2017-09-07 / Arts & Entertainment News

Another fraudulent fall is undermining my pumpkin latte


I just can’t do imaginary autumn again this year.

Fake fall feels just as weird as Christmas in July — or as wonky as bringing artificial snow to Southwest Florida during the holidays for children to play in while they’re wearing shorts and flip-flops.

I’ve often called September my Bitter Fall. But it’s only because I love an actual, real fall so much — I love fall more than bacon, more than “Sex and The City” reruns and even more than Happy Hour. And I suppose I’m bitter about it because the feeling of fall isn’t all that far away — even Jacksonville and Tallahassee get a taste of actual autumn. But down here, September is just a cruel extension of a relentless, sweltering summer that lasts well into late November.

My bitterness usually starts with something someone posts on Facebook and it happened this morning when a northern friend wrote, “It’s September! Pumpkin spice, sweaters and scarves — can’t wait!” By the way, this “northern friend” lives in Tampa. Even Tampa gets more of a fall than we do.

Jealousy is such an unattractive state, but when I’m immersed in faux fall and my neighbors are decorating their front doors with plastic leaves in autumn colors that are wilting sadly in the sun; when I’m watching commercials for fall fashions — wooly sweaters, cute boots and cozy scarves; when my family in Ohio is texting me selfies while they’re at fall football games wearing long sleeves, I can’t help it — my envy for crisp air, hot apple cider, fireplaces and pumpkin patches is palatable.

And even though we’re still in hurricane season down here in this neck of the sand, it’s clear to me that I’m not the only one who has a heart that aches for fall. I drive past houses with scarecrows bravely propped up against palm trees, I visit friends who arrange gourde cornucopias on their dining room tables, and even change out their sofa throws to ones with burnt orange, golden rod, and sienna brown colors to keep the chill off when they crank the air-conditioning down to 70 degrees.

Rather than being bitter about imaginary autumn, maybe I should follow the lead of friends and neighbors by putting up fall-like decor and make an effort to create a nonexistent season in my own home — I mean, after all, that’s why they make pumpkin spice scented candles, right? It’s just that when I venture outside, the humid reality will hit me in the face and I fear I’ll become even doubly bitter.

I think a better solution is to save the money I’d spend on fake fall decor and put it towards an October trip to visit family in Ohio. Then in February, I’ll make sure to post lots of selfies from the beach — after all, for every season, there’s a way to make someone somewhere jealous. ¦

— Ciao for now, my lovelies! Stay tuned for another divalicious diary entry next week…

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