Published on February 26th, 2015 | by Kris Hay


Umbrella up

I admit it. I don’t particularly understand the local disdain for umbrellas. The largest arts festival in the region is named for an umbrella (Bumbershoot); but dare to tote an actual umbrella? Suddenly, people sneer.

I don’t mind a little mizzle. I readily abandon my umbrella and embrace the idea of liquid sunshine–not allowing the rain to dampen my spirits, even as it drenches my jeans.

But I also happen to enjoy carrying a brightly-colored umbrella.

There are plenty of good reasons to umbrella up. Here’s my top 10.

10. Safety first (or tenth): Unlike hoods that can hinder peripheral vision, umbrellas allow you to easily scan your environment for danger and spot oncoming traffic when crossing streets. Bonus safety consideration: You’re more visible to drivers while carrying a bright umbrella.

Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins

Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins

9. Umbrellas engage your imagination. You can pretend it’s a sword or light saber; fantasize about flying like Mary Poppins; or re-enact Singin’ in the Rain.

8. Umbrellas can protect you from overhead hazards such as low-hanging branches, dive-bombing crows, and incontinent seagulls.

7. Fashionista? Umbrellas make fabulous accessories!

6. Like a ninja, you value everyday objects that can be weaponized to combat enemy hordes, zombies, or roving bands of rabid raccoons.

Gene Kelly

Gene Kelly

5. Depending on your mood, an umbrella can serve as a cone of isolation or as a conversation starter–you might even make friends by offering to share your umbrella.

4. They’re fun to twirl!

3. Umbrellas protect salon-worthy ’dos that could be squooshed by a hoodie.

2. Gloomy outside? A brightly-colored umbrella can elevate your spirits.

And the number one reason to carry an umbrella…

You just plain like them. You’re a free-spirited/rebellious/gritty Tacoman who doesn’t worry what others think!


Visit the umbrella mural by Chris Sharp at 220 Puyallup Avenue in Tacoma’s Dome District, featured as the lead image of this article.



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About the Author

Dabbler. Dreamer. Deviled-egg schemer. Though Kris works in a campus career office, she has no idea what she wants to be when she grows up.

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