Tina Kakadelis
YA Author

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Burn Before Reading: A Carly Allen Story

Life's Too Short to Hate Pumpkin Spice Lattes

Ladies and gentlemen, fall is right around the corner and guess who doesn't get to experience it...me. The fool that decided to move to southern California despite truly despising the heat and adoring the cold weather. Am I an absolute idiot? Maybe. Probably. Definitely. Yes.

Objectively, though, fall is the most important time of the year. Not only is it my birthday, but it's the time when the sweltering heat of summer finally breaks and everyone gets to wear sweaters. Sweaters are the most important part of anyone's wardrobe and it is an absolute tragedy that I cannot wear a sweater every day of the year in Southern California. Like I get that it's nice to not have to worry about rain or snow or any other intense inclement weather. On paper, having eternal sunshine is a really great thing, but, in actuality, it is a nightmare for someone whose entire wardrobe is comprised of long-sleeve button ups and black jeans. Despite every sign pointing out that I shouldn't live in Southern California, here I am.

This isn't the first time I've done something dumb like this. No, no. I lived in Florida for three years. Three. Years. How stupid. I experienced miserable heat and humidity for three years and still decided to move to a place that was hotter. Granted, I lost the humidity aspect of it, so that was nice, but it's still hot as hell here.

(Side note: is it "hot as hell" or "hot as Hades?" I've heard both and I'm very confused as to how something could be compared to Hades in terms of heat. Granted, all of my knowledge on Hades comes from the classic film, Hercules, so what do I truly know?)

Since I am in mourning of not getting to celebrate the best season of the year, I'm going to make a list of all of the things I would do if I lived back on the east coast where I'm from. I lived in the prime of the east coast, too. Mid-Atlantic all the the way, baby.

  1. Pumpkin Spice Latte - I don't care about your judgments about the "basic" girls that drink pumpkin spice lattes because here's the thing; life is ducking short. It is too short for me to care what dumb white dudes have to say about what I can and cannot like. If I like this ridiculous drink that costs me an arm and a leg, then I'm going to drink this ridiculous drink. Them's just the facts. (Hi, mom. Yes, I am keeping with my budget. No, I haven't bought one of these yet. I only say yet because I wait until my free birthday drink comes around.) Take all your judgment and shove it. I'm gonna drink my basic pumpkin spice latte and you can gtfo.
  2. Pumpkin Picking - I do not like carving pumpkins or actually doing anything with the pumpkins. I just like the idea that there's a weird farm you can go to where it's just a field filled with pumpkins and a bunch of people trying to get their Instagram shot. That's why we're all there. Be honest. It's all for that fall ~aesthetic.~ The sooner you own up to it, the happier your life will be. I promise. You do you, get that sweet pumpkin pose.
  3. Fall Music - What exactly is fall music you ask? Well, dear reader, fall music is like the kind of music you can picture yourself driving to in like a wooded area when the leaves are changing into pretty colors. Basically, any drive through the Mid-Atlantic area. What constitutes as fall music? What does your heart tell you? (Which one would you rather see naked!?) (Sorry, that was a reflex.) My fall music is generally a mix of Ryan Adams' 1989 cover album and early Mumford & Sons. Will I maybe make my Pumpkin Spicy playlist available to the public? Maybe. Only time will tell.
  4. Candy Corn - Sue me. I like me some candy corn. Is it basically just weird sugar molded into a traffic cone shape? Yes. Can I eat an entire bag in one sitting? Probably. I'd also probably instantly get diabetes, so i'd rather not find out. Also, it's scientifically proven that the candy pumpkins taste better than the candy corn, right? That's what I thought. My perfect candy corn bag would be all pumpkins and the candy corn that has the chocolate on the bottom. I think it's called Indian corn, but I don't know why and I feel like it's probably racist. (Also, I'm aware I can get candy corn in southern California, but it doesn't feel as festive, y'know?)
  5. Halloween Horror Nights - Or just like any scare house. I went to the Halloween Horror Nights at the Universal theme park in Orlando and I loved it. I wish I had friends here that would go with me because the Universal in Hollywood does it, too. (HERE'S LOOKING AT YOU, DINO NUGGET.) The reason I like it is because I don't think they're actually scary. It's not the type of thing that would give me nightmares. It's just an adrenaline rush of fear when the person pops out at you and then it's over. There's no weird, lasting trauma from it. Just like a lil bit of fear with mostly adrenaline.
  6. Horror Movies - Again, I understand that I am able to watch horror movies in southern California, but I'm missing out on the essence of it all. So many horror movies take place in cute east coast towns when the leaves are changing. The towns are so picturesque before the dude starts going on his murder rampage. I just really feel like I'm not getting the full experience if it's not brisk fall weather outside. Watching a movie like IT and walking out into the California sunshine is not the same as walking out into the perfect fall weather. (Speaking of IT, I have not seen it. HOWEVER, are you aware that Stephen King wrote a chapter-long scene where the one girl in the Loser Gang group has sex with all the boys in a sewer??? That's a real thing that happened and I think more people need to know about it.)
  7. Being Outside Without Sweating or Freezing - This is why fall weather is the absolute best. After suffering through months of sweltering heat and before suffering through months of being a human popsicle, you get a lovely couple weeks of the perfect weather. You get to drink hot coffee drinks outside on a park bench which is an inherently whimsical, movie moment. Is that just me? I always equate drinking a hot coffee on a bench to an impending meet cute scene of a rom com. All that is telling me is that I really need to cut back on the amount of pop culture I watch in my life. I think the reason I forced myself to like coffee is so that I, too, could walk through some city in the northeast part of the United States with a to-go hot coffee cup in my hand. Somebody save me from myself.

I'm sure there's more things that I would do, but I feel like I haven't lived in a place with seasons for so long that I forget. I also feel like I ruined the emotional intensity of this quote with my ridiculous ramblings about the importance of fall. Please go read Malala Yousafzai's book. The world needs more women like her.