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En garde! Mind your umbrella civility
En garde! Mind your umbrella civility

By Jean Bernard Talon

Only in The Avengers is the umbrella considered a weapon. Otherwise, it should be regarded for what it is: a pillar of civility.  Oh yes, it is raining but one need not fret under the secure awning of their umbrella as long as a few social thoughts of courtesy are considered.

Please do not point: rude with a finger, dangerous with an umbrella. The closed umbrella should be carried at an angle with the tip either directly towards the ground or at no more than a 45 degree angle. Jabbing someone is simply wrong.

Please tip: when passing someone else with an open umbrella, one should veer their umbrella in the opposite direction to avoid collision. Should one be stuck for a solution in a crowd, raise the umbrella but not in order to pass quickly. Patience is a virtue.

Ladies & Gentlemen, this may be a point of controversy, but in my mild mannered opinion a gentleman should hold an umbrella for a lady companion; He should definitely offer the protection of his umbrella as ladies have concerns where water does not mix (ie; hair, make-up, and clothing that can unintentionally become all too revealing).

We live In a modern world, and there are couples out on the town who are often of the same gender. In this case, I would suggest - out of practicality - that the taller of the two should carry the sole umbrella (this would also be appropriate for a couple of a taller lady with a man slight of her grandeur).

The side which one walks on is determined by the preferred arm of the holder of the umbrella, although street splashes should be kept in mind. Otherwise some might say two umbrellas are better than one, but certainly not as intimate!

High and Dry: in out of the rain, the umbrella still needs to be managed.

For example, if you are traveling by public transit or an automobile, please close and fasten the umbrella so that no puddles form on upholstery or the lap of some innocent co-passenger. If entering an establishment that has no proper stand then the wet umbrella should be placed upright as close to the door as possible. Available easily in Germany and many other countries is the handiest of tools: a handbag hook which suspends your umbrella amongst other things under your table in a restaurant or bistro.

Also, please do make sure to dry the umbrella as it can develop a certain odour, if not dried thoroughly.

Now, a poignant quote dedicated to the dear brolly:

“Now it’s raining more than ever, know that we’ll still have each other, you can stand under my umbrella” - Rihanna

(originally published on October 15, 2009)

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