The Umbrella story

Most of the switch.crew know that a majority of the posts that are drafts…are mine. I start but don’t finish, but this story I very much intend to finish. Anyhoo, this post is different from most of the switch.posts you read.

This is a little anecdote from an event that took place much earlier in the semester. I’ve always intended to write on it, but have not had the chance to. I asked the person involved in the story if I could share this with the, to which he agreed. But it was a while ago…so when you read this and it sounds familiar…yes, you are probably the male in question. It was a while ago…and this is how I remember it. He is a friend of the switch.crew, so I’ll keep his identity anonymous.

It was one of the many foggy, dull and rainy days that we’ve had this semester. Of course, when I wake up, I never realize it is raining until I am actually ready to run out the door to head to the bus-stop with HOOSWHERE reporting that I have a minute left. I opened my door.

It was one of those days where the weather can’t decide if its going to pour or be sunny. I stepped out at that moment when the clouds had hijacked the sun, and then sat wavering on whether or not they should let the rain go. No rain. No drizzle…just this light mist, like a really thick and wet fog.

I stepped out for a minute, and immediately ran back inside to search for my umbrella (which I knew I had unpacked sometime ago, but not sure where I had put it)*. It was just misting but it was too much for my hair to take.

Anyhoo, I’d missed the bus from trying to find my umbrella, and so I just headed over to the bus-stop to wait. I noticed a switch.friend was waiting alone by himself, a leftover (like myself) from the bus having just left. I am generally, by my own account, an awkward person when it comes to making small-talk. Esp. when I am just not in the mood for it. At that time, I felt and looked like sh**, so I definitely was not in the mood.

We said our usual hellos (awkward on my end–making the whole convo awkward in general), then we sorta stood there in silence waiting for the bus to come. My face was turned towards the direction of the bus, as if the bus was just coming round the corner. Of course, it wasn’t… but I needed to do something with myself at this point. We, at UVa are very good at this stance…looking out for the bus that isn’t coming. Or checking the text message that hasn’t arrived.

It was still misting. I was safe under my umbrella but said person was standing next to me with a huge umbrella in his hand. Unopened.

You know those really big umbrellas that seem more like weapons than anything else? They are very manly…and unnecessary. But it was quite comedic and paradoxical that he had this superman umbrella ready to fight against this…mist.

He was getting damp from the mist, but he didn’t even consider opening the umbrella. So forgetting my awkwardness, I asked,

“Are you not going to use that?”

He held it up, looking at it, trying to decide.

“I guess since you’ve got yours open, it’s cool. I can open mine now.”

I chuckled in disbelief.

“It matters that I’ve opened my umbrella?”

“Well yeah… most guys, at least I, use it as a pointer/timer on when it is okay to open my umbrella.”

“What about the fact that you don’t want to get wet?”

His reasoning came down to the fact that no guy wants to be the fool holding up an umbrella when no one thinks that it is necessary to hold one up. Especially his superman umbrella. In this measly mist.

He said it with such confidence that I felt that it was some rule or fact that I just didn’t know about. Something that duh, of course I should know. Feeling that I’d asked a silly question, I immediately pulled back and again faced the bus that did not make its appearance.

But I thought about what he’d just told me. I found rather strange? As in, did it really matter, what I, a female, thought?

Curious, I faced him again and asked him exactly what I was thinking.

He thought about it:

“Well…yeah! As in, I don’t set my life up according to what every chick thinks, but what women think is very important to all men!”

“Yeah, I know but…but it’s just an umbrella.”

It was mind-boggling

We talked about it more, but I was still taken aback by what he said. I know women do have ALOT of power in influencing the way many men live their lives, but to be the deciding factor on when to open the umbrella is is another level? I thought it was a bit much,

By this time, the bus had come…of course…exactly when I was really into the convo. Later on, I couldn’t help but think that if I was more conniving, or even adroit, I could totally use this to my advantage. Of course, the key word here is “if”? I bet there are tons of women, naively not me, who understand this brilliantly and take advantage of it.

Fellas: How much of what he said applies to your everyday life? Do we as women really direct what you do to the smallest detail?

Ladies: How do you, if at all, use this to your advantage?

disclaimer: Before you go ahead and say that this particular guy is a p**** etc, or whatever reasons you may have, he’s actually a normal black UVa guy who is confident in himself.


*Yes it was THAT early in the semester.

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