Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Umbrella phobia

Fear of umbrellas? How silly. Is it fear of them turning inside out in a gust of wind? Nahhh. Fear of being poked in the eye by a monster brolly in the street? Nahhh. In my case it is a fear of losing umbrellas which has dogged me. I'm a shocker at leaving umbrellas on buses, in cafes, on park benches and other spots. And it's a fear of one umbrella in particular that has dogged me… until today, that is.

Very stupidly, I bought an expensive umbrella while on holiday in the USA in 2011. And I have never used it. I'm too scared I'll lose it on Day One outside the box. I really am a hopeless umbrella-loser, but as of today I have decided to take a huge risk and start using my high-priced, upmarket brolly – and to hell with the consequences.

Here I am out in the rain this soggy Tuesday morning,
christening my brolly while conquering my fears. And I haven't
lost it yet, although I haven't actually left the house with it
yet, either. Let me explain the problem for you…
There we were, last day in the USA, in San Francisco, and our
plane didn't leave till late afternoon. So on a morning shopping
expedition, with some leftover US dollars in our pockets we
went shopping, and I paid about $90 for this very nice umbrella.
And it is nice. It's a Davek (never heard of the
brand, but that doesn't matter). Inside the box
is a short history of umbrellas and some info
on how cool this upmarket brolly is.
The strap is thick, stitched leather, the metal clasp very solid.
The brolly itself isn't featherlight. It has some weight,
courtesy of the sturdy folding metal frame within.
It comes with a written lifetime guarantee and...
… they even provide you with a special Loss Protection Number
which allows you to purchase a replacement umbrella at half
cost, should you lose your expensive original purchase.
And despite all that, I've left it in its box for two whole years, knowing that I'd leave it on the bus or in a cafe about three hours after its social debut. That Loss Protection Number is no comfort. It means I'd fork out a smaller fortune for the replacement, which I would then leave in its box for five years, then promptly lose on the first day I use it.

Am I being pessimistic? I don't think so but Pammy's wise counsel is that I am. So, utterly sick and tired of having spent well over $90 on buying cheap, flimsy umbrellas in these last two years, I have decided to put quality to the test… and set myself a challenge. 

I plan to go for a walk in the rain later today to test out whether this upmarket brolly made in the Big Apple can handle Sydney in the wet [edit: correction! it says 'New York' on the box, but inside the umbrella a tiny little tag says… you guessed it… 'Made in China']

I'm pretty sure it will last, as it feels incredibly sturdy, but it will be a minor triumph if I come home with it still in my hand.


Lanie at Edible Urban Garden said...

I'm an umbrella loser too. Sadly, I lost another one on Monday in Sydney's rainy weather. Great read as always. I've handed in my PhD so am back in blogging land - enjoying reading through your posts.

Jamie said...

Glad to hear the PhD thesis-writing is over Lanie. That's an enormous workload. Hope you're Dr Lanie very soon!