Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Yes...I have a hard time trashing things....and your point would be...????

A couple of years ago, one of my students told me that on a trip she took to New York City (about 10 years before), she was surprised by many things...but one thing in particular was almost shocking. The traffic? The almost naked billboards all over the city? The fashion and/or hairstyles of the people she saw? No...No (those were kind of nice)....and No/No.

What surprised her the most was the fact that, even though she was there in the summer, when the temperatures were waaaaaay up in the "almost 100's" with very few clouds in the sky....on the street....in New York City, mind you....She was the only one carrying a parasol. Only one. No one else.
She asked me, "Why?"
I honestly was stumped for an answer...."Ummmmm....the streets are really crowded and you can put an eye out with an parasol." "They all left their's at home that day." "Only really old ladies in Atlanta or New Orleans or Ft. Lauderdale carry them."

I was stumped. I rarely had a rain umbrella on my person, let alone a parasol!!!

With the changing times and those evil UV rays and you know, sometimes it's just a little bit cooler if you carry your own shade around....I am now carrying...yes...a parasol.

Here in Japan....if you don't carry one, you are the odd duck out. I found an interesting site that tells a little about Japan and it's "parasol fetish frenzy"....It's called Sara's Parasols and she has some really beautiful ones you can buy. (No, really...they are!!!)

Parasols can look like this.......(how wonderfully feminine, huh?)

Or these.....and Japanese women look very....normal with one in their hand.
I...on the other hand...look like this!!!

So...a few years ago...I decided that even though I just didn't look the frilly parasol type...and I tried....I really did....(My lovely British friend~a tiny slip of a woman~who does carry a lacy parasolic-contraption, let me borrow hers one day, to make a point you see...I think she might have actually snorted!!!)....I still needed some kind of protection from the sunshine. So....I found one of these.....

Yes....I'm the tall, blond, foreign woman...carrying a paper parasol (as opposed to putting them in my drinks, which I have also done on occasion!).

When I first started carrying it, the looks I got were....Kodak Picture moments. You see...though non-geisha-type-women in Tokyo and Osaka may carry them, here in Nagasaki....no...huh-uh...that's for "traditional Japanese dance".

"Oh...pooh to that," says I....and off I went, carrying my dark purple paper parasol.

That was three years ago. The people who see me all the time are accustomed to it and if I don't have it, will ask about where it is or where I have forgotten it (It's happened!). It protects me from the harsh rays of the sun and still makes a statement...one that says, "Oh, poop on ya...I'll carry what I want!!" :-D

The other night, I dug my beloved parasol out of the closet to see what kind of shape it is in....here is what I found:

Yes....a little shabby now....too many times of being repaired...but...I did it again...one more time...until I can get to the store where I originally bought this one and hopefully they will have another one. It's not like it was expensive or anything like that....maybe about $30!! Until then...this...will have to do. (Personally, I think the Hawaiian print material on the tip just adds to the whole "Debbie-ness" of my parasol!!)
This weekend....I'm going to be strong...I'm going to get a new parasol...a new shiny one...without holes or rips!! I am going to do it. Gosh...if I do this...I might just be able to go through all my boxes of papers and stuff and start throwing them away, too!!! Lord only knows what I throw away next....but first....the parasol......!!!


Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

The parasol makes so much sense. We have a lot of Vietnamese around here and they very sensibly carry parasols also.

Have fun picking out a new one.

Mary Alice said...

That is so romantic. A parasol. I was wondering why hats haven't made a huge come back. It used to be that women never went out without a hat and now in the age of skin cancer and the paranoia of "looking old" we just wander around with our faces exposed to the sun all day. That is a little weird. People will hardly even carry an umbrella when it's raining anymore.

Anonymous said...

What a cool idea! I guess I've never thought about it. I can't wait to see what you pick out!

katydidnot said...

i throw things away with relish. often. it gets me into trouble sometimes.

Janet said...

hahaha can't wait to see your new parasol :-) The Japanese really do have some great ideas...

Ginaagain said...

I can definitely see the Debbie-ness of that parasol. The nintendo game Animal Crossings has a huge variety of parasols to dress characters up with and I thought that was rather archaic for a children's game.. now I understand the Japanese-ness of it.

truebitch said...

Yeah, but I hate carrying more stuff! I already carry so much stuff! They need to make one of those parasol hats, like the rainbow umbrellas on a beanie thing.

Family Adventure said...

Debbie, since you tower over the Japanese ladies anyway, they can't see the repairs on the top of your parasol, right?

I love your different-ness and how you celebrate it. Good for you!! :)


jan in nagasaki said...

well you were able to toss something, anyway, into an envelope and off to us!!!

kayla is quite pleased.... thank you. She will properly thank you when time permits.

Melanie said...

I wish the parasol-carrying were socially acceptable here in Idaho. I am whitey-white-white pale and just not cut out for the high mountain desert sun.

I need a nice bog. Or moor. Or Japan, apparently.

Claudia said...

Parasols are SO romantic. I'd have no use for one here, other than to stand out in a crowd, but my daughter uses her Dora the Explorer umbrella like a parasol ALL the time, even when there is no rain. Maybe she is on to something!!

stephanie (bad mom) said...

Lots of people had them in Singapore, too. What was really funny was me whipping out my rain umbrella during a downpour when all the natives just stepped indoors.

I like the "you-ness" of the patched parasol. Hope you find something you love as much, and good for you poo-pooing the mockers.

Karen MEG said...

Those parasols are pretty! Yours is too, but funny with all the repairs.

There are people walking around with umbrellas as parasols in our neighbourhood sometimes, but I really see the difference between the two with your post. When you think about it, with the strength of the sun it makes so much sense.