Sunday, February 14, 2010

Is this normal?

So it's snowing here again this morning, no real accumulation to speak of, just lots of pretty flakes falling from the sky. Monsieur J and I bundled up to go to the market and are now back to the warm apartment with supplies to make a big pot of pureed vegetable soup, yum.

As we were walking, I noticed something unusual: every third person was carrying an umbrella. Male, female, young and especially old were all proudly brandishing their parapluies.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think Americans do this. I know we put on hats, gloves and scarves, but do we break out the umbrella for a few flakes?

I told Monsieur J about my latest discovery as we scurried along. I'm sure he was less than fascinated by my chosen topic of conversation, but he is kind enough to entertain me.

Being French, Monsieur J claims this is a perfectly normal behavior. I think his explanation went something like this: "no one likes getting hit in the face with cold snowlakes; therefore, the best solution is to carry an umbrella. Now that you mention it, I wish we'd thought to bring one too."

I confessed that as an American, I would feel simply ridiculous carrying an umbrella in the snow. Is it just me? Or do you all secretly carry one in case of snow and I'm just late to get the memo?


  1. No ... not normal. It's called a "paraPLUIE" for a reason. Not a "paraNEIGE." I appreciate you continuing your American boycott of this European custom.

  2. haha it has snowed a lot here in DC lately, and in December I had a friend from Chicago staying with me during the first snowstorm. I, too, remarked that it was strange for people to carry umbrellas in the snow. She insisted on bringing one along, and I finally understood - when it's windy and snowing really hard, it's worse than rain in your face - it stings!
    People have been doing that in each subsequent blizzard (bringing umbrellas, that is) and I understand. I usually choose to just don a hat and get on with it - the snow can be so pretty and an umbrella obscures my view.

  3. That's really funny that you wrote about that, I was slightly surprised when I saw so many people with umbrellas here when there were a few flakes, but I didn't think twice before opening mine up too! I'm such a sheep. It's really smart though, it's nice to not have snow melt on your jacket.
    (A.V. told me about your blog, it's great!)