In preparation for autumn (I am still shunning “fall” unless it looks good in the title), here’s a list of ways to embrace and enjoy the season that you Americans look forward to for the entire year.
Spoiler alert: Starbucks #PSL mix (guess what the “P” stands for) is not vegan
Your optimal reading experience: sitting in a pile of orange leaves, in Central Park, eating anything with pumpkin, and listening to Autumn in New York by Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong. Ignore the leaf mulch and pray that the weather stays dry. Know it will start raining within the next ten minutes, regardless.
- People Share Love, according to Starbucks. But not pumpkin spice lattes. No one shares that shit.
The coffee shop that can’t make coffee has a tagline that would be more appropriate for a hippy, free lovin’, anti-Fifty Shades of Grey film’s advertisement. I can see it now: “People share love” said Anti-stasia Steele to Christian You-May, one of her lovers in the polyamorous commune.
Instead, this three word inanity is about the pumpkin spice lattes that so many New Yorkers seem to swear by. Who doesn’t want to drink the puree of a fruit everyone shuns for the rest of the year? Seems to be just me.
Even Oren’s have the PSL on their menu. Traitors.
So how should you go about it? Order away whilst loudly and ironically lamenting your basicness. Did you know that basicness can’t be wished away? Did you know the barista is judging you? Did you know you’re the 17th person to attempt sneaking a PSL past the Basic detectors?
Well, shit or get off the pot. Commit, double down on basic & insta that baby. Repeat your confession in writing: “so basic.” #SorryNotSorry #PSLftw
- 24/7 Uggs and leggings
Whatever your plans are – clubbing, lecture, duvet day (translation: duvet equals comforter, therefore duvet day equals refusing to get out of bed. So basically most Sundays) – wear leggings and Uggs for the duration of autumn because, I am told, everyone does. Consider that leggings are just tight sweatpants. Consider what fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld said: “sweatpants are a sign of defeat.” Ignore your considerations.
- Apple Cider Doughnuts
- Find apple cider doughnuts
- Eat apple cider doughnuts
- Mention to all
N.B. Sans doughnuts, just eat apples. They are in season, so if you’re not eating/drinking pumpkin, eat apples. Wish for pumpkin spice apples. Google pumpkin spice apples and instead find pumpkin spice apple cider, which is almost certainly better.
- The pumpkin debacle
Here we go. I’ve been waiting for this moment. I have come all the way from England to inform you that I have never carved a pumpkin and absolutely plan to die old, happy, surrounded by cats, and with my pumpkin-carving virginity intact. I watch friends attempt to carve pumpkins and, several hours later, after they are nursing bloody (your definition, not England’s) hands and digging pumpkin vomit out of their hair, standing proudly with their pumpkin and its lopsided half smiling face, and I know I must pass.
Believe me, I’ve heard all the justifications for this ritual. “It was fun… It’s part of the experience… I only do it at Halloween… Now it feels like autumn.” But when your best friend is teetering on the edge of sanity because the candle won’t fit inside the pumpkin you should make a mental note that you want no part of this – ever.
Your pumpkin isn’t turning into a carriage anytime soon, and there is no fairy godmother coming to rescue you or the rest of America on the 8th of November. Book a plane ticket to London, and always choose pumpkin’s better tasting and more attractive cousin – the sweet potato. Plus, you’re more likely to bump into Julie Andrews in Britain, and she is definitely fairy godmother material.
- Foliage foliage foliage
A word not often used in everyday vernacular, early October is when “foliage” sneaks into every conversation.
Overheard underneath a tree:
“I was all like, leaf me alone, I need to branch out and make new friends, you know? He’s too rough around the hedges for me… I don’t know, I just really foliage like I need your advice.”
Overheard nearby some pumpkins:
“Can you believe it’s already October?”
“I know right, what the foliage?!”
Why is it beautiful? It’s orange! And that’s everyone’s favourite colour because we’re all wearing fucking orange-tinted glasses!
General notes to self on surviving Autumn in the United States
Confess to all that “fall is my favourite season” despite it being untrue, and count on being loved everywhere. In England, October is the stepping stone to Bonfire Night which then segues into the main event of the year: mince pie season.
My personal survival strategy: close eyes and muddle through until Thanksgiving. By then it won’t be long until Christmas.
Good luck and please like my #PSL Instagram post,
-That Brit yearning for Christmas
Karishma Jobanputra (good luck trying to pronounce that) is a first year MFA fiction student from London. She graduated from the University of Warwick with a degree in Law and, realising it was nothing like Suits, decided to pursue writing. Although primarily a fiction writer, she also attempts to write poetry and has had articles published online at The Guardian, KettleMag UK and The Boar (University of Warwick).