To my friends in the North:
You know who you are. You woke up this morning more than a little bit giddy. You turned the page on your calendar to September and felt the first hint of a chill in the morning air (whether it was actually there or not).
There’s a change in the air, you said to yourself. Then you said it to the entire internet, in case they hadn’t also felt the coming of autumn.
I love fall, you thought, pulling a bin full of sweaters off the top shelf of your closet. Sweaters, and football, and changing leaves and the promise of a new school year. And Pumpkin Spice Lattes, you thought.
And then you said all of this to the internet, too, so all the people in all the places would know how much you love fall.
#PSL, you wrote.
I have something to tell you. This might get a little uncomfortable, seeing as we’re good friends and all. But I feel the need to be straight up.
I hate you.
Don’t worry – it’s temporary. Somewhere around the middle of November we can be friends again. When your fallen leaves have turned to perma-sludge clogging the storm drains and your new sweaters have pilled and your skies have settled on the exact shade of gray where they’ll remain until April, I’ll be all yours.
But for the next two and a half months I harbor an unspeakable resentment aimed at you and your fall-flaunting friends.
And I think I speak on behalf of all my fellow hot-weather-climate dwellers when I tell you the following, in no uncertain terms:
When you Pin images of leather boots and scarves onto a board called “I love fall!”, we die a little inside. We might re-pin them, but we know our boots won’t see the light of day until late October, and even then we’ll feel like posers as the sweat pools between our toes.
When you share recipes for pumpkin pancakes and pumpkin martinis and pumpkin s’mores and pumpkin-scented underwear drawer potpourri (OMFG enough with the pumpkin already), we feel something like rage and envy rolled up in a pumpkin-apple-cinnamon blintz.
When you fill your Instagram stream with #nofilter shots of maple trees in fiery reds and oranges, we want to bang our head against the steering wheel and weep. Except the steering wheel is too hot.
When you post on Facebook about the smell of homemade applesauce coming from your crock pot after a day of apple-picking, we’re cranking up the A/C and cursing at the news anchor reporting triple-digit highs all week long. For the 18th week in a row.
When you dress your kids in matching long-sleeved monogrammed pumpkin shirts and take their pictures at the pumpkin patch, we’re slathering ours in SPF50 from head to toe and pulling into the patch parking lots at 8am to beat the heat. Oh, sure, we do the hay ride and the petting zoo and all the rest, but only because by this point we’ve lost all ability to reason with our children, who haven’t been allowed to play outside in four months.
When you cheer for your alma mater wearing knit caps and puffy vests while drinking spiked cider, we’re watching the games inside and wishing we were dead.
And when you post a picture of your first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season, we’re filled with loathing for it all: the crunching leaves, the smells of cinnamon and nutmeg, the chili, the touchdowns, the shortening days and crisp mornings. It won’t stop us from ordering our own #PSL and posting pictures to prove it happened, but we do it with a spiteful heart.
It’s not your fault, really. And while I know that – and know, too, that next March you’ll be filled with the same brand of stabby rage when I post pictures of the kids running through the sprinklers and tweet about a fresh sunburn from an afternoon on the lawn at a Spring Training game – it changes nothing. I still hate you.
There’s a reason Starbucks doesn’t promote an Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte: because it tastes like bitter rage.
Your friend in Arizona