So it's August. It's late August. Kids are going back to school or getting ready to. Halloween stuff is starting to litter store shelves, and why not? It's blazing hot, people are running around trying to cram in this last summer trip and that, why not remind them that it's almost time to stick plastic spiders on their houses and send their kids out into lousy cold weather to beg for candy from strangers?
August is an odd month here in the US. We don't really have anything going on. I mean, it's not May or June, there's no Memorial Day or Mother's Day or Father's day reason to drag out the grill. And it's not July, so we're pretty much done with fireworks and all things red white and blue. And honestly, by the time we get to August, many of us have eaten so much food off the grill that "char" is actually considered the fifth food group.
The kids aren't exactly in school, but school stuff has started up just enough to mess with late summer plans. The weather is usually hot (although today, here's it's a chilled 60 degrees F.) and so we're schlepping kids around in hot weather to do sports things at school outside in the hot weather. Not exactly school, but not summer vacation anymore. We're sort of easing into the full blown school year, which for most people fires up September 9.
It's not the Holiday Season, so if you managed to get all your back to school shopping done the week after school let out (you know, the minute the back to school displays went up in stores) then you have no reason to battle the last minute shoppers who are wrestling each other for the only blue folders in the building while in another aisle a mother is trying to explain to her tearful preteen daughter that they got there too late to get the "One Direction" spiral notebooks she wants and she'll just have to suffer through sixth grade with puppies on her cover or...gasp...just a plain color. (Not a battle I have to have anymore, but I did enjoy listening to one mother howl at her darling ducklings during a recent trip to a big box store. One child demanded the green shoes, which were not in stock, and mom was yowling that "THE BLUE SHOES ARE JUST FINE!" Meanwhile, the other two dears were flinging crayons packs out of the bins so they could find the right ones. I nearly gagged trying not to laugh out loud.)
Yep, August is a strange month. Which is fine. We need a month that doesn't have anything to get all up in arms about. We need a little down time from all the up times we've jammed into a year.
Which is why I have to bring this up before the frenzy gets to be too much. It's in the early days yet, it's only a whisper, but the storm is coming and I'm girding my loins to do battle once more against something so ridiculous I can believe I actually have to bring this up.
WHY MUST EVERYTHING BE PUMPKIN SPICED FLAVORED?
All you people who hate summer are longing for the cool, crisp, autumn air and falling leaves and the smell of fires in fireplaces. You simply cannot wait to put on long underwear and heavy coats and sweaters. You have fluffy slippers that you only wear in the fall and they are calling your name. I respect all that, I like autumn as much as anyone.
MUST WE FLAVOR EVERYTHING PUMPKIN SPICE?
I started to notice this a few years ago when I got really active on Face Book. People exchanging recipes for pumpkin spiced this and pumpkin spiced that. Coffee places selling pumpkin spice tea and coffee. Mu husband had a torrid, though brief, love affair with Caribou Coffee's Pumpkin Spiced White Mocha. Said is was like drinking a pumpkin pie. Which sounds gross to me. But whatever.
Why this started to bother me I can't say, but I realized, as time went on, that we as a society were going way overboard with the pumpkin spiced stuff. I started to make a mental check list of all the pumpkin spiced items in stores.
Some of them made complete sense and sounded nice, like:
Pumpkin spiced candles.
Pumpkin spiced quick bread.
Pumpkin spiced air fresheners. (In case you can't deal with candles and you refuse to bake.)
Pumpkin spiced coffee creamer.
Pumpkin spiced pop tarts. (not something I'd eat, but I understand the appeal)
Some of them walked a fine line to overload, like:
Pumpkin spiced body spray or lotions. (Hey, I'm going on a hot date, what should I smell like? How about pie?)
Pumpkin spiced locker fresheners. (What middle school kid wants to smell like pie? Oh, wait, I know one guy...)
Pumpkin spiced bagels, and the pumpkin spiced cream cheese to go on them.
Pumpkin spiced teas and coffees. Not the creamers or syrup to put in them, but the teas and coffees themselves.
|Yeah, the guy on the package doesn't even like this idea.|
And then, there are those things that make me want to scream, and, yes, when I'm in the store and I see them I do scream:
Pumpkin spiced marshmallows.
Pumpkin spiced pasta (not veggie pasta, nope)
Pumpkin spiced Pringles.
Pumpkin spiced Dog treats. Yes, even the dogs get into the act.
Pumpkin spiced VODKA. REALLY? PUMPKIN SPICED VODKA? HAVE YOU PEOPLE LOST YOUR MINDS?
NOT EVERYTHING HAS TO BE PUMPKIN SPICED!
Oh, but wait....
Maybe everything does have to be pumpkin spice.