There is a certain kind of diva who reveals herself only in inclement weather. She steals umbrellas. When you share an umbrella with her, she hogs it. She makes everyone wait while she strategizes how to cross each puddle. She cancels plans that would require her to walk outdoors. She is a rainy weather diva.
For all her world-famous diva-tude, turns out Jennifer Lopez is not a rainy weather diva. But her boyfriend Casper Smart is. "She's finally met her match in the diva stakes!" the Daily Mail crows over photos of the pair battling New York's deluge yesterday. "Jennifer Lopez is upstaged in the rain by Casper Smart who demands TWO umbrellas to shelter him." This despite Casper not even having hair. While Casper stayed dry under two umbrellas — carried by two separate assistants — Jennifer shared a single umbrella with her bodyguard.
I am a rainy weather diva. It started in the first grade, when the neighborhood bully would drop rain-bloated earthworms down the neck of my raincoat while we stood at the bus stop. My distress manifested into two adjacent phobias: fear of earthworms, and fear of the circumstances that cause earthworms to crawl out of the ground and onto the sidewalk. That is, a fear of rain.
When I woke to rain, I would panic. I would beg my parents to drive me to school, refusing to exit the vehicle until it was as close as possible to the school entrance. Too old to be carried, I would nonetheless beg to be carried across worm-strewn sidewalks. (They did not indulge that one.) In the process of avoiding rainy-day worms, I developed an intolerance for rain, in general. I got used to staying indoors, to being the only kid with dry feet during a deluge. The logistics rain requires — the umbrellas, the puddle-dodging, the sopping socks — feel insurmountable. I will do almost anything to avoid walking through rain. The smell of rain makes me sick. It smells like worms.
I have never shared an umbrella and not had it turn into a fight about selfishness and sharing. I contend that sharing an umbrella with a boyfriend is an undue burden, because an umbrella held high enough to cover a boyfriend's head will not shield enough of my lower body from rain. (I once drew a chart to illustrate the disastrous effect a boyfriend-height umbrella has on the trajectory of rain. "You can't share an umbrella," I whined. "It's like Solomon's Judgment, splitting an umbrella in half kills it." When he pointed out that King Solomon would have confiscated my umbrella, I sulked.) I am a diva when it rains. If I met myself on a rainy day, I would not tolerate that bitch. I would throw worms at her, if I were brave enough to touch worms. There is no excuse for my rainy weather diva-tude. I can only plead temporary, weather-induced insanity.
* Correction: Casper Smart is J.Lo's boyfriend, not husband.
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