I was driving to work today, and I passed a gentleman walking on the sidewalk carrying an umbrella. Although that statement on the outset, appears somewhat bland, the way the man walked with the umbrella drew my immediate attention.
The man himself was not striking in particular. He was a typical “dad” or maybe even granddad. He wore khaki cargo shorts, had on a golf shirt and was middle-aged to possibly in his sixties.
Despite his carbon-copy, dad/granddad-like exterior, this man, or should I say “gent,” walked with his crooked umbrella handle hanging over his wrist! I was so taken aback by that one small detail, that I realized this gent, or should I say “gentleman,” had made himself James Bond cool!
This fellow was scurrying across a busy intersection, trying to catch up to the rest of his family. Most likely, the iconic coolness of that umbrella weighed him down somewhat and caused him to lag. His gray hair was parted on the side was windblown, yet he did not bother to brush it back in place with his free hand. Amazing!
This incident led me to ponder how the fact that carrying a traditional umbrella could be so freaking cool.
First of all, it was cool because it was a traditional umbrella and not a lame folding umbrella.
Folding, shooting, springing umbrellas may be convenient to keep in the floorboard of your car, but they have zero “coolness” factor. How many of you would you want to see your man hanging a tiny, folding, see-thru umbrella the size of a Subway sandwich over their arm? Who needs a see-thru umbrella anyway? Is it for people who doubt it’s raining, but are afraid to stick their hand out from under the umbrella to see if it comes back wet?
Oh no, my man, carried his umbrella in the stylish, classic, iconic, style. He was a man-about-town. I wondered if he were British, then I noticed he was too tan. His umbrella had the classic crook handle, not the springy little button on the side handle. Although, I must admit to the guys reading this, how many of us feel like secret agents when we push the little button and the umbrella springs out and opens?
What have we learned? The genuinely cool way to carry an umbrella is to own a traditional non-folding umbrella with a curved handle “possibly made from bamboo.” Hang the handle over your arm, near the wrist. That’s it; instantly cool.
Ladies can get away with a folding umbrella but remember, even Mary Poppins umbrella didn’t fold, so keep that in mind.
If you whip out a golf umbrella anytime other than a golf game, you look like an idiot. Are you trying to keep the entire city block dry? Does your umbrella have a sports team on it? That screams, “Hey, I hate being wet, but I love the Dolphins,” which is ironic.
Just hang the handle over the arm and walk, eyes ahead. Did I mention, it wasn’t raining, nor was there a cloud in the sky when I saw this guy?
Carry on “Umbrella Guy,” carry on.