By Mary Carter
"I keep waiting for it to feel like summer, and I’ve been complaining about it a lot lately. My boyfriend’s taken to calling me Miss Moan-ie Boots. He’s Irish, and says things like that from time to time. Much nicer than, “Quit your bitching.” Part of the problem has been the rain, and between cheap umbrellas and the gusts of winds that have been whipping around here this summer, someone should really offer a course in umbrella-wrangling. Maybe even take the act to Vegas. Mine always end up flipped inside out with the spokes sticking straight out. Take that Mother Nature. I guess umbrellas don’t like the rain either. Every time I get a nice umbrella I leave it somewhere. The back of a cab, a coat hook in a pub, under my seat at the movies with the empty tub of popcorn that it turns out I could finish after all. I had a nice leopard-print umbrella once given to me by my mother who was forewarned I would lose it, and most recently a sleek black one that slid out with a touch of a button, and popped open like a parachute. The Jaguar Convertible of umbrellas. I was in love. I would’ve done a rain dance just to get the rush of power from pushing that button. I offered up wry smiles to the poor suckers trying to tame their wild discount beasts, being carried down the streets by their run-away umbrellas like the Mafia version of Mary Poppins. I found (my boyfriend says stole) my Jaguar Umbrella in my local pub. I had it for a glorious twenty-four hours before I accidentally left it in the same pub, on the same hook where I found it. In that case, I don’t think I can be blamed, obviously the umbrella, like a homing pigeon, just wanted to fly back to its local and roost.
The other thing I lose a lot is sunglasses. I’ve dropped them in lakes, cars, restaurants, plays, coffee shops, and left them on top of my head for days on end. It seems there’s some uncanny link between my accoutrements and the weather. If I have my sunglasses, it’s sure to rain. If I have my evil umbrella, the sun is shining. If I carry them both at the same time, a small fissure opens up in the middle of the street, wreaking havoc and inviting the occasional rainbow to my little section of Sunnyside Queens.
It’s very difficult to maneuver the streets of Manhattan with an umbrella. The other day I had a rather large one, an uber-umbrella, and drenched New Yorkers were going out of their way to bump into me. Umbrella envy? I’d say. In Seattle, where I used to live, only the tourists carried umbrellas. Look at those idiots with umbrellas, us locals would say. They must be Canadian. Then we’d pull up the hoods of our rain jackets and take a good pelting like God intended it. I guess the only bright side to all this rain is snuggling up with a good book. Although when the sun is shining, it’s great to lounge on a beach or in a park with a book too. I miss having a yard. I could have the best of both worlds. A little table with a large umbrella, and a bucket of sunglasses on ice. I could read come rain or shine. I guess until then, I’m just going to be Miss Moan-ie Boots. That reminds me. Where are my rain boots? Oh forget it. I’ll just get wet. If I had my way, the only umbrella I’d see the rest of the summer would be floating in a tropical drink."
Thanks Mary for stopping by. I'll take that Canadian comment with a grain of salt!
You can read my review tomorrow. I've got a copy of Sunnyside Blues to giveaway, courtesy of the author. Leave a comment to be entered. Open to US and Canada. Closes Sat. July 18/09 at 6pm EST.