chosen to be in, such as an outdoor market, street fair or farmer’s market, then you have forfeited your right to use an umbrella. If it’s really raining that hard then take shelter until it lessens, otherwise absorbing some moisture is the price of accessing locally grown beets. Stay dry or stay in the outdoor market. You have to pick ONE.
8.) Leave your wet umbrella at the door. DO NOT carry it around dripping water all over every building you enter. Everyone else left theirs there, and you are not special, except that maybe you’re an asshole. You know how we can tell? You didn’t leave your umbrella at the door.
9.) If you are one person using an umbrella big enough for two people then USE A SMALLER UMBRELLA. You think you are clever for having such a large efficacious umbrella, but you are taking up more than your share of sidewalk space and we recognize your “cleverness” as selfishness stemming from an inability to empathize with others (who also need room to walk, stand, and use their responsibly sized umbrellas.) We accurately identify your border-line sociopathic lack of empathy as, ironically, not only the the reason you have such a large umbrella but also the reason you have no one with whom to share it. HARD TRUTHS.
10.) Rain jackets. Try them.
11.) If it is too windy to use an umbrella THEN IT IS TOO WINDY TO USE AN UMBRELLA, PUT AWAY YOUR UMBRELLA. It is probably doing you more harm than good, and is almost certainly making you a danger to the rest of us. If you ignore this rule and your umbrella breaks, review rule number five.
12.) Finally, accept that you WILL lose your umbrella. You just will. I’m sure some self-congratulatory memory-freak is itching to contradict this one, but for the rest of us, it’s gonna happen. Please don’t act suprised or somehow special when you lose your umbrella.
You’re welcome. And to the guy with his two person umbrella standing UNDER this awning, I hope you die wetter and lonelier than you already are.