Umbrella etiquette

In the same inexplicable way that a little rain suddenly renders many Portland drivers mildly insane and incapable of adhering to the most basic tenets of driving etiquette and common sense, oftentimes when people grab an umbrella they immediately forget about their newly expanded sphere of personal space and proceed to piss off every single person they come in contact with. Don’t be that person by keeping these umbrella etiquette tips in mind:

Take an umbrella if you don’t have to! Why worry about poking eyes out while carrying that wet plastic and metal stick around everywhere when you could just put on a hat or put up a hood and be done with it? Also, when it’s windy, forget about it. Just remind yourself that over half your body is water already.

Shake your umbrella out indoors or after getting on public transportation. Staying dry doesn’t mean getting others wet.

Look at your phone while walking. You’ll have plenty of time to ignore your friends, loved ones and reality as it exists outside the warm glow of your screen once you get to your destination.

Carry your closed umbrella with the point facing out. If you carry your umbrella like a weapon, be prepared to use it to defend yourself, because people will want to kill you.

Use an appropriate umbrella! Robert Louis Stevenson, take it away: “Umbrellas, like faces, acquire a certain sympathy with the individual who carries them…May it not be said of the bearers of these inappropriate umbrellas, that they go about the streets ‘with a lie in their right hand?'”

When approaching others, raise your umbrella if you’re tall and lower it if you’re short.

When opening or closing your umbrella, point it away from passersby.

Share! If you haven’t been paying attention and still think it’s OK to carry a giant golf umbrella around on a busy sidewalk, at least try to mitigate the suffering of everyone around you temporarily by letting those without an umbrella take shelter under your massive, inconsiderate dome of protection.

Having been raised by feral pandas in the remote forests of Chengdu, China has always formed a key part of my identity. After my career as a Hong Kong film producer was derailed by tabloid journalists, I knew I had found the work that would become my life’s purpose. I am passionate about journalism because it allows me to step into worlds I would otherwise never know while channeling my curiosity toward serving and informing the community.