I am finally at a point where I can think about my trip to Italy last fall. I don't know why, but this is one of my favorite memories. I am a little off-kilter, I know.Airport security must have searched my bag before our flight to Italy. By searched, I mean RANSACKED. I didn't realize how bad the damage was until the very first day in Rome when I tried to open my umbrella because it was starting to rain. It looked a little mangled and when I opened it up it was severely broken.
Well, I didn't want to get wet, so I used it anyway. I got some strange looks, including from many people on our tour. I guess it was pretty embarrassing for people to be seen with me. I tried not to let it bother me because by darn, I did NOT want to buy another umbrella. I had brought mine from home and THEY broke it. It was the principle of the thing. At least that's what I told my cheap self.
I don't think we used our umbrellas again until we were in Florence and that day it rained pretty hard too. By then we knew all the people on our tour well enough for some of them to comment to me to throw the darn thing away. Again, I just figured I could make it through this one more day and it would be fine. I had lots of perfectly good umbrellas at home so I was not going to buy another one, especially when I needed to save my money for necessities, like gelato and scarves.
Anyway, by then even my mom was embarrassed to be seen with me. Actually, now that I think of it, she had probably been embarrassed from day one.
Our little group had been walking a while and were close to the Pitti Palace, so I said I'd run ahead and check on ticket prices and hours for tours so my mom and some of the others could rest a little.
As I was walking up by the line to read the sign that had the information posted on it I realized that people were looking at me and talking about me in Italian (at least I think it was Italian). I thought that they were thinking I was trying to get ahead of them in line, so I was going to try and explain, but then I figured out what was going on. They were making fun of my umbrella. All these little old Italian (I think) people were literally pointing and laughing at me. One even took a picture. I don't think I have EVER felt so self-conscious as an adult as I did right then. I was so embarrassed that I literally turned and ran away (yes, just like Napoleon Dynamite).
Well you can bet that my umbrella ended up in the first garbage can I could find. The sad thing is that that was the only day I took the time to do my hair and straighten it, so it was pretty much a waste of time. I should have just slept in a little longer. Oh well.