This may sound strange and/or random, but I don't like umbrellas. I never have, and I usually go without. In Texas it was fine because the only time you would get wet would be the dash from the car to whatever building you were going to. Granted...it pours in Texas like nobody's business and even then sometimes you'd need an umbrella. But when I could, I'd avoid using one.
Then in the four years I was in California, it rarely rained, and when it did, it usually sprinkled which was nothing to the torrents I grew up with. And since I was usually walking from class back to the dorm, I didn't necessarily mind since I could make up a cup of hot chocolate and change and be warm and dry in an instant.
But here...I have no car and no need for one and so I walk. Everywhere. And only rarely take the metro (like last night when it poured and I did to escape the rain even with my umbrella). And I was also reminded of why I don't like them.
First of all, I have to admit it, but they look ridiculous. And secondly, when you have a narrow sidewalk that's already two small for groups of people walking against each other, what are you going to do when you have an umbrella? Granted, I'm short, so for most people, they don't have to worry about hitting me. But I have to worry about hitting them in the face with my umbrella, especially like last night when I rounded a corner against a wall of some prickly bush and had nowhere really to avoid hitting some guy who, granted, raised his umbrella to make room for me.
This morning on my way to work, it was hardly raining and yet I saw nearly everyone with their umbrellas up. I decided to avoid mine, thinking if it started raining harder I'd pull mine out. There was this man in front of me with one of those really large umbrellas (and again, keep in mind it was hardly even spitting). He walked a little slow, and not in a straight line as not many people walk in perfectly straight lines. I wanted to pass him except I couldn't see around his umbrella. When I'd start, someone else would come waltzing past me, blind until we both got to the edge of the umbrella, or he'd start walking in front of me and I'd have to duck, or walk in wet grass, to get around him.
Anyway, so I pass him and get to the intersection, stepping up to the curb to wait for a break in traffic to cross. And what does this guy do? Walk right up next to me, exactly next to me with his umbrella sticking out in my complete line of vision. I missed a few breaks, trying to lean forward or back to see around this guy before he crossed and my vision was clear.
Ok, that's the extent of my rant. I know they're a necessary menace, but for whatever reason, umbrellas annoy me and they always have. And I apologize if I hit anyone or my umbrella blocks your line of vision. I've been there and sympathize. But know that I'll only use mine if it's absolutely necessary.