Yahoo Images

Several weeks ago, we had a spell of rainy days, which meant that everyone in Jenworld needed umbrellas.

As he left for work, Pete grabbed the great big golf umbrella that’s striped in orange and blue (University of Virginia colors, in case you’re not from around these parts). Then Ellie took the bright pink daisy stick umbrella and went to school. Next, Grace went for what appeared to be a plain old black umbrella, but which has a cheerful blue sky inside.

That left me with the Union Jack golf umbrella. This seems like it would have been a good thing, no? Large enough to keep me dry and also in a fabulous print. Unfortunately, this umbrella, which I got as a gift from Pete a year or two ago, was irreparably damaged during its maiden voyage during a particularly intense storm. I was able to kinda sorta fix it, but it was always an iffy deal and thus, none of us used what should have been a fabulous brolly.

So on that rainy day several weeks ago, I grabbed the brokedy umbrella and attempted to use it but it groaned in agony and collapsed in my hands, breathing its last before I could even step out into the rain. I was forced to use one of those teeny tiny folding umbrellas, which I think we can all agree is simply not sufficient for actual rain protection.

This is more or less what it looked like when it died. (Yahoo Images)

Not willing to continue with unacceptable umbrella coverage in Jenworld, I did what I do best, which is to take to the internet to find replacements. Specifically, I went to Amazon, knowing that I could find umbrellas in great patterns for reasonable prices and with fast shipping.

I ended up finding some good replacements, which I’ll share with you shortly, but first we have to discuss what else I discovered as I shopped.

What I noticed as I was looking around is that Amazon ever so helpfully sorted the umbrellas so that males and females can easily find the umbrellas specifically meant for them.

Here are some examples:

Did you know that only girls may carry zebra print umbrellas trimmed in hot pink? It’s true. It is actually illegal for any one of the male species to have such fabulosity.

This is labeled as specifically for men. Because women don’t want old fashioned stick umbrellas in simple colors like black or tan. Really, the zebra print would be much more professional, right?

And again, only for girls, here’s a huge dose of ruffles for you in a variety of girls-only colors. And there are more ruffles here in other colors for more variety. But only for girls and women. Because there’s not a man or boy in the entire world who wouldn’t want to carry one of these.

Only men will like these large golf umbrellas in simple graphic patterns. Me? I have an entire wardrobe of black and grey clothes, but I really want one of those pink ruffly umbrellas I mentioned above.

I could go on and on with the numerous examples I found, but I think I’ve made my point. Which is, whatever you do, don’t try to break through gender stereotypes with your umbrella choices. Just don’t. There are rules and woe unto those who flout them.

{Pause while I allow the sarcasm to seep fully into the earth.}

So what did I end up ordering? This fun rainbow stick umbrella, plus this London-themed folding umbrella, which Grace seems to have already claimed as her favorite. Neither of which has been helpfully labeled for gender usage, but we seem to be managing without any problems.

What’s your preferred rain protection? Big umbrellas or small ones? Plain ones or fun ones? Or do you tough it out without coverage?


Disclaimer: I’m not employed by Amazon, nor was I asked to review their products. Also, clicking on the links will NOT generate any revenue for me. This is an income-free blog, yo.
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15 Responses to Umbrellas

  1. badnessjones says:

    I have a giant hot pink folding umbrella – but my preferred rain protection is to crawl back in bed until the rain goes away ;)

  2. Ally Bean says:

    Lovely use of the word brokedy. I predict that soon it’ll be in the OED giving you credit for creating it.

    About umbrellas, I had no idea that they were sold in such gender specific ways. I can see that you’re right when you say “there are rules.”

    Around my house the rule is that the red umbrella is mine. Always. I like to keep it simple. And stay dry.

  3. Violet says:

    I second the cheers for “brokedy.” I stopped and savored it before I kept reading.

    My bumbershoot rule is that it must be bright and patterned. Rainy days are dark and dull and I like the burst of color and movement provided by a cheery umbrella. I long for a Vera Bradley model but they are too dear right now. I like medium-to-large and my absolute faves are the ones with auto-up and auto-down – so handy when getting in and out of cars, buses, doors.

    I currently own three umbrellas. One lives in the coat closet, one in the car, one teeny one rode around in my backpack whilst I was a college girl these last 2-1/2 years. I need to get another decent-sized one that will live in my desk drawer at work.

  4. Cassi says:

    We have a multitude of umbrellas here. Rob has his –black and stays mostly in his car. Rob bought me a great dark green “manly” one years ago that doesn’t fold, and this lives in the mudroom for me to use to get to our detached garage. Once I’m in the garage I leave it there, to use on the way back in. Then I have a couple in my car –one is light brown, one is a red/orange/black multi-colored pattern. And I have a teeny one in my laptop-backpack that I take back and forth to campus when I’m teaching, and I always forget it’s in there. I also bought a really large folding umbrella in primary colors via Amazon, but it takes superhuman strength to get it to click closed, so we all hate it.

    Now, I want to know if you paid $50 for that MoMA umbrella? I love that one! But that is too much loot for an umbrella.

  5. Julie says:

    I have the teeny tiny ones in a variety of colors/patterns. I have a few normal size ones, but they are not used as much. I keep a plain black one in the carthatisusedbyothers…..and 2 brightly pink patterned ones in my own car. They stay in the car here in Northern CA…as the rain is not a consistent weather constant here and I do not walk out my door in the rain (I get in my car that is always in my garage).

    I have noticed that one of our shoe stores (huge place) has a clear plastic almost bubble type umbrellas that is touted as the one the Queen uses in the UK…not the same brand, but same style. I have been tempted to buy it in recent months but have held out….I grew up with clear plastic bubble umbrellas and it really strikes a nostalgic cord for me.

  6. Wow–had no idea they were so diverse. I have a blue striped golf umbrella that I LOVE. But in a pinch the little fold-up maroon one suits me fine. I think that second one is gender-neutral.

  7. Pamela says:

    I live in Vancouver Canada–so we know our rain. When I moved here over 30 years ago umbrellas were a novelty for me, coming from the prairies. But I kept losing them, or forgetting them so I decided hats or hoods were the only thing for me.

  8. Smalltown Me says:

    Some time ago I had 13 umbrellas of all shapes and sizes, and I opened them all in the house on a Friday the 13th. Amongst the collection is a vintage plastic bubble umbrella and of course my beloved Mary Poppins umbrella with parrot handle.

    I am shopping for sheet sets for the college dorm and the ones labeled “guys” are so dark and dreary. Ugh.

  9. Kris says:

    It rains like, 3 times a year in Utah. Not really, but the rain here is wussy and drizzling compared to the glorious storms in the east and south. Man I miss those storms. I’ve never owned an umbrella until last year, and the only reason I bought one is because I had to walk to campus in a rare downpour that soaked me on the one day I was wearing a dress (for an internship interview.) Gack.

    Anyway. I bought this one

    And I love it a lot.

  10. Since it rains every day here in the summer (and this week it pours like mad), I have a bunch of different umbrellas. The huge golf umbrella from the University of Kansas is my favorite. Blue with a big Jayhawk on it. My old boyfriend from grad school had an umbrella that I kept trying to steal that said, “Sh!t, it’s raining.”

  11. Have you seen these???? I could have an umbrella collection if left to my own devices.

  12. Jacqueline says:

    I have two favourites (yes I am from England and so it is the law I have several “brollies”). I have a rainbow one AKA friends style umbrella, which I use at school and my class love and I have a black golf size one with has black poppies on it and one scarlet one…which came from the Royal British legion, to raise money for ex-service personnel. We also have many variants of Sidney princess and Minnie mouse ones and kids size one from days of yore.

  13. It never rains in California.


  14. Lisa says:

    It’s raining in IA today and alas my umbrella is in the car. Where it is safe. And dry. Hoping it will stop raining before lunch.
    I am in love with the rainbow one you purchased and may need to order it as I have two rain jackets that would match perfectly!
    I have mostly the small compact umbrellas, maybe six of them? Most at home, one in the car, none in my desk drawer. Note to self…keep one in your drawer.
    Must work and listen to the rain and thunder.

  15. Hysterical. My family makes do with one portable umbrella kept in my car :)

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