I love fall.
I love the colorful leaves. I love the crisp chill in the air. I love not mowing the lawn. I love not sweating.
And boy-oh-boy do I love pumpkin spice. Muffins, donuts, lattes, and breakfast cereals. If someone sold a pumpkin spice sirloin steak, I’d fire up the grill. If there was a pumpkin spice can of Pledge, I’d never stop dusting. If there was pumpkin spice toilet paper, I’d wipe my hiney with rigor and keep my nose on alert for subsequent pumpkin spiced farts.
Such is my pumpkin spice addiction, that I find myself greeting each fall with elation.
And, almost immediately, this elation is replaced with a kind of hysteria.
I must buy pumpkin spice anything! In bulk! Because it’s only available for a limited time! Three months at most! I have to act now and act decisively before my perfect flavor is unceremoniously tossed aside in favor of stupid peppermint!
And is it just me, or do they keep bumping up that peppermint flavoring every year? It used to show up after Thanksgiving, but I’m almost positive that last year toothpase-inspired cappuccinos invaded the Starbuckses three days after Halloween. What’s up with that?
So my point is, I have to stock up on pumpkin spice! I have no time to lose! I need to be alert! I need to stay vigilant! I need another grocery cart!
What irks me about all of this is that pumpkin spice doesn’t need to be for a limited time. It’s not like anyone is marching out into autumnal fields and tapping ripe pumpkins for their pumpkin-spice-y goodness. The flavor is made in a lab. There’s nothing natural about it. It could be made all year round. But it isn’t made all year round because The Powers That Be want to create an artificial, urgent, seasonal demand.
And their evil plan works. I overbuy. To prepare for the future. If I start jonesing for pumpkin spice pancakes next June, I will be ready.
But here’s the thing about that. I never jones for pumpkin spice pancakes next June. Never ever. I have the pancake mix–boxes and boxes of mix–and from December on, it just sits there taking up valuable pantry space.
I don’t know why, but eating pumpkin spice in the summer feels weird to me. I can’t do it. I’ve tried. But it just doesn’t quite…work. It never has. I know this about myself. I’ve watched myself behave this way year after year. And yet, year after year, in a fit of panic, I buy pumpkin spice.
Because it’s only available for a limited time, you see.