Monday, February 27, 2017

Your Umbrella Personality

What is your Umbrella Personality Type ?

I like rainy days.

It is a wonderful time to slow down and an opportunity to get in sync with the flow of life. As every child did, I remember watching the dance of the rain drops down the glass window panes. Some times two drops come together to merge and form one; and after some time they get bogged down by their own weight and split; and yet some other times they are so near and yet they don't even mingle. As a thoroughly trained Indian movie goer, my favorite was the one where they come from two different paths, merge some where midway and go all the way together till the bottom of the window and disappear at once !

In my adult life, this hobby extended to being a little more reflective during rains and at times - engage in people watching. I am impressed at how people use their umbrellas. There is a whole gamut of scenarios that is unfolded here.

Starting with the most usual type - some one walking at a steady pace with a reasonably-sized black umbrella to cover themselves while in rain - Sure, you see several of these. But, nothing fascinating. Some carry an umbrella that is probably enough just to cover their head - but do let their bags over their shoulders get wet. A few other slender looking types carry something too big to accommodate some one else comfortably in.

Most are black. A few bold types venture out now and then with flamboyant colors. I occasionally see the transparent ones which are a pleasing thing to watch. On the other hand, nature scores a goal against man when the umbrella is being torn or ripped apart by a stronger wind.

It is fascinating to see how people behave without their umbrellas while raining. A few walk confidently and slowly down the road as though they are entering the stage to perform in the role of a king. A few others run as fast as they can splashing water along the way, and probably getting wetter from the splash below than the rain above ! The best sight to watch is when a group of kids enjoy their dance in the rain when parents are not around. I have to admit I do occasionally stick out my tongue in the rain and blame it on the kids :)

I have seen a few who struggle to open their car trunk in the parking lot, while getting wet - only to realize - Surprise ! There is no umbrella inside. A few others, who run in rain carrying their umbrella (without opening it) because it is just a short distance to get to the building. Others who enter the building, fold it properly put it in their own umbrella bag while a few others use the throw-away bag at the building entrances.

I know of a friend who is so meticulous that he keeps one in the car and the other in his office so he is always covered. And sometimes the planner/lazy types who brought his umbrella to the office that morning (knowing that it was going to rain in the afternoon), comes out of the building during lunch without his umbrella , yet lazy enough to go back and pick it up and thus decides to get wet any way.

In Seattle where it is a surprise when it doesn't rain, I have seen a "community umbrella" concept in some malls/buildings where stores and offices keep a reserve of umbrellas in a bucket at their front door. Anyone picks it up while exiting, uses it for a short distance and drops at the next "drop off point".

Umbrellas in Disney World are a painful scene to watch - Kids are oblivious to the weather and are having a great time while the parents have to keep one more thing together in addition to their truck load of things for the day.

It gets more interesting when you see a person to umbrella relation is not one to one.
We have all seen a group of folks coming together from lunch where there is just one person short of it and squeezes between two umbrellas either to get his head or butt in - but not both. And sometimes, the private person who really doesn't like to share his and yet grudgingly accommodates - but takes the lion share of his own umbrella, practically providing very little coverage to the other. Some times it feels bad to watch two people walking out of the same building at the same time, walking in the same direction - one of whom is fully covered by his umbrella and the other walking right next to him without.

A few other memorable ones that caught my attention over the years:

An elderly couple during their morning walk in Atlanta - both carried their respective umbrellas in their hands and strangely - they were unopened even though it was raining. May be they were too engrossed in their conversation.

A man walking with his dog and both had their respective umbrellas.

My personal favorite - A dad and his daughter (may be 5 year old) walking some where around Times Square with only one umbrella between the two of them while it was drizzling. Dad was carrying a backpack on his shoulders, a shopping bag in his left hand, no umbrella for himself and holding a kid's umbrella for his daughter on his right hand - all while letting her walk at her pace. I ran to him, patted on his back and said.."Nice job buddy. That's what Dads do" !


  1. I am the type who would get wet and not bother to bother opening umbrella. Nice one. Didn't think of you as such a reflective type

  2. Nice.. loved your description of rainy windows.. I have watched how the droplets chase each other.. sometimes avoiding the obstacle / dirt on the way.. Umbrellas... Lot to say.. in our next meeting!