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It happened again this morning.  It was pouring rain out.  I have to walk about 4 blocks from the parking garage to where I work.  It had been raining a LOT lately.  I had on boots and my jacket with a hood pulled over my hair to keep it from getting wet.  Several people walking near me kindly offered to share their umbrellas with me.  I politely declined.  You see, I have a real phobia about umbrellas.  Not much in this world scares me, (I have 5 kids after all.)  I was not afraid of sharks after seeing Jaws.  I was not afraid of snakes after seeing Anaconda and Snakes on a Plane. But put an umbrella near me and my knees begin to shake and I go pale. (I hate the video of Gene Kelly in Singing in the Rain!)

This fear dates back to my childhood.  I don’t know how or why, but I got the fear that I was going to be poked in the eye with one of those little knobby things on the spokes at the end of the umbrella.  Getting wet in the harshest downpour could not compare to the fear of getting poked in the eye, so I would never use an umbrella.  Of course, as I grew, I have realized that this fear is slightly irrational.

When my son, Francis, was going to Cambridge University in England, he took my mother and me on a guided tour of London.  Being London, it was raining of course.  Francis and my mom had umbrellas, I chose to get wet.  No big deal.  What’s a little water?  Anyway, we were in front of Buckingham Palace and Francis wanted to get a picture of my mom and me.  She and I put our arms around each other and smiled for the picture.  He took the picture JUST as SHE POKED ME IN THE EYE with her UMBRELLA!  It is incredible to have my worst fear captured in a picture.  The good news is, my eye stayed intact in my eye socket and didn’t really get poked out. The bad news is, I still have my fear of umbrellas….

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Comments on: "Stay Away From Me With that Umbrella!" (26)

  1. Ah the things we fear! And just because a fear is irrational doesn’t mean it can’t happen.

  2. I can’t believe it…but I do!!! Murphy’s Law!

  3. I shouldn’t be laughing at this but couldn’t help it. It’s strange how when we know where our fear stems from we’re still unable to overcome it. I have a fear of false teeth and I know where it came from and yet I can’t get over it or rationalise it.

    Such a shame you had a rainy day in London, they are far more rare than the media would have us believe but even in the rain it’s a fab place.

  4. worknplaymommy said:

    Cute article – sorry about your phobia!

  5. Oh my! As an older elementary child I was given an auto-opening umbrella. Poked me right next to the eye. I’ve been wary ever since. What a walk down memory lane reading that! I actually collect umbrellas. I live where it rains a lot so I treat them as fashion accessories. I just open them with uncommon care. Glad your eye is ok!

  6. I giggled a little as well. I should not be laughing because I fear ants! The little things that they are … and I am scared to death of them!

  7. So you will never be the little old lady beating a criminal with her umbrella? Maybe if you could do that it would conquer your fear! 😀

  8. I don’t use them, either. So someone else in this world is walking around wet in the rain. You are not alone.

    • I lived in the “Rainiest City” in the US for 40 years…Hilo, HI and I seldom used an umbrella. They just always seem so inconvenient–always wet, needing a bag to go into the store. They were always in the way and something extra to have to carry along with the groceries, etc. I would just get a little wet, wait for the rains to pass and the sun would dry me out. Usually the rains were light and only lasted about 15-20 mins. so it was never a big deal. It never crossed my mind I could poke out an eye, so now there is another reason not to carry one!

  9. There is an old song from the 70s about “it never rains in California.” Unfortunately, this is mostly true. We are in the midst of a severe drought at the moment and I don’t think anyone here remembers what an umbrella is!

    I, too, got soaked in front of Buckingham Palace while awaiting the changing of the guards (many years ago). I don’t have a phobia of umbrellas, it’s just that I find that they are more trouble than they are worth.

    Hopefully, you will now be able to use an umbrella since your personal experience has given you an understanding that NOT using an umbrella does not guarantee that you will not be poked in the eye with one. All it guarantees is that you will get wet!

    I have phobias about a number of dumb things; despite what people say, they’re really not all that irrational. Generally, phobias don’t develop without some sort of rational basis. The problem is that they tend to get out of control far beyond the original reasoning.

  10. I am still laughing! But at the same time I’m shaking in my boots. Because my irrational fear is spiders. I can’t watch Indiana Jones without having a panic attack. Now, after reading your post, I’m certain I will walk into that giant spider web some day and have hundreds of huge spiders crawling all over me. Maybe I’ll be lucky enough to have an umbrella to beat them off! 🙂
    Thanks for sharing your experience. Even as I laugh, I am thankful your eye is ok.

  11. I think about that all the time….

  12. Dorothy Chamberlin said:

    HAHAHAHAHA!! Funny! My daughter, Jennifer Payne sent your story to me and I really enjoyed reading it. She said that you are funny and she was right! Jennifer’s Mom, Dottie Chamberlin

  13. Thanks for the giggle!

  14. Oh my goodness. I think you must have willed that into existence, your fear was so strong:). What are the chances?!

  15. You may want to move to Seattle. Very few people here use umbrellas, rain or not! 🙂

  16. This made me chuckle and I felt bad because it’s not nice to chuckle at someone getting poked in the eye. 🙂

  17. I am sorry to laugh but I am sorry too that it poked you in the eye, ugh. SO do you also dislike the umbrella song? lol

  18. This story made me giggle. I’m so sorry you got the poke, but you got it on camera, so that makes it funny!

  19. Ha! I was told the danger of an umbrella. Now I see it it in action. Stay away. 🙂

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