Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Practically Perfect in Every Way

There is this lady. She has a bottomless bag which she pulls lamps and other things out of. She tends children and they love her. She flies about with an umbrella. Her name is Mary Poppins. She is practically perfect in every way.

Umbrellas. They are quite interesting contraptions. You push a button and they open up, and keep you covered from rain. They would be much more interesting if we could fly around like Mary Poppins, but all the same, they are interesting things.

On Monday, the weather was depressed. . .and angry. It started out pouring rain. Then the rain grew thicker. It became yucky sleet. Next thing you knew, it was snowing. Cold, harsh weather like this is not fun to walk around campus in. I wore two coats. I wore my warm boots. I wore my colorful mittens. And of course, I carried my umbrella with me. While walking from class to class, I saw many different umbrellas. I noticed most people carrying umbrellas were girls. I guess it bothers girls more to get wetness on their carefully curled heads. I also noticed another thing through all my umbrella observing. Umbrellas can have a lot of personality. They come in all colors and all designs. Some are bright and obnoxious. Some are sophisticated. Some come in animal print. Some are big. Some are small. I was amazed with how unique they all were. Then I started to ask myself if maybe the personalities of these umbrellas fit the personality of the umbrella carrier.

After this random thought of mine (random thoughts like these occur often for me) I looked up at my own umbrella in dismay. He is a little bit beaten. He has indeed sacrificed himself in many storms in order to protect me. Some of his wires are slightly bent up. He is plain black. I guess he appears to be a bit of a boring umbrella. But he has always done his job for me. He has always been reliable. But I couldn't help but wonder,

"Oh no! Am I a boring person?"

I began betraying my umbrella friend by thinking of what kind of umbrella I should invest in. A fun, colorful one perhaps. When I was younger, I remember having an umbrella that looked like a bear. It had a smiling bear face on it, and two sticking up ears. That was a fun umbrella.

Then I wondered how much umbrellas cost exactly, and where I could go to purchase an umbrella. I started thinking about my own boring umbrella again. How much did he cost me? What store did he come from? Then I remembered the day my umbrella and I met. He did not come from any type of a store. He came out of a big, African American man's trench coat. Let me explain. . .

It was my first time ever in New York. I was in awe with it all. For a small town Idaho girl, New York City was quite the huge shocker. I was use to being surrounded by mountains. I was now surrounded by massive buildings. We were going to Phantom of the Opera on Broadway that night. I was quite excited. I was checking something off my bucket list: Phantom on Broadway. This was a big deal. I had my silky, champagne colored dress on. My hair was curled and wrapped into a carefully arranged side-bun (this was before I chopped my hair off). I was wearing my great grandma's intricate hanging earrings. I even had lipstick on. For tonight, as far as I was concerned, I was New York City's best. While passing through Times Square, we stopped at a pizza buffet for some dinner. Upon leaving the restaurant, it was raining. At first it was only a drizzle, but this changed as we walked out the doors. It was as if the rain was waiting for us to come out to play before it came out as well. The sky poured. The rain was pounding down on the bustling streets of NYC. My body was numb. My first-class appearance would be ruined. Suddenly, a tall man was standing by my side. He looked pretty shady. Not that I was being judgemental or anything. He had a long coat wrapped around his body, his hands inside deep pockets. He was saying something to me, but I couldn't understand.


"Umbrellas for sale. You like?"

He opened up one side of his jacket to reveal several black umbrellas just waiting to be used. Probably screaming to be taken from the dark trench coat, and opened to the world. Opened towards the sobbing sky. I opened up my clutch and pulled out some bills. We exchanged; money for umbrella. This was the first time my umbrella's handle came into my hand. I underestimated him at first, thinking he was some crap umbrella. But I figured it would do to get me to my opera dry and in one piece. Since then, he has gotten me to many places dry and in one piece. And he is not boring at all.

I think after reminiscing about all this, I finally arrived to my next class. I closed my umbrella and shook him off. Then I smiled at him and wiped some droplets of water away. He was the best umbrella ever, and I realized he had tons of personality. Not many people can say they purchased their umbrella off a shady character in Times Square. Most people meet their umbrella for the first time in a generic store. I met my umbrella and opened him up in the middle of a New York City rainstorm.

So here's to you umbrella. And to everyone and everything else that ever gets underestimated. To things worn and used that do their job well. That have more personality than one could ever fathom.

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