life, men, miscellaneous, relationships, thoughts, wacky, women

Under my umbrella


When you live in my country, you have to carry with you an umbrella or wear a good jacket because of the rain. It falls a lot throughout the year, to our great displeasure. But when it happens and you go out with a group of people, there will always be those who didn’t think about taking an umbrella with them, and you  will end up sharing yours. This is where things can turn sour.

Two weeks ago, before D. was fired, we went out for lunch and it was pouring rain. Carrying an umbrella isn’t typical for men, I’ve noticed, except in the business world where men want to keep their tuxedo clean. And of course, D. didn’t carry one. When we got out of the snack, we got served with heavy rain, and with the group of colleagues accompanying us, we decided to go two by two with the umbrellas we got. And I ended up sharing mine with D. But I refused, and asked for a switch with a female colleague. I didn’t take notice about D.’ s reaction, but I knew he was pissed. Since the beginning, he tried several times to break the distance between us, for example, he put his hand on my shoulder once while we were eating together. But I looked at him very coldly and he immediately took his hand off of me.

But you don’t break the distance with me easily. Liz wrote an interesting post about personal space, and it clearly explains where you should stay in function of your level of proximity with the others. Like Liz, I don’t like when people come into my personal space when they’re not invited. So, let’s go back to the umbrella problem. I consider sharing my umbrella as an act of proximity. Only people who are close to me can come under it with me. It’s like that. But I’m not difficult. By close, I mean people that I get along with, so that would make a lot of potential sharers of my umbrella. I’ve noticed that I accept the people I get along with in my personal space (not to be confused with my intimate space). I really tried to get along with D., but it wasn’t easy at all. I was never on the same frequency when we were talking together. He didn’t get my jokes, I didn’t understand his either. I even felt offended by some of his jokes, especially the bad ones he had on women and Jews (part of my family is jewish). Our conversations always revolved around him and his problems, I felt like I was totally invisible. As a result, he irritated me all the time.

But he was part of the group of colleagues I use to go to lunch with, so I had to be nice with him (getting in a heated argument with him in front of the others is something I can’t do). In the end, I was glad when I had a press conference during our lunchtime or meeting with my boss. It’s always difficult when you’re in a situation like this. If you decide suddenly to break the habit with your group, they will notice something wrong with you and ask about it. Admitting you don’t like someone everyone seems to like is admitting you’re difficult or antisocial, and it can lead to your exclusion of the group. Since we’re a small team in our newsroom, you can’t allow yourself to an exclusion like that.

And besides, yes, I had a little crush for him. I can’t explain that. We are so different. The incident with the umbrella was another proof for me things could never have gone further.

So, this leaves an important question: would you share your umbrella with someone you don’t like?

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8 thoughts on “Under my umbrella

  1. This is a great post! I used to have a coworker who rubbed me the wrong way when we first started working together and and there were plenty of times when I had to extend that polite hand or umbrella or what-have-you in order to keep the peace. I had to set the example, as icky as it made me feel inside. I have to admit now though, he’s one of my best friends. But he’s the one who took the first major step in breaking the ice and showing that it wasn’t always nice manners, that we really could trust one another.

  2. Thank you, Roxy ! I’m glad for you things ended up well with you coworker. I did try to be nice with mine, but he was too preoccupied by his problems and too self-centered. Maybe I’m too cold-hearted, but he really did nothing to help me out.

  3. I won’t share an umbrella with some I dislike. I would find ways to make the distance wider.

    As for your little crush, I guess it’s normal. Sometimes the opposite attraction is strong. I know a pair of ex-loggerheads are now married to each other. I have tried to minimise my dislike for the opposite sex because I don’t want to be part of the norm. 😛

  4. If it’s someone I truly hate, not only I wouldn’t share my umbrella, but I will let him getting wet in the rain, hoping he will catch a pneumonia, WishBoNe. Just kidding.
    I wish things were more simple with the opposite sex 😀

  5. wow… so D was fired?

    i could share an umbrella with someone i disliked but not with someone i hated or loathed. but if the person were a woman, then i would share with her or simply let her have the umbrella to herself… because it would be ungentlemanly not to do so, especially when women make more of an effort with their hair and cosmetics to look nice…

    men have certain standards they should live up to in how they treat women… whether or not they happen to like that person or not. chivalry is still an important quality many women expect in a man.

    because even if a man hates that particular women, other women may very well see how he treats her (without knowing the issues or history between them) and judge him accordingly.

  6. Yes, it’s been one week now. He did something stupid by criticizing his boss in an email for our chief editor, and my boss prefered to stand up for his rather than him.
    That’s very kind of you to do so, drunk american. Not every man is like you. And yes, it’s important for a man to keep up appearances towards the opposite sex. A bad reputation is easily made and you know how women can spread it around.

  7. whatigotsofar says:

    I could certainly suck it up and share an umbrella with someone I don’t like. Welcome to Earth. Sometimes people suck, even when it rains. You can’t avoid them. Don’t try. Just shut up and deal with it. Much like the rain, eventually the person goes away and you can take a calming breath.

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