Thursday, May 20, 2010
Rain, Rain Go Away
All of the rain we've had lately got me thinking about how people of the past handled rainy days.
Remember rubber galoshes? Raincoats? Umbrellas? Ladie's plastic head scarves? I never see any of those things anymore, except maybe umbrellas once in a while.
But even umbrellas are scarce. It seems people would rather look like a bedraggled wet cat than take the extra few seconds to pop open an umbrella. Again, it may be different elsewhere, but especially here on the college campus I work at, I hardly ever see students or staff using umbrellas when it's raining. They're all wearing hoodies that are plastered to their soaking heads.
Did I miss something, some cultural memo that states it's now uncool to use an umbrella? Now, I'm aware that plastic raincoats and galoshes have been relegated to elementary school age children (and probably no higher than 2nd grade, as fast as kids grow up these days) for decades now, but umbrellas?
I guess it just goes to show how casual our culture is now. Perhaps it's because women no longer wear elaborate hairstyles that would need more rain protection, I don't know. But then, we've become so casual that we see nothing wrong with going to Walmart in our pajamas. Or, rather, ratty sweatpants with a wrinkled t-shirt, because of course no one wears actual pajamas anymore, dont'cha know.
I'm sure if I came to work in a dress, heels, curled hair and red lipstick, wearing galoshes over my heels, using an umbrella, I would be looked at as if I just stepped off a spaceship from Mars. Not that the dress, heels, hair and red lippy wouldn't make them look at me like that anyway, but I'm sure the galoshes would be the proverbial straw that broke the camal's back.
Aren't these galoshes from the Montgomery Ward 1936-37 catalogue lovely? It's a shame they're now just a memory, except to us vintagephiles.