While the British climate could never be described as dry, I think that winter, in particular, obviously brings with it more rain than usual. Hairstyles get wrecked, moods dip, posh towns in the south flood, and everybody’s favourite bugaboo comes out of the woodwork; the umbrella. Social etiquette, in my view, is largely becoming forgotten, and this is the first of probably a few blogs focussed on where society should regain its forgotten manners.
The umbrella is such a great tool for the rain. But it only takes a few days experience of walking around a bustling city to realise that most people on the street simply aren’t qualified to use one.
There are many types and sizes of umbrella. Let’s be clear – golf umbrellas are not designed for the street, regardless of how quiet your town, or how ridiculous you wish to look. Leave the golf umbrellas at home! If you’re out and about in normal society, you want a personal size umbrella only. Just enough to cover you while you walk, not enough to make people move 2ft to either side to get past you.
If you’re planning to open your umbrella on the move, please be aware of the people around you. I recently had to put the brakes on while trying to get past a woman. As I attempted to skirt round her, she opened a ludicrously-sized umbrella, like this thing was ridiculously disproportionate. I instantly became angrier. Just look around you before deploying your kit and everyone will get along a bit better!
While on the move, there are 2 things which the average umbrella user does which are particularly frustrating. The first of these is stopping abruptly in the street without warning. This is already an annoying thing that the average pedestrian will do, but when a massive umbrella is added into the mix then it’s even more annoying. Mostly because your ability to deftly nip round them is very much hindered by having to nip a few feet instead of a couple of inches.
The second thing the average user will do is fail to monitor the height of their umbrella. I’m taller than the average person, at 6’ 2”. So, I appreciate that this might be a problem that a minority of the population experience. However, if you’re using an umbrella and you’re in a crowd, please keep your wits about you and move your umbrella up and down as needed. I can’t really change much about my height, it’s not my fault, and I’d rather not have to bend out of the way of eye-level umbrella spikes.
Umbrella etiquette seems largely to just not be a thing anymore, but it needs to make a comeback. Society is heading downhill because we’re racking up a lot of small losses like this. Sort out the umbrellas and, slowly but surely, post-Brexit Britain will be back on its feet a lot quicker than a lot of people think.