Why Oregonians Don’t Believe In Umbrellas

If you read any travel guide about Oregon, it’ll tell you the one thing that gives away tourists is umbrellas. And it’s totally true. Oregonians just don’t use umbrellas. And we so adamantly don’t use umbrellas that we make fun of people who do. Here’s why:

Because this is the truest statement that has ever been made.

Because this is the truest statement that has ever been made.

Because ducks literally swim in the puddles that form. That's how big the puddles are.

Because ducks literally swim in the puddles that form. That’s how big the puddles are.

Because this is what Oregon looks like 90% of the year.

Because this is what Oregon looks like 90% of the year.

Like, I shit you not. This is what I could have gone home to spring break of freshman year.

Like, I shit you not. This is what I could have gone home to spring break of freshman year.

And when it doesn't look like gray and dull, it's too hot. One day it'll be 40 degrees and raining and the next day it'll be 85 degrees and sunny (and you'll be stuck inside, obviously).

And when it doesn’t look like gray and dull, it’s too hot. One day it’ll be 40 degrees and raining and the next day it’ll be 85 degrees and sunny (and you’ll be stuck inside, obviously).

Because the umbrellas only come out in the summer.

Because the umbrellas only come out in the summer. Which is embarrassing for an entirely different reason.

Because "It Never Rains in Autzen Stadium." Which is the biggest bullshit ever, but it just proves that we don't even believe rain happens.

Because “It Never Rains in Autzen Stadium.” Which is the biggest bullshit ever, but it just proves that we don’t even believe rain happens.

Because in real life this is what Autzen looks like most of the time.

Because in real life this is what Autzen looks like most of the time.

But it's fine, because the fans are ready to go.

But it’s fine, because the fans are ready to go.

You thought I was kidding. I wasn't.

You thought I was kidding. I wasn’t.

Because we feel so strongly about it that we have Facebook pages for it (and yes, of course I liked this one).

Because we feel so strongly about it that we have Facebook pages for it (and yes, of course I liked this one).

Because our license plates say the constant state of Oregon's weather.

Because our license plates say the constant state of Oregon’s weather.

Because when we hosted the Olympic Trials in June 2012, it still rained (so much that events had to be cancelled - yeah, we go hard).

Because when we hosted the Olympic Trials in June 2012, it still rained (so much that events had to be cancelled – yeah, we go hard).

Because this is OBVIOUSLY not Oregon.

Because this is OBVIOUSLY not Oregon.

Because we know that the way to go is ALWAYS rain coat, no pants, bicycle.

Because we know that the way to go is ALWAYS rain coat, no pants, bicycle.

Because only a true Oregonian could break the decathlon world record in the rain.

Because only a true Oregonian could break the decathlon world record in the rain.

Because we aren't the Wicked Witch of the West, and we won't fucking melt in water.

Because we aren’t the Wicked Witch of the West, and we won’t fucking melt in water.

So don’t be a little bitch. It’s just water. Put on your raincoat and suck it up. You’ll be fine.

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33 thoughts on “Why Oregonians Don’t Believe In Umbrellas

  1. emilyrosestudios says:

    Yeah, so I’m an anomaly in my native state. I was born and raised in Corvallis, Oregon (between Eugene and Portland), and I use an umbrella more often than not when it rains. Which is not to say that I don’t also go run in the rain (in t-shirt and shorts, with trail shoes that get really heavy as they absorb the rain), bike in the rain (in poofy rain pants, rain coat, and stretchy synthetic shoe covers in which I tuck the rain pants with the result that look like a complete dweeb), ski in the rain (same outfit as previous but swap boots and skis for booties and sneakers, and add a hat, gloves, and scarf), and basically do many things in the rain without an umbrella.
    I just think they’re pretty, okay? I have a huge rainbow umbrella that I adore, and a small collapsible one that I sometimes held in my off-hand while biking between classes in Eugene because I hadn’t brought a coat since the weather was sunny and deluded me into thinking it would stay that way…
    An umbrella in the hand does not a Caligfornian make.
    But: socks and Birkenstocks in the rain DO an Oregonian make!

    • Diane says:

      On vacation in Alaska I discovered that they call those “sucker holes” … ’cause the blue sky suckered you into thinking it was going to clear up. I decided it applied to Oregon the vast majority of the time and have been using the term down here.

    • Heather says:

      Agreed!
      I’m from Eugene, and didn’t use umbrellas often . . . until I spent too many miserable weekends backpacking. It doesn’t matter how nice your raincoat is, it’s just not going to keep you dry if you’re outside for more than 30 minutes in the rain. Umbrella + raincoat = dry legs, dry backpack, dry face, happy soul.

  2. jenrose (@jenrose) says:

    There’s no reason to use an umbrella when the constant drizzle is so slow that walking forward will get you as wet as standing still. Not to mention splashback from puddles. Umbrellas only work in one direction.

  3. Cassie says:

    It’s funny to me that the weather in Oregon deluded you… The sun never stays! LOL Umbrellas may be pretty, but they are mostly inconvenient.I don’t even think I own an umbrella.. Hoodies all the way!

  4. Lissa says:

    As funny as this is, it’s only true for the West side. I lived in eastern Oregon for most of my life and it’s classified a desert. We get more wind storms than rain and everything is dusty all the time. Now that I’ve moved away from Oregon, people I meet always say, “Oh, you’re from Oregon; it rains a lot right?” and I have to say, “Nope, not where I’m from.”
    But I do agree, I wore hoodies any time it rained because I could never find my umbrella.

    • sydmonster says:

      Yep, my experience, as well. I live on the high desert, and rainfall is more scarce than common. It’s interesting that Oregon has that reputation, yet it’s only true for part of the state. I do have an umbrella, but it doesn’t get much use!

  5. Twyla says:

    I have no less than 4 umbrella’s all of which sit in the garage. They seem to get a person wetter than they would get by not using them, because the rain drips so heavily off the edges. I just let the rain soak me. Luckily I don’t work in an office where I have to look presentable. I also find the rain-if it isn’t that nasty cold winter rain-is very relaxing as it hit’s your face. Yeah, it’s too bad about those glasses!

    • Diane says:

      Exactly. I use them to run errands during work, just so I’m not soaked at my desk. Other than that, it’s a waterproof windbreaker with a hood – with a sweater underneath in case it’s actually cold rain.

  6. Natanya says:

    So true! Both about umbrellas and the puddles. The last time I tried to use an umbrella I nearly poked out someone’s eye; that’s how inept I am at umbrella usage. I was only willing to buy cheap tiny ones and they would break if windy. I’m from the East coast, but I’ve been in Oregon for 10 years and the culture really rubs off. However, haven’t yet started biking with a rain poncho and no pants!

    • ipaulesbronet says:

      I’m also originally an East Coaster who moved to Oregon – the non-umbrella culture never goes away. I’m back east for school now and I still feel just as adamantly about not using umbrellas.

  7. Kate says:

    So many people thing Oregon is always wet. I am from a part of Oregon that the average rain fall per yer is 10 inches. Think past the cascades and relize that Oregon doesn’t stop there, it keeps going, and past that, it is dry, Dry, DRY! I do not agree that all of Oregon looks wet…

  8. Melanie says:

    Very funny post! However, after living in Portland for 20 years there’s one way I can tell a native Portlander from any other Oregonian–they think Portland and Oregon are synonymous. I’m from Medford, and the weather is much better down there!

  9. Stacie says:

    When I first moved to Oregon, we thought people were crazy to stand in the rain, in the parking lot, talking to each other. Next season, we were doing the same thing. Yup, no umbrella. Lol.

  10. Becky says:

    I bought an umbrella one year thinking I might start using one. I have since misplaced it without ever using it. It doesn’t rain as much in southern Oregon as is does further north. The saying around here is, “If you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes”. Who wants to be stuck walking around with a wet umbrella anyway?

  11. jeff says:

    4th generation born and raised in the willamette valley (oregon city). Got tired of the rain and moved to central oregon, now im tired of the snow… wouldn’t trade it for the world!

  12. Wendilynn says:

    This cracked me up. I explain to most people that it could rain all day here and we’ll be lucky if we get a 1/4 inch of rain for the day. We just don’t get huge downpours often. I have friends who call our “misty rain” that we get most of the year the Portland Sneeze. lol

  13. Ben says:

    I was born and raised in the Willamette Valley. I think this subject is funny, yes it is true our mild temperatures, off and on light rains (mostly on) have brought us to shorts, hoodies and light rain coats and yes for the hardcore north western Oregonians, sandals. All the while leaving the umbrella at home. The umbrella really doesn’t fit into our day. But if rain has put north west Oregon on the map, then where the heck is Pierce and King county of Washington? I never thought it could rain anywhere more than Oregon until I lived in western Wash. Tacoma, Seattle, and the whole Puget Sound area! There my friends.., It rains A LOT!

  14. Shawna says:

    It irritates me so much when people generalize Oregon. This is applicable for western Oregon and only western Oregon. It’s super dry on the other side of Oregon. QUIT GENERALIZING OREGON

  15. Chris says:

    WOW 12% of the whole state of Oregon is under a rain shadow but the entire state in this writers mind is all wet.. 12% vs. 60% that is considered High Desert, Bend get’s over 300 days of sunshine a year. Not the liquid stuff but the real yellow orb in the sky kind.

  16. Katie says:

    I’ve lived in Oregon all my life and I use umbrellas all v the time and so do other pepole i know. I think it’s annoying when people act like just because you live in Oregon means you shouldn’t be using an umbrella like it’s “uncool”. Not everyone enjoys getting soaking wet especially if you are going places, I don’t want to walk around all wet.. ..it’s uncomfortable, I don’t want to drip water everywhere for people to slip on and if it’s cold its a good way to get sick. If I showed up to work drenched they would send me back home.

    • Dennis Venhuis says:

      I agree. I will use an umbrella if I damn well please, and anyone who chooses to verbally assault me for doing so will get a much worse tongue-lashing in return. Really, who gives a crap anyway if someone uses an umbrella instead of a raincoat? I think people who make a big deal about something so mundane are just looking for something to be angry about…..

  17. Dennis Venhuis says:

    I agree. I will use an umbrella if I damn well please, and anyone who chooses to verbally assault me for doing so will get a much worse tongue-lashing in return. Really, who gives a crap anyway if someone uses an umbrella instead of a raincoat? I think people who make a big deal about something so mundane are just looking for something to be angry about…..

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