Umbrella animosity unappreciated

I am not a “T-Loc.”  I am also not a native of Washington.  So, naturally, prior to my relocation to this lovely state, I had no idea that there would be so many hostilities from the natives.

I should probably clarify that in saying “hostilities,” I speak of what I can only perceive as a bizarre phenomenon involving the public opinion on the weather—or moreover, reactions to the weather.

I’m often teased for being the silly girl from the OC who doesn’t know how to handle weather more extreme than sunshine.  I argue that such an accusation is unfair.  See, I’ve also lived in Maryland and West Virginia for extended periods of time, and neither of those states can be described as endlessly sunny.  I’ve also been to almost all fifty states, and never before Washington have I encountered such opposition to umbrellas.

There.  I’ve said it.  What is up with the anti-umbrella sentiment?

At first I thought it was a myth— that is, until the day my rain boots and I traipsed across campus with my houndstooth-patterned umbrella.  On this particular day, as is often the case, there were children playing on campus.  I walked past the back side of Jones and caught the most judgmental glare I’ve ever seen a five-year-old on a tricycle muster as he pointed and laughed at my fashion-forward umbrella.

I recapped the encounter for fellow freshman Kyle Whitcomb, a Tacoma-local who politely explained to me, “We just don’t really use umbrellas here.”

But why?  And why is it that I walk out of my dorm awaiting ridicule for doing so? I wouldn’t scoff at someone visiting SoCal and applying sunscreen compulsively.  Is it so bad that I take pride in showing up to class with clean, dry clothes and styled hair?

Apparently so.  In other news on bizarre weather sentiments, frosh Rachel Rattenborg claims she has been plagued in her first year by people that find it shocking that the cute Iowa native wasn’t enamored with the thought of spending our series of snow days this semester in the great outdoors. “People assume that just because you live in snow, you must love it.  I don’t.  I moved away from it for a reason.”

So what gives, Tacoma? Welcome us in, snow-haters, umbrella-users and all.  There’s no need to be so snarky about the subject.  After all, as a close friend of mine —a former Seattle coed turned New York Fashion Power to be exact—once said to me, “Yeah, people in Washington are snobby about umbrellas.  But there’s nothing snobby about fugly hair.”  Wise words, I think.  So don’t mind me and my umbrella.  We don’t mind being the only ones not dripping our way through the halls.