As I was walking across campus the other day during a torrential downpour, I noticed a few students without umbrellas.
The drenched look brought back memories of when I was their age.
For whatever reason, from the time I was probably 10 years old and then through college and for several years afterward, I refused to use an umbrella, no matter how much it was raining.
I’m guessing I viewed not using an umbrella as a sign of machismo, and thought nothing of arriving places (school, work, home) soaking wet (and probably a bit proud of such a fact as well).
Or perhaps it had something to do with the fact that as a swimmer, I already spent a good deal of my life soaking wet, so what was the harm in a little rain.
I don’t know when the change happened, but I’m thinking that maybe it had something to do with when I started using a laptop. Realizing the importance of keeping the laptop dry, and that the case I kept it in probably wasn’t waterproof, I may have come to the conclusion that an umbrella was the perfect solution.
Or maybe it was simply getting disgusted once too often with what my suit would smell like after a good downpour.
Well whatever it was that brought on the epiphany that an umbrella was an incredibly useful accessory, I’m glad it finally happened.
I’ve now become a big fan of using an umbrella, and always keep one close by. I love the feeling of walking in the rain with an umbrella while I stay bone dry. Whoever came up with the idea of an umbrella was a genius.
(Here’s a quick excerpt on the history of the umbrella:
The basic umbrella was invented more than 4,000 years ago. There is evidence of umbrellas in the ancient art and artifacts of Egypt, Assyria, Greece, and China. These ancient umbrellas or parasols were first designed to provide shade from the sun. The Chinese were the first to waterproof their umbrellas for use as rain protection. They waxed and lacquered their paper parasols in order to use them for rain.)
I just wish I had realized the utility of an umbrella at an earlier age, but I guess it’s better late than never. I guess it was a matter of pride going before a fall, or in this case, stupidity going before a drenching.
So since I can’t go back in time I will offer some words of advice for those college students I spotted walking unprotected in the rain:
By an umbrella; your future self will thank you.
And as an aside, I’ve got my eye on the latest in umbrella technology – the KAZbrella.
*image from London Is Cooler