Just a girl and her pumpkin coffee
There are two types of people in the world: those who think it’s never too early for the aroma of pumpkin spice to greet guests at every store and cafe, and those who roll their eyes at those people.
If you’ve been reading “Right, Meg?” for a little while, you probably have an idea of the group to which I happily belong. Monday dawned with the slightest whisper of a chill in the air as Oliver and I stepped outside. I resisted the urge to do a jig in my driveway. The first hint of coming fall.
It’s been a hot summer and, like many Southern Marylanders, late August finds me ready to cover my sleeveless tops with cardigans. It also marks a time when I can start to unleash my unruly hair from its ponytail; the humidity will soon drop enough to make me more Madonna, less Medusa. I don’t quite remember what I look like without the messy tendrils — they’ve become a part of me now.
So Monday started very Monday-ish. Running late. Smacked my knee on a table. Forgot my vitamin. Some really rough stuff. Plus, I was too tired after a family dinner to get Oliver’s food and milk packed for daycare the previous night — and that mad scramble always starts my week off on a stressful note.
After more than a year of getting Ollie ready each day, you’d think I’d be used to the routine. Yet I still choose to make it more difficult on myself, you know?
Sometimes it just feels good to procrastinate. Though my husband and I typically prefer to just get all the bottle-washing and meals taken care of so we can unwind after dinner, there are times it’s fun to know there are chores I “should” be doing . . . but am just choosing to catch up on “Bachelor In Paradise” instead.
Of course, Morning Meg despises Evening Meg for that terrible laziness come 6 a.m. Just not enough to start being proactive or anything.
But I do have times of industriousness — occasional moments when I tackle tasks with enthusiasm. They’re mostly fueled by guilt and caffeine.
That’s where my pumpkin spice coffee comes in.
On my typical pre-work convenience store run, I wasn’t prepared for the appearance of my favorite seasonal beverage on Monday. In the way that all establishments seem to rush the seasons, I guess I should have been on alert — but my pumpkin radar had been dormant since last year.
It kickstarted walking toward the beverage bar, where I spotted a new display of ground coffee. “Is that . . . ?” I startled, feeling my heart start to race. “Could that be . . . ?”
And yes, there it was, wedged between all the run-of-the-mill flavors that stopped impressing me long before I became an exhausted new parent: freshly-brewed pumpkin spice coffee. An orange beacon cutting right through the weekday gloom.
I watched in disbelief as the customer in front of me ignored it, filling a cup with regular brew instead. Had he misplaced his glasses? Was the pre-caffeine haze clouding his thoughts? I mean, regular coffee — regular coffee when the pumpkin was sitting right there?
No one around me seemed particularly interested in this new brew, which was a little disappointing . . . but also a relief. More for me.
This is just the beginning of the pumpkin onslaught — a fact that delights me to no end, though the divisiveness of this topic only grows each year. It’s true that retailers seem to unveil their autumn and holiday decorations earlier and earlier each season, to the point that Fourth of July sparklers could potentially get mixed in with witch hats.
Is that weird? Unnatural? Maybe. But I’m too much of a fall freak to be bothered by it — especially now that I have a toddler to dress up for Halloween. And an excuse to eat all the spoils of his trick-or-treating (for now, anyway).
Fall, to me, is apple-scented and crisp and filled with family togetherness. It’s cozy and brimming with warm thoughts of hayrides, roasted pumpkin seeds and Grandma’s best pie. Summer blazes bright, sticky-sweet with watermelon juice, but autumn? Autumn is the time to sit and savor. To focus on more than
the next task, and the next. And it’s when I feel most myself: wrapped in a scarf and surrounded by burnt orange, red and gold. Wandering a craft fair, snacking on candy corn and settling down for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Am I getting ahead of myself? Of course. Just like all the retailers, I guess.
But with the humidity making a comeback, can you blame a girl for daydreaming?