I have a purse sized black umbrella that I bought at a dollar store about year ago for $2 during a downpour. It’s a fussy little umbrella that doesn’t stay open without some persuasion and a good dose of manipulation of it’s little metal arms. But open and engaged, it’s a perfectly serviceable umbrella and someone how I’ve managed to hold on to it for months despite the fact that I keep trying to give it away.
A week and a half ago, during the first night of torrential downpour that lasted a full week, I was stopped at a red light on my way to the Standard Tap with a couple of friends. There were three girls on the corner, getting soaked, trying to hail a cab. I grabbed the umbrella, rolled down my window and shouted to them, “Would you guys like an umbrella?” The looked at me with a little surprise and said they were fine. I shrugged to my friends, the light turned green, and we went along, umbrella in tow.
Last Tuesday night I got home from work. It was pouring out, and I had used this trusty little umbrella to keep me semi-dry on my walk home. I was standing in the lobby of my building, when I heard a woman say, “Is it still raining out? Shoot, I don’t want to go back upstairs.” I turned and looked at her, and offered my little umbrella. I said she could keep it if she wanted. She was taken aback that I would offer and insisted I give her my apartment number so she could return it, she was only running out to do a couple of errands.
About an hour later, I was up in my apartment, when I heard a knock at the door. It was the woman from the lobby, returning my umbrella. In addition to the umbrella, she put the handles of a little brown paper bag in my fingers. She said that she really appreciated the gesture and wanted to repay they kindness. This time I was the surprised one. I managed to get a couple of words out about how it was unnecessary, and how I had been happy to offer the umbrella. She smiled and left.
Inside the bag was a little lucky bamboo plant.
I kept trying to give my umbrella away, and for all my efforts I now I have a new plant and I still have the umbrella.