Is it just me? Am I the only person never, ever, to have been successful with umbrellas? I genuinely can’t recount the number I’ve used and abused over the years. I never seem to be able to keep one much longer than a couple of seasons of inclement weather.
This thought struck me as I was heading for a meeting where I had to walk across town, hoping that my current specimen would hold up for at least the few steps from the car park – I was remembering that the last time I’d used it, it had few workable spokes. So I sat in the few minutes before the meeting started reflecting on this very serious issue.
That morning on the car radio I’d heard Professor David Brooks say that our need for constant comparison is a feature of the modern age, prompted often by the influence of social media. You know the sort of thing … you’ve got an umbrella that works, I need one too or I might be judged for my failure (and my turning up for my one-hour meeeting looking like the proverbial drowned rat; let’s not forget, practicalities are important).
So I’m taking a stand. It’s for individualism and creativity. When my meeting is over, I’m going umbrella-less. It’s being deposited, broken spokes and all, in the nearest bin. I don’t need to conform.
I’m going to invest in a sowester instead. An oversize, shiny, bright yellow one that gets me noticed. Individualism? Pah! I eat it for breakfast.