Locals give tips on umbrella etiquette

After a recent dump of apocalyptic rain and more in the forecast for,on and off, the next five months, umbrellas are out in full force inVancouver.

After a recent dump of apocalyptic rain and more in the forecast for, on and off, the next five months, umbrellas are out in full force in Vancouver.

We asked three Vancouverites — Laura McGlynn, sales associate at the Umbrella Shop, Nicky Anderton and Mikhail Gelovani — to share their views on umbrella etiquette:

For whom should you raise your umbrella in an umbrella faceoff?

Laura: “Going by the way of chivalry, I think the gentleman.”

Nicky: “Whomever thinks to do it first, or the taller person.”

Mikhail: “I always raise my umbrella. I’m tall, though. Short people should be mindful of tall people, too.”

Should people close their umbrellas when walking under awnings and covered walkways?

Laura: “I’d probably close it if it were that narrow so you’re not bashing into people.”

Nicky: “If it’s short I just keep it open, but if it’s long, like half a block and it’s a heavy traffic walkway, then everybody should close their umbrellas.”

Mikhail: “That seems like a waste of energy. Why don’t they just not walk under the awnings?”

What should people do with their umbrellas on the bus?

Laura: “Leave it loosely closed on the floor beside you. Never leave it on the seat.”

Nicky: “I saw … someone actually hook their umbrella over the overhead rail, and it was a little scary. Don’t poke people.”

Mikhail: “(You shouldn’t) stick it out straight in front of you, keeping it pointed at people.”

Would you share your umbrella with a stranger at a bus stop?

Laura: “If your umbrella is big enough, why not? It may be a chance to strike up a conversation.”

Nicky: “Yes, I would.”

Mikhail: “Yeah, I would because some of these new bus stops just aren’t adequate enough to shield you from the environment.”

Should a man give his umbrella to a female co-worker or female friend if she doesn’t have one?

Laura: “No. Those days are gone. He shouldn’t get wet. She should have brought one.”

Nicky: “Not necessarily. I think you can share it. But I think it’s about practicality and it has nothing to do with gender.”

Mikhail: “Yes and no. It’s up to her. If you offer and she says no, well, don’t press it. Everybody needs to look out for themselves.”

Tips for buying an umbrella
• A stick umbrella is stronger than a folding one. Each joint enabling an umbrella to fold down is a point of weakness.

• The smaller the umbrella, the more times it folds, and each fold compromises the umbrella’s strength when fighting wind and wear.

• Look for umbrella ribs with a coated finish, which are better protected from rust and corrosion.

• Spring-loaded automatic openers exert heavy pressure on frames and are more costly to fix.

 
 
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