One of the many thoughtful Christmas gifts I received last month was this awesome Hello Kitty umbrella, from my friend Leah. It fits nicely with my Hello Kitty toaster, waffle maker, water cooler, camera, clock, CD player, pencil box, gloves, Pez dispenser, well, you get the idea....
Here's the dirty little secret that only people who live in Seattle know: Nobody uses umbrellas here. I didn't own one before this gift and I don't think Donna has one either. In fact, I don't know a single person who uses an umbrella in Washington. Not one.
Oh, occasionally I will see one operating on the streets downtown but I figure those are just tourists. Or TV anchormen worried about their hair and makeup. Live in Seattle a while and you begin to barely notice if it's raining or not. In winter sometimes it rains so many days in a row that when it slows down to a drizzle, it feels like it is not even raining at all!
You quickly get over any concern about getting wet if you're outside. It is not uncommon to see two people standing on the sidewalk chatting leisurely with one another while it pours. And I imagine if you added up all the hours you could waste carrying, opening, closing, losing, buying and re-buying umbrellas over a few years it would not be an insignificant chunk of time.
Don't get me wrong, Leah. I am grateful for the gift. And since I'll never use it, it should last me forever.