Pumpkin Spice Is Fine

By Stephen Douglas
Pumpkin spice mascot torso.
Pumpkin spice mascot torso. / Ethan Miller/Getty Images
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Dear Summer,

I think we're done here. You can go away now. It was 88 degrees yesterday. There is just no need for that at this time of the year. I know there haven't been any preseason football games, but I promise you the NFL is just around the corner.

And that means it is time for Fall. The best season. Truthfully Summer, you suck as a season. It's too hot. I used to like the extra daylight, but now it just messes up my kids' sleep. Give me 20 hours of darkness and 20-degree temperatures any day. We'll stay inside and put on extra layers. There was a song about it, but it got canceled.

Anyway, Fall is the best and I am ready for Autumn decorations and Halloween decorations. On the last weekend of April, this house in my neighborhood that goes ALL-OUT for Halloween put out a giant inflatable pumpkin with a sign that said "Halfway to Halloween." I got emotional.

Halfway to Halloween.
Halfway to Halloween.

At the time we'd been in quarantine for more than a month. It was basically me, my wife and our two small children. We were both working from home while trying to watch those two small children. Two small children who need constant attention. They still do, but we have some normalcy back in our lives with New York mostly getting things under control. I have some serious concerns about what will happen when schools open up in the Fall, which is basically now, but that's not what this is about. Even if that's what everything is about right now. This is about how great Fall is.

I'm sure the family that lives there does the same thing every year. But it just felt like a message to people passing by that was specific to that time. We'll get there. We're halfway there. We were halfway to Halloween. We weren't halfway to the end of this disaster. It had barely started in most of the country when that pumpkin was inflated. But even if it was the Hang In There cat poster of the pandemic, it worked. It was confirmation that other people were going through this and that and eventually we'd have good things again. Back at the end of April. At the end of Spring. Fall and normalcy seemed so far away.

Now we're close. Halloween decorations are awesome and they are about to light up our lives. The weather is awesome. Hoodies and football and latte with pumpkin spice and Märzen beers. I only really like two of those, but I respect the choices of others. And I love people bitching about pumpkin spice. Of all the things to care about, a flavor being available for a limited time is the dumbest. They don't even take anything off the menu to make room. They just keep a couple of extra bottles in the store.

What does that even mean? Vaccine from a flavor? Dear Science: End Baja Blast!

Everything in Fall is awesome because it evokes Fall. Why would you turn down pumpkin anything unless you, yourself are the worst? So bring on the good weather and the good sports and say goodbye to summer.

Oh, shoot. Was this still a letter to Summer for some reason? I guess, uh, goodbye Summer? Nice to know you. When we meet again, I hope we're all in better places. As long as pumpkin spice season is around the corner.

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