Saturday, April 27, 2019

Umbrella Etiquette for L.A.

Jonas Hanway, is said to have been the first Englishman to carry an umbrella. First seen as an oddity, it soon became indispensable to fellow Brits. Rarely used in Los Angeles for rain, umbrellas in Southern California are seen more often being used for sun protection.

It is not to be expected that people living in a climate that affords more than 300 sunshiny days in the 365 of the year will be thoroughly posted in umbrella etiquette. A cursory glance about the streets of Los Angeles during the inclemency of the past few days is sufficiently convincing that there is a lack of culture in our umbrella manners. 

For instance, in sections of the country where the ratio of rainy and sunny days is reversed, and the art of umbrella manipulation is at its highest development, it is not considered in good form, when a gentleman and lady are sharing the same silken canopy for the gentleman to monopolize three-fourths of the area of dryness while the gentle moisture trickles over the unprotected shoulders of his fair companion. Also, in passing down a crowded street upon a rainy day, the best authorities agree that the umbrella is not intended for use as a plow, to be lowered before one while he madly surges through the populace. It is true that this method effectively clears the path but there is always danger of injuring the umbrella. 

In passing under an awning it is well to drop the umbrella to an altitude which will prevent a collision with said awning. The lowering of the article is not construed on the line of lowering one's colors, even if it be a colored umbrella, and the additional ease and grace with which one is enabled thus to pass under the awning is a sufficient recompense for any apparent loss of dignity which may attend the lowering process in passing between two pedestrians whom you may chance to meet. If it is found necessary to tilt the umbrella to one side or the other, it is best to tip the rain protector in the direction of the lesser of the two individuals. This is a graceful acknowledgment of the superior muscular powers of the larger man, and makes the apologies for dumping a stream of cold water down the neck of the small man much more liable to be accepted. 

Between showers, the closed instrument may be carried under the arm, the ferrule protruding about three feat before you us a sort of advance guard to prod those who persist in crossing your orbit, or it may protrude in like manner behind us as protection against those who might otherwise approach too closely in that quarter. Again, it may be swung airily to and fro in a nonchalant manner to convey the impression that the owner is care-free and well satisfied with life; still none of these methods are considered in best form in cultured centers. Careful observation will suggest many little improvements in methods now in vogue, and the opportunities for practice are now ample. – Los Angeles Herald,1901

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

No comments:

Post a Comment