Staff writer Aimee Curl relayed an anecdote this morning about how she and her mother were walking along Ballard Ave. with an umbrella this weekend. Here, they were encountered by a non-umbrella wielder. The conversation went as follows:
Non-umbrella wielder: "Cardinal sin."
Non-umbrella wielder: "Carrying an umbrella in Seattle."
Curl was surprised to hear that her managing editor is firmly in the camp of the non-umbrella wielder, to the point where I might have heckled her and her mom as well. Why? For one, if you're of a certain height (i.e., above 6'), umbrellas might as well be head-seeking darts. Secondly, natives of Rain City -- and those who dare adopt it as their home -- embrace the rain, not accessorize to defend against it. Herein, a baseball cap and waterproof jacket (and, okay, maybe a pair of duck shoes when there's standing water like there was today on Delridge) are declared to be the only forms of "rain gear" that a true Seattleite can don with a clear conscience.
For her part, Curl doesn't buy this line. "That?s the silliest thing I?ve ever heard," says the Bend, Ore. native. " I also think it speaks to the native nature to not be proactive, but passive aggressive." Then there's Mark Fefer, a King County native who once subscribed to my doctrinaire rainology, yet had his will broken during one of his repeat sabbaticals in New York City. "I remember when I first moved to the east coast and wondered why everyone lugged these stupid things around," says Fefer, who, curiously, has spent the entire day wearing a black ballcap bearing the name of an obscure jazz label. "Then I finally started using one. And I realized, you know what? I don?t actually like being rained on. And I?ll never go back."