Just a girl and her pump­kin cof­fee

Maryland Independent - - Classified -

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?

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