Thursday, May 05, 2005

My Umbrella Budget

People say New York is expensive, and they're usually referring to the cost of real estate. Not factored in are the little things, such as the dozen or so umbrellas you'll buy each year. Seriously, I'm spending about $110 a year on umbrellas without even realizing it. That's like adding $9 a month to your rent.

It's an umbrella, so you think "why should I spend too much on it?" Then you buy an $8 umbrella on the street and a week later you turn a corner into a gust of wind and your umbrella gets blown out like a speaker at a Megadeth concert.

Time to buy another umbrella.

You think, well that last one didn't last too long, I don't want to commit a lot of money to the next one. Another $8 street umbrella and the cycle continues.

In other parts of the country people use their umbrellas to get to and from their cars, so they usually last for years. In NYC you walk everywhere so when it rains your umbrella has to be up for full-time duty. Sadly enough, most umbrellas aren't up to the challenge.

The other day I was in a sporting goods store and I saw a super-high-tech golf umbrella. Not one of those monster ones you can camp a village under, a normal sized umbrella built for the serious golf pro. $30.

"Ridiculous!" I though. $30 for an umbrella when I could get one for $8 on the street.

But then I had flashbacks, a veritable montage in my brain, of all the umbrellas I've had fail on me the last few years. There were images of me in a downpour angrily shoving an inside-out umbrella into a sidewalk garbage can. Images of me holding the umbrella directly in front of me to stop horizantal rain coming at me at 30 miles per hour, only to have the wind shift and the umbrella flip up like Marilyn Monroe's skirt. All of this while "Singin' in the Rain" ironically played in the background.

My friends, my next umbrella will be of the $30 variety. I have to see what life is like on the other side. If it doesn't work out, I'm going the poncho route.


At 8:21 AM, Blogger Rachel said...

I've given up on umbrellas almost entirely, unless it's REALLY pouring, after losing 3 in one weekend!


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