Friday, October 25, 2013
Fall Foolishness, Or: The Cult of the Pumpkin
OK, don't get me wrong here: I love pumpkin. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin spice drinks. I even made pumpkin soup once upon a time. (It was not well received by my crew.)
But y'all (I grew up in Tennessee. I'm allowed to say "y'all") something has gone loco here in the blog world. I call it: "The Cult of the Pumpkin".
At the first sign Summer might be ending bloggers trot out their posts and tweets about how much they crave that illusive Pumpkin Spice Latte. (Query: why so many copycat recipe posts for this drink? Apparently no one drinks them as there are equally as many posts / tweets about the superiority and bliss that comes only with a Starbucks PSL.)
Fashion bloggers in their newest boots pose near pumpkin patches. In August. (Where did they find these pumpkin patches in August, you ask? I don't know. It's a mystery of modern life.)
Food bloggers post 31 Ways to Cook Pumpkin. (Side note: my family will disown me if I ever give in to my blog related urge and fix pumpkin soup ever again.)
Craft and Decor bloggers are all pumpkin, all the time. Paper, foam, printed, stenciled, mod-podged, spray painted, carved, stacked, sewn, displayed on mantels - pumpkins in every imaginable iteration.
This madness goes on from August until Halloween. Then Christmas starts. And if you're inclined to protest, "What about Thanksgiving?!" Well, too late. You can look back at all the October posts if you need to make a pumpkin pie or something. Otherwise you better get busy on your Gingerbread House / elaborate Elf on the Shelf plans (a rant for another day...).
Listen, I love Fall as much as the next boot wearing chick. I love the temperature dropping from 1,000 degrees. (I also love exaggeration and hyperbole.)
I love fewer bugs, the fall foliage, woodsmoke in the air. I love a good bonfire and hayride. I love when it's cool enough to snuggle under quilts. I love apples. (My own personal PSL is the Caramel Apple Shake from Steak and Shake. Only available in the Fall but SO GOOD.) I, as I've already mentioned, even love pumpkin.
But people, this madness must stop. Fall and cooler temperatures also bring with them my nemesis.
What is this thing I dread? I can tell you in three words: socks and shoes.
That's it. Those three words can leave me in a puddle of not-so metaphorical tears. Or, conversely, a quivering tower of rage.
You see, in the Summer, or whenever it warms up enough so my children's toes don't end up frost-bitten, my kids go about three ways: barefoot, flip-flopped, or sandal footed (in order of dressiness).
Our church is casual so on particularly nice Sundays (Easter, for example) they wear their "good" sandals. So, sandals to church, flip-flops everywhere else, barefoot at home. Sure they have sneakers and socks but the times they actually need them are blessedly rare.
Cold(er) weather changes this. Getting our family out of the house (once dressed and hair is fixed) on a Sunday morning takes about 10 minutes in warm weather. ("Get sandals on! Put more diapers in the bag! Everyone have your Bible? Who's still in the bathroom?!")
With the advent of cool weather this exit time can stretch to 30 minutes and remember, this is after everyone is already dressed, fed, and their hair is fixed.
Because, socks. Because, shoes. Because, tights. Because, boots.
Socks (or tights) must be found. They must be put on. Then maybe they don't fit right. Or maybe there's a hole in the toe. Maybe they don't match your hair-bow the way you'd like. Maybe your sister screeches, "I was going to wear those!" Maybe you put on tights because you were really cold this morning but now it's warming up and you might die if you have to wear them all day.
With the socks (or tights) issue settled, shoes must be found. Now, we, as you know, have four daughters. This is generally what happens: 3 get their shoes on, no trouble. But one (and there is always one and it varies which one, lest you think we have one repeat offender), one cannot find a shoe. It is not usually both shoes that have gone missing.
No, it is one. One has gone on a solitary jaunt away from its home. Or, what else happens sometimes: a child cries, "I can't find my shoes!" And I respond, "Did you look where they belong?"
Mystery solved, mom is a genius. Put away? Who puts shoes away?! (Mom)
I have spent massive amounts of my adult life just looking for shoes. That is, sadly, not an exaggeration.
So, much as I love Fall, I dread it too. Maybe if we lived in a more temperate clime my children could wear sandals year round. And I might have time to sit down with a PSL at Starbucks (or even better: a Caramel Apple Shake at Steak and Shake).
Until this move to warmer weather year-round comes to pass, if you need me, I'll be matching tights to hair-bows and looking for one black Mary Jane.