What’s your umbrella etiquette?

With fall showers in full swing, now is a good time to discuss proper umbrella etiquette. Or rather, the lack thereof.

On rainy days New Yorkers duke it out in the subway and on cramped sidewalks wielding colorful umbrellas as their weapon of choice. Sadly, most of us don’t quite know how to operate these dangerous implements. In her article, Alexandra Gratereaux describes the battle of the umbrellas that nearly every New Yorker encounters once the rain starts to fall.

You know how these battles usually play out.

Stepping into the subway car, you trip over the handle of an umbrella strewn unceremoniously across the aisle. After that ungraceful mishap, you sit on an empty seat, only to discover the empty seat isn’t exactly empty. A delightful puddle of water has accumulated at the base, thanks to the soaked umbrella that was lying there moments before.

Illustrations copyright Remie Geoffroi. Used with permission.

Free from the subway, you walk to school (or work, or to meet a dashing date) with your head down to shield your face from the rain, when an umbrella spoke jabs you in the eye. Twice. Some taller fellow didn’t raise his umbrella so you can pass through, and the little schoolgirl didn’t lower her umbrella to avoid a collision.

If you’re lucky, you can duck underneath scaffolds and awnings to keep dry. But you may find yourself sharing the covered area with umbrella’d individuals hogging premium space. Sure, some of them are gallant enough to close their umbrellas. But instead of carrying the umbrella vertically like a walking stick, they tuck it horizontally underneath their arm like a broadsword, poking unsuspecting pedestrians.

To prevent any disagreeable umbrella encounters with cantankerous New Yorkers, brush up on your umbrella etiquette, courtesy of Miguel Guadalupe. Better yet, consider investing in Joo Youn Paek’s “Polite Umbrella!”

How do you, dear readers, comport yourself during inclement weather? Are you guilty of any of these downpour faux pas? Or do you have impeccable umbrella etiquette?

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