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Are you willing to share your umbrella with a stranger?


eve55
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I'm sort of with you, Okbud. I mean, I wouldn't mind... but it wouldn't occur to me to offer unless there was some obvious reason. I mean, it's just rain.

 

I'm honestly surprised so many people would offer. My rain pet peeve is the people who have an umbrella but huddle under the eaves on the sidewalk and clearly think that the umbrella-less should budge for them. Like, come on! You brought you portable eave. You don't need this one!

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It is such a random question for me. Like I said, most people here don't use umbrellas. And it's kind of hard to share a Gortex rain jacket.

 

The idea that there is one "right" answer to this is what boggles my mind. It is one of those thousands of times in your day when you could choose any one of a number of perfectly fine options. There is nothing inherently moral about sharing an umbrella or immoral in choosing to not share one.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Nope. My umbrella is a small trifold one that even my kids refuse to use. Most times I don't even have an umbrella with me as I am used to getting wet in a thunderstorm even with an umbrella. My classmates who walked to school would be in rain coats and the umbrella was more to shelter their school bags.

 

Here it rarely rains so we just wait for the rain to stop. Else my husband would just run to the car and drive over so that we can just run to the curb and hop on. He dislikes umbrellas.

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It is such a random question for me. Like I said, most people here don't use umbrellas. And it's kind of hard to share a Gortex rain jacket.

 

The idea that there is one "right" answer to this is what boggles my mind. It is one of those thousands of times in your day when you could choose any one of a number of perfectly fine options. There is nothing inherently moral about sharing an umbrella or immoral in choosing to not share one.

 

 

<snip>

 

Yeah, I didn't know it was a moral issue.   

 

It just seems so awkward, you know?  Unless it's a terrible downpour and there are frail people involved, I just don't see what the big deal is.   Most people don't need to be protected from rain.  And if someone has far to walk to their car or whatever, it's unlikely that a random stranger with an umbrella is going to be able to walk with them to their destination. I think if someone offered to shelter me under their umbrella, I'd inadvertently give them an offended look - not that I'd be offended, but I'd be so surprised, and unfortunately my skin has aged in that way that my surprised look is about the same as my offended look.  

 

If there was a true problem I'd help people however I could.  I don't see getting caught in the rain as a true problem. 

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I was once walking out of a theater at about 10 PM with my 7 year old daughter. The parking lot was unlit and dark except the entrance doors of the theater, and I had parked in a far dark corner; it was full when we arrived and nearly empty when we were leaving.   Since a downpour began right before the show was over, I walked to my car with my dd & I huddled under a small umbrella.  Out of nowhere, a man jumped under our umbrella with us and said, "Can I share?" and started walking with us without waiting for an answer.  I have to admit: I thought the worst.  It freaked me out.  Thankfully, an acquaintance just happened to see the exchange.  We were still fairly close to the theater doors.  Before I could say no to the stranger, the acquaintance pretended like he was parked next to me and walked with us the whole way.  The stranger went to his car.  Nothing happened.  But, it's my most interesting story about sharing an umbrella. 

 

So, probably no, I wouldn't offer to share because I'm scarred.  :laugh:

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If there was a true problem I'd help people however I could. I don't see getting caught in the rain as a true problem.

Yeah same. I HOPE if it is really a problem for people that someone kind is nearby to offer the needed assistance.

 

But I totally don't get it you guys.

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I made a face when I saw the thread title. So I guess that's my answer. Do some people really not understand why it would be uncomfortable for someone? Like truly can't extrapolate to all the different types of personalities and life experiences, why striking up a conversation with a stranger and then huddling together in the rain would be horribly awkward for some people? It would seriously make me so horribly uncomfortable.

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You know what I'd be more likely to offer? I have an irrational fear of my phone getting wet in the rain and carry small, phone sized ziploc baggies with me for extended downpours. I have offered those to randos before. Like, hey, I see that you're about to also take your phone into this situation where it could be ruined. Would you like a ziploc bag? I mean, who cares if I get wet? But my phone is expensive!

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I made a face when I saw the thread title. So I guess that's my answer. Do some people really not understand why it would be uncomfortable for someone? Like truly can't extrapolate to all the different types of personalities and life experiences, why striking up a conversation with a stranger and then huddling together in the rain would be horribly awkward for some people? It would seriously make me so horribly uncomfortable.

I understand social anxiety, and not wanting to talk to strangers because it's emotionally painful. The argument I don't understand is that every man is secretly a pervert or serial killer so never talk to strange men ever because it's dangerous.

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I understand social anxiety, and not wanting to talk to strangers because it's emotionally painful. The argument I don't understand is that every man is secretly a pervert or serial killer so never talk to strange men ever because it's dangerous.

Oh, I SO don't care if it is a man or not. But I'm with you on that point. I'm raising lovely boy humans and believe the world is full of them, despite my steady diet of Criminal Minds and crime podcasts.

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I understand social anxiety, and not wanting to talk to strangers because it's emotionally painful. The argument I don't understand is that every man is secretly a pervert or serial killer so never talk to strange men ever because it's dangerous.

 

No one on the thread has made that argument.   So some people don't want to approach a man they don't know; that does not mean they think every man, or even the hypothetical man needing their umbrella, is a pervert or serial killer.   

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All my coats/jackets have hoods for a reason. I won't buy a jacket or coat that doesn't have a hood. 20 something years ago it took me forever to replace a nice women's raincoat because they don't make them with hoods. I finally found a trench style coat with a hood.

 

So I don't carry umbrellas.

 

If it's suddenly storming there's probably lightning. I'm not going to hold up a metal rod in lightning.

 

My large one is plastic on top. I guess there could be metal under it, but I think it's solid plastic on the top.

 

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Around here generally men offer to share with women, but women don't reciprocate.  As sexist as that sounds, I think it is a practical/fashion difference rather than an intentional choice.  

 

Men tend to carry giant sturdy umbrellas that offer a wide area of protection from the rain.  Since they are generally taller, they can easily accommodate a second person under the umbrella.  

 

Women, on the other hand, tend to carry super-compact umbrellas that fold into tiny wads that we can store in our purses.  They offer far less protection.  Add in the height difference, and women generally end up standing like the Statue of Liberty and allowing themselves to get drenched if they try to share with another person.

 

Practically speaking, unless I happened to have DH's umbrella (which I rarely if ever use) then no, I wouldn't offer to share except for extenuating circumstances.

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I would only offer if there was something about the person that suggested an unusual need- elderly, someone with a cast or brace, maybe an infant, but mostly I wouldn't think to. I almost never use an umbrella: if it's raining lightly, it's not worth it. If it's windy and pouring down, the umbrella does little to help and I have trouble controlling it, and I don't usually mind getting wet. I only use umbrellas if it is raining hard with no wind and if I have a place to stash it when I get where I'm going. 

 

When I'm out and about and see other people, I tend to think they probably feel the same way or they'd have brought their own umbrellas. My umbrellas are also small since I have a hard time managing the really large ones. I also don't like to wait inside for rain to pass. I don't have all day! Unless there is significant lightning, I make a run for it. 

 

Of course, if I happened to have an umbrella, and someone was staring longingly at it and I was paying attention, I think I'd let them share unless they looked sketchy. I wouldn't mind walking someone to their car and then finding my own. 

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No, probably not

 

I have offered to share with Dh, and he acts like i have insulted his manliness. When he has offered to share with me, I always seem to get hit in the head with the ends of the spokes of the umbrella.

 

In the unusual case that I was out walking and I had an umbrella in a downpour, I doubt that there would also be a stranded stranger around that would be going my way, and be the right height. If I share with someone taller, I get wet. If we stand far enough apart so as not to be pressed together, we both get wet. 

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In the extremely unlikely event that I would even have an umbrella with me and would be alone so wouldn't be trying to cover five kids, I could see myself offering to share with an elderly person or a mother with small children. But I don't carry an umbrella. If it happens to be raining when I am running errands, we will wait it out or make a dash for the van.

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I understand social anxiety, and not wanting to talk to strangers because it's emotionally painful. The argument I don't understand is that every man is secretly a pervert or serial killer so never talk to strange men ever because it's dangerous.

Who said that, and do you think men need a defense mounted in their honor against sexist women who might think men might be dangerous sometimes, assuming it is indeed sexist to think some men might be dangerous sometimes?

Edited by OKBud
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I understand social anxiety, and not wanting to talk to strangers because it's emotionally painful. The argument I don't understand is that every man is secretly a pervert or serial killer so never talk to strange men ever because it's dangerous.

 

I wouldn't worry about it being dangerous, unless I had a bad vibe.

 

I did once have a bad experience letting a strange man sit with me in a pub though - he seemed to think this indicated some sort of sexual interest.  I'd though we might just have a chat.  I might be more wary of that sort of thing.  Not that it's the likely outcome either, but man it is awkward.

 

Mind you, it's probably not so likely now that I am middle aged.

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I haven't read the replies, but no, I would not feel comfortable huddling under an umbrella with another adult I don't know. It's just rain, after all. I forget my umbrella enough that most of the time, I'm the one having the dash through the rain. If someone offered me an umbrella, I would not accept. It's just too awkward trying to manage an umbrella with another person.

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No one on the thread has made that argument.   So some people don't want to approach a man they don't know; that does not mean they think every man, or even the hypothetical man needing their umbrella, is a pervert or serial killer.   

 

I'm not going to go back and re-read the entire thread, but I know at least one person said they'd share with a woman or an elderly man but never a middle-aged man. I can't imagine why a person's age or genitalia would matter for a random act of kindness unless it's back to the whole "men are all potential criminals" thing.

 

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Meh - I don't think it's at all realistic in most scenarios I come across.  If I was at a kid's activity or the like and it was obvious we were both running to the same parking lot maybe.  It wouldn't occur to me to inquisition people I didn't know on where they were walking to.  I live in a walkable neighborhood so people are criss crossing here all the time.   We have like 4 cheesy, super tiny umbrellas too.  Not super practical for sharing. 

 

Men don't creep me out FTR.  ;)

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I was once walking out of a theater at about 10 PM with my 7 year old daughter. The parking lot was unlit and dark except the entrance doors of the theater, and I had parked in a far dark corner; it was full when we arrived and nearly empty when we were leaving.   Since a downpour began right before the show was over, I walked to my car with my dd & I huddled under a small umbrella.  Out of nowhere, a man jumped under our umbrella with us and said, "Can I share?" and started walking with us without waiting for an answer.  I have to admit: I thought the worst.  It freaked me out.  Thankfully, an acquaintance just happened to see the exchange.  We were still fairly close to the theater doors.  Before I could say no to the stranger, the acquaintance pretended like he was parked next to me and walked with us the whole way.  The stranger went to his car.  Nothing happened.  But, it's my most interesting story about sharing an umbrella. 

 

So, probably no, I wouldn't offer to share because I'm scarred.  :laugh:

That guy was just plain creepy. And rude!!!

 

I wouldn't have been nice about it. The guy was way out of line to just jump under your umbrella with you and your dd! I'm glad your acquaintance was there to walk with you. That guy might have been harmless and clueless, but as okbud said earlier, it's just rain, not sky lava (I loved that! :lol:) so there was no real reason why he would have needed to share an umbrella with a woman and her daughter.

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I'm not going to go back and re-read the entire thread, but I know at least one person said they'd share with a woman or an elderly man but never a middle-aged man. I can't imagine why a person's age or genitalia would matter for a random act of kindness unless it's back to the whole "men are all potential criminals" thing.

 

 

Isn't it possible that some of us have had negative experiences with strange men (or any man, really) assuming too much and would rather not open that door yet again? Especially for something that's a matter of politeness rather than necessity? If it's awkward to share an umbrella with a stranger in general, how much more uncomfortable might it make someone who has had a bad past experience? 

Edited by ILiveInFlipFlops
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Isn't it possible that some of us have had negative experiences with strange men (or any man, really) assuming too much and would rather not open that door yet again? Especially for something that's a matter of politeness rather than necessity? If it's awkward to share an umbrella with a stranger in general, how much more uncomfortable might it make someone who has had a bad past experience? 

 

I'm sure that is the case for some women. But more than a few women here have stated that they think men are dangerous because statistics or something. We've had I don't even know how many threads about it. I guess it's one of those things that's always going to bother me and I'll never be able to understand.

 

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I'm sure that is the case for some women. But more than a few women here have stated that they think men are dangerous because statistics or something. We've had I don't even know how many threads about it. I guess it's one of those things that's always going to bother me and I'll never be able to understand.

 

 

Well, statistically speaking, men are pretty dangerous to women. And we've also had many conversations around here about rape culture and what men assume about the women around them based on their clothing, their actions, or their mere existence. So again, given that we're talking about an offer of a kindness that most people don't even think to offer, let alone think about who they'll offer it to, I'm not terribly surprised by the responses, especially since we're not asking people for their life stories here, and at least two of the responders volunteered that they've had negative experiences with pushy men in the past. 

 

Now if you want to discuss how dress codes insult both males and females, or how one shouldn't leave your kids with male care providers ever, or how women shouldn't have male friends, I'm right there with you. But I can't work up any outrage over this particular issue. I lived and worked in New York City for too long to question how anyone feels about cuddling in close with random strangers for no real reason!

Edited by ILiveInFlipFlops
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I'm not going to go back and re-read the entire thread, but I know at least one person said they'd share with a woman or an elderly man but never a middle-aged man. I can't imagine why a person's age or genitalia would matter for a random act of kindness unless it's back to the whole "men are all potential criminals" thing.

 

 

Because we don't feel as sorry for the middle aged man. He can make a run for it in the rain LOL!

 

Fear was not really my concern. I was just thinking a middle aged man would probably decline or think I was weird or flirting with him. I'd think most able bodied men would decline on account of they don't want the woman to have to go in the rain twice. Unless you are heading the same way, you're just spending more time in the rain by escorting someone.

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I'm not going to go back and re-read the entire thread, but I know at least one person said they'd share with a woman or an elderly man but never a middle-aged man. I can't imagine why a person's age or genitalia would matter for a random act of kindness unless it's back to the whole "men are all potential criminals" thing.

 

Ctrl F makes quick work of searching a thread. I found 2 posts that mentioned "middle" in a few seconds.

 

Perhaps people would help an elderly man bc they feel a middle aged man can more easily fend for himself.

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Because we don't feel as sorry for the middle aged man. He can make a run for it in the rain LOL!

 

Fear was not really my concern. I was just thinking a middle aged man would probably decline or think I was weird or flirting with him. I'd think most able bodied men would decline on account of they don't want the woman to have to go in the rain twice. Unless you are heading the same way, you're just spending more time in the rain by escorting someone.

 

I asked my husband - an able-bodied middle-aged man - what his reaction would be to a random woman offering to share her umbrella with him. He said he thought it would be odd, and he would probably decline.  But he is also not afraid of rain.  

 

He is also quite tall, so it would be physically awkward. 

 

I dunno, I think there's a search for subtext going on here, and there doesn't have to be any.  I am not afraid of men in general; in fact I quite like men, have had many good friendships with men and continue to do so.  I am socially awkward and if I think about it, I am more awkward around men than around women.  I don't know why that is but I think it has always been so.   

 

Anyone else have  "Bus Stop" running through their head now?  Great song.  (Link is to youtube. I don't know how to embed the video so you can just click on it.)

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I don't have an umbrella but if I did, of course I would. Why wouldn't I? Is it just a normal person thang or do you really believe it's not okay for some reason I'm too stupid to pick up on?

 

I'm not making fun of you, just trying to understand.

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I'd be more inclined to offer to an elderly man or woman because I'd be more concerned for their safety. A middle aged or young man or woman would probably just get wet. An elderly person is at risk for a slip and fall so that's why I'd offer assistance. It has nothing to do with my personal fears for safety in the situation or assumptions about the other person's character. 

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I'd offer to share and not be surprised if he'd rather walk in the rain. People do that more often than they accept.

Men would incline to walk in the rain, and I think this is normal. No matter a man or a woman offers his/her umbrella, the scene would seem a bit odd, lol.

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Well they'd be shi* out of luck if they weren't short.  It's hard to share an umbrella with another adult when one is 5ft tall.

 

Would I?  Probably not.  I certainly don't expect anyone to do that for me either.  In fact I think it would make me uncomfortable. 

I've just thought about this: if they are tall, the one to offer has to let them hold the umbrella, that's awkward.

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Of course I would. It is really important to me to be courteous and kind to others. I try to make a conscious effort to be extra polite and helpful, especially when I see a need, to everyone. Lots of people here in Indiana have also been really helpful to me as a mother of five kids. And I think it is a great example for my kids as well.

 

Although, in this situation, I don't ever carry an umbrella even though it pours cats and dogs here because I am already trying to herd my little band of children and usually am carrying a carseat or baby and holding a toddlers hand while trying to make sure the three boys don't get squished while following me (and answering a thousand questions at the same time). :) But, if I had one, or was by myself I would totally offer to share.

You set a great example for your kids. We should try to make the world a better place for you and I.

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This is a reasonable thing to do, a man may not need your help but a woman will.

 

Why would a woman need "help" from rain? I don't get this at all. Is there something damaging in water falling from the sky that women cannot tolerate? Don't both men and women shower with water, or am I missing something here? 

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I want to hear the story that prompted this question.

Well, it's me. I knew the man was about to go the same direction as me but I hesitated to ask the man whether he needed my help. 

Edited by eve55
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Why would a woman need "help" from rain? I don't get this at all. Is there something damaging in water falling from the sky that women cannot tolerate? Don't both men and women shower with water, or am I missing something here? 

Well, I mean a woman may more care about her makeup.

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Why would a woman need "help" from rain? I don't get this at all. Is there something damaging in water falling from the sky that women cannot tolerate? Don't both men and women shower with water, or am I missing something here?

You should see what happens to my hair if it gets damp. It defies gravity. If someone is offering an umbrella, I'm taking them up on that offer!

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I asked dh if he would accept the offer. He said sure. I asked if that would be awkward because he's so tall. He didn't seem to think it would matter. Maybe in his head he figures he'd hold the umbrella as the taller person? I don't know. I don't like sharing an umbrella with anyone - someone is getting wet or you're walking at a snail pace Lol.

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I'm also 5 feet tall, so sharing, especially with a normal sized man, is going to be difficult. I don't usually carry an umbrella. in the rain, I need all my hands to steer small people out of puddles and oncoming traffic. 

 

I have had people just reach over and hold an umbrella over my when I'm carrying a small infant. They don't ask, they just do it. But that's for the baby, not me. I can handle getting a little wet. 

 

I have shared with someone who is walking along side me. Usually another small woman. It seems to walk along beside someone who is getting drenched without inviting them in. 

 

 

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Well, I mean a woman may more care about her makeup.

 

 

You should see what happens to my hair if it gets damp. It defies gravity. If someone is offering an umbrella, I'm taking them up on that offer!

 

Then I'd expect a woman to be prepared and bring her own umbrella or other devices to protect herself from the elements, and not rely on others for "help."  

 

This just makes me think of movies from the 50s where the dashing hero must protect the idiot woman from the harmful effects of water on her shoes. I really hate that image of women, as helpless and stupid and not able to anticipate the effects of weather on her clothing, face and hair. 

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Nope. My umbrella is a small trifold one that even my kids refuse to use. Most times I don't even have an umbrella with me as I am used to getting wet in a thunderstorm even with an umbrella. My classmates who walked to school would be in rain coats and the umbrella was more to shelter their school bags.

 

Here it rarely rains so we just wait for the rain to stop. Else my husband would just run to the car and drive over so that we can just run to the curb and hop on. He dislikes umbrellas.

 

My knapsack/hiking back pack comes with it's own rain coat cover. If I don't have something to cover myself with from the rain, my bag is always covered. I admit that I like my bag so much it is called, "The bag of awesomeness". 

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Of course I would share my umbrella.  :huh:  I've done it before.  It wouldn't occur to me not to offer.  I'm not tall, but from experience the tallest person holds the handle anyway.

It is a little disheartening to read that while I might be extended the same kindness, other members of my family would not be because they have the audacity to be male.  It says more about sexism still in this day and age than anything else.

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