On Rain Bonnets

I was out early doing errands this morning. Most people were either at work or away for the long weekend, I guess. And the kids were still asleep. So, it was me and a lot of old people.

Then it started to rain and out came the rain bonnets. On the way home, I was the only female on a bus full of people without a rain bonnet on.

Nobody had umbrellas or raincoats or even rain hats, but they all had rain bonnets. Not just plain clear ones, either. They seem to come with a fairly wide, if conservative, variety of designs on them.

Some had rain drops, predictably enough. Some had polka dots. Some had flowers. Some had stripes. Nothing too garish. All pastels on a clear background. All the tie-thingies were either white, red or black.

Rain bonnets confound me. Where do they get them? I’ve never seen them for sale anywhere – or maybe I just haven’t been looking hard enough. Do they come free with something only old women purchase?

How old do you have to be before you can pull one of these off without looking ironic?

Most of the women with rain bonnets had short, white hair. The rest had short orangey hair. Maybe it’s more hair-related than age-related?

And, what exactly is the purpose of the rain bonnet? It only keeps hair dry (if it’s short), maybe a bit of the neck and possibly some of the forehead if it’s pulled forward far enough.

Does every woman of a certain age carry a rain bonnet in her purse? Will I have to start carrying one eventually? What will happen if I don’t?

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25 responses to “On Rain Bonnets

  1. Yes I’m afraid that after the age of 55 the rain bonnet is mandatory in all of Canada. If you don’t get one the gray panthers will get you. Information will be sent to you by CARP when you are 6 months shy of your 55th BD. Good luck and keep your hair dry otherwise you could catch your death from a cold.

  2. This makes me think of my mom. She gets her hair done every week, so when it rains, she wears her bonnet. I think it’s a humidity thing as well as a getting wet thing (which is why she’ll wear it even when she isn’t wearing a raincoat). I think she gets it in the drugstore—the same place she gets those huge sunglasses that fit over her sunglasses (you know, the ones that make you look like you need a seeing eye dog).

    I hope this isn’t what I have to look forward to when I get older.

  3. My mother in law has one of those. I don’t see the point of them myself, I’d much rather carry a collapsible umbrella that can keep most of me dry.

    Oh, and for the record, the moment you buy one of those, you’ll instantly get old, get your hair “done” once a week in “helmet” form and wear old lady clothes.

    Don’t ever let one into your purse.

  4. My Mum had one years ago, when she was even younger than I am now. It was related to the hair, not the age. Then, she got her hair permed and put it in rollers almost every night. When you go to that much trouble, with the curl and the hairspray, you cover up the ‘do at the slightest sign of humidity.

    But I love the aging theories of your previous commenters. Don’t let those things in your purse!

  5. its because they dont want to ruin their hair do. they only get that mess done once a week and there is no way rain is going to ruin it. my grandmother used to have one all the time in her purse.

    and its clear so that other old women cans till see the do thru the bonnet.

    and if you dont carry one after a certain age? watch out lady, the old lady posse is gonna come after you and beat you with their purses

  6. You totally lose your membership to the cool kids with Rain bonnets club. 🙂

    Memories of my grandmother.

    (Hi,I’m Nat I clicked over from Alison’s Blog at Party of 3.)

  7. Tania – Rainboots are hot everywhere, aren’t they? There are so many amazingly cute rainboots available these days I feel positively boring in my old Canadian Tire wellies.

    Bandobras – I was afraid of this. I suppose there are many other things I will have to start doing and wearing after 55, too, eh?

    Mo – Yes, I see their whole name is Rain/Wind Bonnet. So, multi-use items.

    Jazz- So many conflicting instructions – I must get one/I should never get one… I know I could never do helmet hair, so maybe I’ll be spared the need for the bonnet, too?

    Julia – Okay. That makes sense. My hair loves humidity. It soaks it up and gets really curly. And sometimes frizzy.

    Jobthingy – Ah, I never realized that the clear thing was so that people could still see your awesome do. Those old folks think of everything.

    Nat – There’s a club? And they think rain bonnets are cool? Hi Nat. Open some wine, I’ll be over to visit your blog soon.

    Schmutzie – Holy Crap! Now THAT’S cool. Thanks and wow and holy crap.

  8. Here in So Cal, we don’t really have rain bonnets. (Well, except for Mo’s mom.) Hell, we barely have umbrellas as we are mostly Too Cool to act like we are at all bothered by a little water. And the umbrellas we do have? They always have one bent part because we use them so infrequently and don’t do a good job keeping up. So basically when it rains….we are Wet and Lame.

  9. Wow! I must not get up earlier enough. Rain bonnets right here in Ottawa? Of course, now that you’ve pointed them out, I am going to see them everywhere. After all, we are certainly getting enough rain!

  10. I am laughing my arse off – this is a laugh! I can just see you there sitting amongst all the plastic covered blue hairs. For the record, I have seen these kinda things sold in vending machine years ago. Maybe they’ll be vogue one day.

  11. Beauticians must give them out – it’s definitely related to getting one’s hair done every week.

    For a minute there I almost thought Mo was a secret sibling – that’s my mom all the way!

  12. Eww, this isn’t really in my future is it? ‘Cuz I already heard I have to have stockings rolled around my ankles and blue hair…this will put me right over the edge.

  13. Lesley – Oh YA – that’s what we hear about Californians ALL the time… how hardy they are, how they boldly face any and all weather conditions without any considerations about how the weather is going to affect their down-to-earth, natural look.

    UP – You obviously don’t travel in the right circles. You have to get up really early to catch the old folk going about their errands. They mostly try to get home by 11:00 am because that’s the time the teenagers start invading the malls

    Raino- You know, I didn’t see one blue rinse! They all very nice white hair or that light orange hair some oldies cling to because they think we’ll be fooled into thinking they’re still blond.

    Becky – Beauticians, you say? Is that like a hair stylist for old people? I’m so glad my mother has a hat phobia. She won’t wear a head covering to save her life (which is sometimes comes down to in the middle of winter). So, there’s no way she’s going to get a rain bonnet.

    Debra – You and me both. I’m afraid I’m going to wake up one morning and chuck out all my real clothes and get matching pantsuits and knee-highs and start filling in the creases on my face with power.

    Geewits – One day probably our great-grandchildren are going to laugh at us when we’re old and wearing our hip-hugger jeans.

  14. You know how when you turn 100 you get a telegram from the queen? Well, when you turn 50, you get a rain bonnet and a pair of those little grey rain boots that come up to your ankles and have ratty looking faux fur on them.

    Oh yes, and a chain to hang your bifocal glasses around your neck.

  15. Sweet Jesus, I haven’t seen one of those since 1975. Mom used to wear rain ziplocs regularly. Eventually, she started wearing wigs made of polyester, so it became a moot point, since water could not impregnate her wig. Good times…

  16. I found a few of those rain bonnets in my mother’s dresser and was shocked to hear my niece say how cool they were and could she have one!! She’s 30. I have the beaded chains for the glasses, too. Funny, no one wants them. Not cool enough. Yet.

  17. I don’t think I have actually ever seen anyone of any age where one of those in the United States, but I see them in British movies all the time.

  18. Oh my grandma swore by them! She got her hair fixed every Friday and she needed her rain bonnet to help the ‘do make it through the week when the weather was wet.

    I am not sure where she got them, and you know I have not seen one out and about for some time….I am a little jealous of you!

  19. Jo – I need one of those chains for my reading glasses so I don’t keep having to chase them down all over the place

    Brad – The more I learn about your childhood and former youth, the more I come to understand the man you are today

    Violetsky – Your niece is 30 — what does she know from cool? When teenagers start wearing them, THEN you know they’re cool. So relax.

    Cedar – I apologize on behalf of my comment screen. We’ve had words before about getting aggressive with the guests… I can’t believe you’ve never seen a rain bonnet in real life. It rains out by you, doesn’t it? You have old people don’t you? Or maybe your old people are really hip and don’t do the rainbonnet thing?

    Missy – Well, if I ever see any for sale, I’ll send you a few — or one, depending on how much they cost. (I’m not getting a perm and blue rinse though, just to get a rain bonnet)

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  21. I have worn a rain bonnet (they are called rain hoods where I live in the uk)
    , for over two years, I am a man and wear one that is clear with black trim , has a visor and extends over your coat collar so rain does not go down the back of your neck. It was the only headwear that kept me completly dry when walking to and from the bus stop and walking my dog. I bought it from amazon and they are called dream rain bonnets.

    Andrew May