DEAR HARRIETTE: Coming from a rainy city, I have always wondered how umbrella etiquette functions. I always carry a small personal umbrella with me, but I know that is not the case for everyone in Seattle. If I am leaving a building with someone and I see it has started to rain, I offer to share my umbrella. Sometimes this offer is taken up, but sometimes I am not very close with the person I offer to huddle under a tiny umbrella with, so they graciously decline. That leaves me at a crossroads: We are walking together and I am shielded from the rain, but the person I am walking with is not. Do I close my umbrella? It is not my fault the person is unprepared; however, I still feel bad walking with an umbrella when someone else is getting soaked. Do I not have to worry about other's preparedness and use my umbrella? Should I insist on sharing? -- Rainy Days, Seattle
DEAR RAINY DAYS: It is thoughtful for you to offer to share your umbrella, but there is no need to insist. Each of us must be responsible for ourselves. Yes, it may feel awkward, but your offer of generosity is what is thoughtful. As you know, sometimes putting two heads under an umbrella leaves both people wet. So don't push. Remain gracious.