Friday, January 19, 2007

Rambling again...

More deep and meaningful thoughts. Perhaps it's brought on by the weather?

It was raining this morning, so before leaving home I grabbed my umbrella. This in itself is actually quite amazing, and probably would not have happened if the brolly had not been sitting right at the front door. But that's not what today's ramble is all about or, at least, it's only the start.

I'm reminded of the time it was absolutely bucketing down here in Melbourne and I was dashing from shopfront to shopfront on my way to the QV building. This particular gent and I had passed each other several times (me running past, he walking with his umbrella and passing me as I got my breath back under an awning). I was resting again at a building and he walked into it, then turned around and offered me his umbrella. I was touched! What a nice man! I declined, as I was on my way to purchase my very own, but it put a smile on my face for a good hour or two.

My (new) umbrella is a huge green monstrosity. The population of a small country could quite possibly shelter under it: due to my penchant for keeping my entire self dry, not just my top half, I invested in a rather large golf umbrella.

Back to today. The working multitude pour out of the train station this morning into the light drizzle, and up go dozens of umbrellas in all colours and sizes, much like some weird field of flowers. As I look around, waiting until the green man says I can cross the street, I notice a lady in front of me huddling under her jacket, trying her best to remain as dry as she could with no cover. Me being me, I sidle over to her and say "here, share my umbrella" (but nothing like The Hollies sung about). She looked at me in surprise and said "Oh, thank you! That's a rare kindness". I thought, surely people offer shelter under their umbrella's all the time but, as I glanced around, I saw that, indeed, each person was jealously guarding their own spot of dry. So I looked at this lady, shrugged, and said "It's plenty big enough to share". We cross the street, at which point she continues on her way while I wait to cross the next street.

Again, there's another lady, nicely made up, hair perfect, lugging a large briefcase on wheels, looking miserable and getting wet. Straight away I hold my brolly over her and say "Plenty of room under here". She looks positively startled, and says "Wow, thank you!" We cross the road, at which point I'm swallowed into The Public Servant Beast that is my building whilst the young lady seta off, keeping to the comparative shelter of the buildings.

My question: is what I did really so unusual? Whenever it's raining and I actually HAVE an umbrella, even if I only have a "lady" umbrella (you know the ones the would find into a moderately-sized handbag) I always offer to share it, I thought most people did. Don't they? If they don't - why on earth not? What's it cost them?

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