Of Umbrellas, Rain and Common Sense

I’m writing this article while wearing a robe.

Every week I think about what I’m going to write about, hoping that something interesting and pertinent comes to mind. This week, the well was running pretty dry. Although there were certainly lots of ideas, none of them really stuck.

 A little trust in the Universe is all it takes and today was no different.

 My wife and I needed to go to a local office supply store. It's been a stormy week and today was no different. Black clouds approached with a promise of rain. Luckily, as we entered the store, all was calm.

 We’d only been inside the place for a few minutes when the first sounds of hail pounding the roof began. It quickly turned into the staccato of rain, getting increasingly louder and more intimidating. Peals of thunder ripped through the air as the torrential rain became so loud that conversation was impossible.

 Although we were in a hurry, it was obvious that there was nowhere we were going anytime soon, so we bided our time as long as we could.

 Finally, it began to let up a bit and we decided we had to get going and make a rush for the car. We checked out and as we approached the door, the young man who’d waited on us reached down and offered us an umbrella.

 I said to the young man, “I’ll bring this umbrella back to you.” He replied, “Uh, okay.”

 Umbrella in hand, I did my best to protect both of us as the sky opened back up and hail and rain pelted us as we made our way to our car.

 My wife has since informed me that being shorter than I, she will always suffer in the single-umbrella gambit and thus end up soaking wet. Apparently the taller person, in covering their head, creates a massive gap due to the height difference. As she is shorter than I, I'll have to take her word for it, although I can attest that she got pretty darn wet.

 We finally made it back to the car, soaked and nerves completely frazzled in our attempt to use a single umbrella to do a two-umbrella job. By the time I got our stuff in the trunk, my wife in the passenger seat and the umbrella thrown in the backseat to be retrieved by the young man when I drove to the front door, I was soaked.

 This is as good a place as any to mention that the umbrella he’d given me kept opening and refused to stay closed until I swore at it and even then, only begrudgingly.

 My wife and I looked like freshly shampooed kittens, but not nearly as pleased. 

 I drove to the front of the establishment, hoping that the young man would be waiting to take the umbrella out of the back seat, thus ending our adventure. He was nowhere to be seen.

 Becoming more irritable, I thought to myself, “what would the Buddha do?” The answer didn’t help much, as I realized that he’d have no need for office supplies and wouldn't be dumb enough to be out in a hail storm in the first place. 

 I waited a moment for the young man and tried to think good thoughts, perhaps in the process drawing him to the front door to notice that I was there. Imagine my surprise when this didn’t work.

 The rain and hail still coming down in sheets, I jumped out of the car, opened the back door and grabbed the umbrella, which opened on the way out thus preventing it from leaving the car. It was seemingly smart enough to stay out of the rain. 

 I became aware that I was cursing loudly but luckily there was no one to offend as all sensible people, including the young man, were safely indoors.

 Dripping, I entered the store to return the umbrella, but also to see where this young fellow had gone to. There he was, way at the other end of the store chatting with a coworker. Realizing that silence was my only civil option at this point, I tried to close the umbrella and it instantly exploded open, spraying me, although at this point it was moot.

 I kept fighting with the umbrella and it kept popping open in an attempt to prove me to be a complete idiot. The dry, young lad approached and I said a bit too loudly, “Here’s your umbrella. Thank you.” He replied, “Uh, okay. Just put it down there.” Obviously, he didn’t want to get wet.

 He was pointing to a spot on the floor where, lo and behold, there was another umbrella which had been there the entire time. It took a moment for it to sink in. He could’ve offered me both umbrellas, one for a short person and another for a taller person, but he hadn’t. 

 A bit flummoxed, I finally managed to get the umbrella closed again, set it down next to the one on the floor and it instantly sprang open, defiantly leaping into the air.

 The young man looked at me as if to say, “you're not going to leave it that way are you?”

 I know what I wanted to say but instead I mumbled, “I can’t.”

 Hence the bathrobe.

 I suppose the moral of this story, if there is one, is if dealing with a Mercury Retrograde that begins in a water sign, I need to ask for my own umbrella or simply refuse one altogether. A little water won’t hurt me. After all, I'm Not the Wicked Witch of the West and I won’t melt. Although, if that young man had been made out of tin, I'd have taken his oil can home with me.

 I wish you peace, love and enough umbrellas to go around.

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