Umbrella Umbrage

After much internal struggle and a heated debate with myself that at times had come to fisticuffs and a rather juvenile bout of vicious name-calling, I have come to a conclusion regarding a certain subject that has caused me many a sleepless night. This issue has plagued me for longer than some of you have been alive, so you can imagine the relief I feel now that I have finally made up my mind and the insomnia that this topic has foisted upon me can, at long last, come to a peaceful end.
The mindbender was this: Does it bother me more when a man carries a too-small umbrella or when he carries an oversized “golf” umbrella?
The conclusion is this: The latter, a/k/a the oversized “golf” umbrella.
You see, in general, I cannot take umbrella-toting men very seriously. Perhaps in England, a chap can get away with using a bumbershoot without appearing prim, but here in this country, I have never been able to accept as masculine a fellow cowering under a spindled tent on a stick.
The men I find most endearing are those who do not own their own umbrellas but who instead, on the rainiest of days, can be found rushing down the avenue with lovely floral automatics sporting one or more broken spindles, obviously their wives’s castoffs that were never tossed so they could perform as “emergency” or “backup” umbrellas. Of course, these fembrella users are the very men who regard umbrellas as something too “gay” to actually buy for themselves.
Men whose umbrellas are too small to adequately shield them from the onslaught of rain just annoy me because they look like those big 20-something post-boys who ride tiny bikes that look like they’re one step away from a banana seat, handlebar streamers, and a brrrrrnnnng!-y bell activated by a jaunty thumb trigger.
But the oversized golf umbrellas? Well, their offense is a bit more involved. Not only do they project an air of “I am such an important man that I deserve (and have earned the right, damn it!) to take up not only my own space on the sidewalk but that of anyone attempting to pass me or anyone approaching me”, but they also imply that the user is a golfer. [I will not offer an in-depth explanation why golf rankles me; just accept that it does. (This loathing does not extend to miniature golf, of course. Any sport that involves small pencils and the possibility of a windmill deserves nothing but respect.)] And not only do they play golf, but it is such a vital part of their existence that they must play it even in weather that demands the use of an umbrella designed specifically for the game.
Of course, there are exceptions. My friend Daniel, for instance, owns a non-collapsible, grey (British spelling in homage to the bumbershoot) umbrella with a curved handle and manages to pull it off with such unmistakably masculine panache that you almost forget it is a ladies’s umbrella.
Most men, however, would do better to eschew the umbrella altogether and just dash athletically through the rain, raindrops a-fallin’ on their heads, and hope that pretty young things offer them a place under theirs.
And if you don’t agree with me, you are all wet.