Monday, May 18, 2009

An Ode to the Giant Golf Umbrella

Last week it rained cats and dogs in Chicago. (Btw, I've always wondered where that saying came from...imagine cats and dogs falling out the sky...weird.)

Anyway, since it was raining like a mofo, everyone had out their trusty rain shields. I myself had to purchase a $7 umbrella from CVS. I even passed over the $5 umbrellas thinking, "Splurge - I bet those $2 will make a difference and this umbrella will last you a lifetime." Apparently I was delusional. The thing is already broken and to make it work I have to hold it with two hands otherwise I get sprayed with gusts of wind and water.

But that is not the point of the story. The point of this post is my ode to the giant golf umbrella. Oh, how I loathe that giant umbrella that everyone and their mother seems to have. I see their appeal - they provide maximum coverage so you will never get wet (ever) and they also serve as a weapon for when commuting.

Here is what irks me. It's a GOLF umbrella fellow commuters. That thing is meant for golf so that when you're golfing you can golf without getting your clubs wet or your awesome golf outfit wet. It is not meant for commuting to and from the train station.

Last week, I'm pretty sure I almost got my eye poked out twice by those huge golf umbrellas because for some reason when a person wields one of these weapons on the street, they think they have a small, dinky umbrella from CVS when in fact they have an umbrella that could take out two large men just by being swung in their general direction.

If there is one thing I am passionate about, it is banning golf umbrellas from the city. The street is not big enough for all of us. I think we must all be forced to carry around a dinky umbrella from CVS. Or be imprisoned.

But hey that's just me.

26 comments:

Lindsay said...

Walking with an umbrella with a bunch of other commuters holding umbrellas is the worst. Why can't someone just invent a forcefield that keeps you dry in the rain already?

hollylynn said...

i love this post.

christine renee said...

(long time lurker, first time commenter from Chicago)

I hate golf umbrellas too! Unfortunately whenever it rains, I end up looking like a drowned rat, no matter how big an umbrella I have--I guess that's what I get for living near what is the windiest intersection ever (in my opinion!).

This is off topic, but: thanks you two, for helping me keep my faith in finding a "real" job alive.

Hazel said...

It's kind of funny that you wrote about this because Tall Guy went to Walgreens in Chicago on Friday to get an umbrella and he bought this travel one for like $15. It apparently turned inside out with a gust of wind, but he carried it around all day on Saturday even though it was gorgeous out because there was like a 5% chance of rain and we were going to be outside all day.

Erienne said...

Oh my lord I could not agree more. And why is it always the person with the smaller umbrella holding theirs up so they don't knock umbrellas with the moron with the golf umbrella?! On a sidewalk with scaffolding no less! Irks me to no end.

Death the the golf umbrella in cities. Maybe we should start a petition....just sayin'

Kt said...

I am a golf umbrella user! But I do have to say I don't commute on the train or walk on super busy streets - and when I do pass people I am very conscious to the fact that I have a huge instrument above my head.

Bayjb said...

OMG my dinky little windstopper umbrella got a semi-fail last week due to that f*cking rain. I love the big umbrella but hate carrying it

Magic City College Girl said...

lol interesting post. thanks for the info on the cvs umbrellas. the rainy season started in my area and i was thinking about buying one there since cvs is close to my job. i understand how you feel about the umbrellas. i hate getting beat up by accident by one of those. i'm kind of a hypocrite when it comes to those big umbrellas. i hate how people poke you with them but i love how they give you much more protection then regular umbrellas.

Nicole said...

I have a similar problem with umbrellas. Being right out of college- well, a year out but despite my salary I'm still broke- I can't really afford a nice umbrella and every time I pick up one for my walk from the metro to the office they always break within about 5 minutes. Personally, I look onto the people with golf umbrellas with envy.

I would love to be one of those people hogging the sidewalk because at least my clothes and my portfolio would stay dry on the trek to work. I would even share with another person heading the same direction.

Recently, I've just stopped carrying an umbrella and have opted to get completely drenched on my trek in. Maybe your other readers have some mid-grade umbrella suggestions? I'd love to see them.

A Dilettante's Perspective said...

I was actually in a place last weekend where they asked someone to leave because those huge umbrellas were not allowed. It was a thing of beauty.

amadahy said...

I believe the term raining cats and dogs came from England. Roofs used to be thatched and animals would nest in it. So sometimes when a really good rain hit the roof gave way and animals may have fallen into houses.
That's what I was told when I visited Stratford-Upon-Avon :)

Marcia said...

hahaha, oh gosh, you are so right. I am the considerate umbrella holder, I always lift my umbrella up when passing someone so not to poke their eye out. But others don't mind me :(

Kerry Anne said...

this post is too funny! i agree though, those umbrellas are dangerous!

Dollface said...

All my umbrellas break!!! xxooo

Alli said...

i like golf umbrellas - they're big enough for two:)

erin - heart in ireland said...

After living in Ireland for 2 years I grew to HATE golf umbrellas! Seriously, the sidewalks aren't big enough as it is.

As much as I hated getting wet umbrellas just weren't worth the hassle!

lindzml said...

I hated it when it would rain while I was still at UF...everyone and their brother would use a golf umbrella and they would BUMP INTO ME with them. I had a small umbrella and they'd look at me like I was the jerk. Try Target for a better quality...I've had a few from them for years, they're good as new.

Windy City Kelley's said...

I totally agree with you! Those golf umbrella's take up the entire sidewalk in most cases.

Anonymous said...

"Raining cats and dogs" is derived from Shakespearean times. At that time, cats and dogs would often sleep in front of the window for coolness. Well, they would fall asleep and it was not uncome for them to roll out the screen free window, hence the expression. Shakespeare first used the expression and it caught on.
I am such a dork!

kathymac said...

the way I see it, those umbrellas are like the carpool lane on the highway: if you're gonna use an umbrella big enough for two people, there by god better be two people under it! That's just common courtesy.

Thank you sharing with the world my exact thoughts about those stupid things!

Anonymous said...

Some suggestions for you ladies...skip the umbrella entirely and opt for a nice knee-length raincoat with a hood, or a cute rain hat. And add a pair of gorgeous & sexy rainboots that all the female commuters in Chicago seem to favor these days. Save the umbrella for sharing a romantic walk in the rain with your sweetie.

But if you insist on sticking with an umbrella, my first suggestion is forget about the tiny fold up variety. Yes, it's convenient to be able to stash in your purse or briefcase, but they're too small to keep you reasonably dry if you don't have a raincoat and one good wind gust will usually destroy them. And we've already discussed our disdain for golf umbrellas, so split the difference and go with a well-made full size stick umbrella. Choose a sturdy one with a solid wood or steel frame. There's a company called Leighton Umbrellas that makes good durable umbrellas of this variety, and you can find them on Amazon or ebay for around 20 dollars. Or if you're feeling whimsical go with the cute clear bubble umbrella, which offers coverage all the way down to your shoulders & upper body, is usually windproof and will enable you to see where you're going when the rain blows sideways. Again, Leighton makes a good product as does a company called Frankford umbrellas. Usually in the 20-25 dollar range on Amazon & ebay.

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Trevor Blum said...

I use a Virginia Tech golf umbrella and am couteous to my fellow pedestrians. A plus is that if I see a nice lady leaving a building and has no umbrella with an $80 hair doo, I can suavely approach and offer to escort her to her car or across the street or wherever. I've gotten many warm thanks and even a few phone numbers ;) Remember gentlemen, there is a way to courteously use an oversized umbrella- look up "Umbrella Dance Tokyo" on youtube.

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Anonymous said...

I love large umbrellas bc I don't get wet, it covers me and another adult easily, and when my two year old was a newborn- it was the only umbrella that kept her fully dry while being carried on my chest or back. It also keeps us both dry now as I push her stroller. I have respect for others, so I lift my umbrella high when passing others and when others say excuse me. I can't stand it either when folks are rude with their umbrellas. Yet, I'm still pro big brellas bc they're strong, sturdy, keep you dry, and can house a family of three- as long as one is a small child to be carried.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I live in NYC. This means that I definitely understand and have a lot of expetience with rudeness and large umbrellas.