The Umbrella Dilemma

“Some people feel the rain, others just get wet.” – Bob Marley

I ask myself the same question every time I walk in the rain: shouldn’t I just buy an umbrella?

But the answer is almost always no. Umbrellas have short life-spans. They either get crushed in your bag, destroyed in the wind, or left on the train or at work (obviously speaking from personal experience).

Owning an umbrella can be more burden than an aid. So lately I’ve been using a new strategy. I carry around a lightweight poncho in my bag and use a weather app to time the rain’s ebb and flow so I can island-hop coffee shops on the way to and from work.

I always walk in light rain. I actually like the little tickles of drops on my skin – it’s a subtle reminder that humans are powerless to nature. I also enjoy watching the skyscrapers reflect off the puddles as if the buildings are built into the Earth, propped upside down. Here’s an example.

There are times, of course, when I need to make a meeting and end up running through a downpour. Those are the moments of regret, when a simple $5 umbrella would’ve prevented me from wearing wet socks all day. The protection we get for convenience sometimes outweighs the price we pay for stinginess.

How can we scrape by and still win? Hence the dilemma of any investment, particularly with umbrellas.

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