Here are a few rules to remember when toting your umbrella around town.
1) You are not the only person who wants to stay dry. Please don't shake, spin or tilt your umbrella near other people. I'm talking to you, tiny woman with enormous umbrella I just passed in Chinatown. Were you a wet dog in your previous life? No one wants your second-hand water.
2) Be reasonable. Just as you wouldn't wear an entire polar bear to stay warm, don't carry a 7-ft wide umbrella down the street. It leaves less space for the rest of us on the sidewalk. Unless you're escorting an entire tee-ball team to their game, a good, old fashioned umbrella-built-for-one should suffice.
3) If I'm taller than you (and chances are, I am) don't try to raise your umbrella over me as we pass each other on the street. I will raise my umbrella over you, Danny DeVito. If we both try to raise our umbrellas over each other, we'll look like we're auditioning for a vaudeville show. And I'll get wet anyway, since your wet umbrella will be underneath my umbrella, which - and this might surprise you - I use to keep the rain off my body.
4) This one's for you, guy who discards his broken umbrella in the gutter. Pick up your umbrella, asshole.
5) People are not Gremlins. It's okay for us to get a little wet. Believe it or not, it rained before the invention of the umbrella. Running like it's the apocalypse when there's a "heavy mist" out is absurd.
6) And finally, if you have an umbrella, please don't take up the awning/overhang space nearest to the building. Many people don't realize this, but you need only one protective barrier over your head to stay dry. The overhang will, in fact, prevent the rain from falling on you. If you stand underneath it with your umbrella, you and your umbrella will be dry. So basically, you're saying that your umbrella's comfort takes precedence over another human being's. If you're so concerned with keeping your umbrella safe and warm, why not stick it up your ass?